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How to: Debug the OnStart Method

You can debug the constructor of the Windows Service by stepping into an instance of the Service. You can debug the Windows Service itself by starting the service and attaching the debugger to the service process. However, to debug the OnStart method of a Windows Service, you must add a few lines of code to simulate the service. For more information, see System.ServiceProcess.ServiceBase.OnStart(System.String[]).

To debug a problem in the OnStart method

  • Create a simulation of the service (a console application, for instance) to determine where the problem is.

    For example, assume you have a Visual C# Windows Service that looks like this:

    public class ManagedWindowsService : System.ServiceProcess.ServiceBase 
    {
       //
       // designer and user generated methods and properties
       //
       public static int main(String[] args)
       {      
          ServiceBase.Run( new ManagedWindowsService() );
       }
    }
    

    Add the following lines of code to debug the OnStart method:

    public static int main(String[] args)
    {      
       (new ManagedWindowsService()).OnStart(); // allows easy debugging of OnStart()
       ServiceBase.Run( new ManagedWindowsService() );
    }
    

    The Service will not run in this mode, but you can debug the OnStart method and verify that it is behaving as expected.

For more information, see Debugging Windows Service Applications.

See Also

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