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How to debug a Windows service

October 14, 2010 2 comments

Maybe you thought when you read this title: “well it’s kind of easy, I just have to attach any debugger to my running service“. And you’re definitely right.

But sometimes you have to debug the very beginning of your service (just after the “Start” control), or even before, when the main() function has just started. Or you’re experiencing a bug that happens only with a specific user, or only in a context of a Windows service (could be environment variables, registry keys, etc.). Hopefully, with a few tricks, you can easily setup a debugger that will attach to a process just after its creation.

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