Exception.GetBaseException Method

When overridden in a derived class, returns the Exception that is the root cause of one or more subsequent exceptions.

Namespace:  System
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

public virtual Exception GetBaseException()

Return Value

Type: System.Exception
The first exception thrown in a chain of exceptions. If the InnerException property of the current exception is a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic), this property returns the current exception.

Implements

_Exception.GetBaseException()

A chain of exceptions consists of a set of exceptions such that each exception in the chain was thrown as a direct result of the exception referenced in its InnerException property. For a given chain, there can be exactly one exception that is the root cause of all other exceptions in the chain. This exception is called the base exception and its InnerException property always contains a null reference.

For all exceptions in a chain of exceptions, the GetBaseException method must return the same object (the base exception).

Use the GetBaseException method when you want to find the root cause of an exception but do not need information about exceptions that may have occurred between the current exception and the first exception.

Notes to Inheritors

The GetBaseException method is overridden in classes that require control over the exception content or format.

The following code example defines two derived Exception classes. It forces an exception and then throws it again with each of the derived classes. The code shows the use of the GetBaseException method to retrieve the original exception.

// Example for the Exception.GetBaseException method. 
using System;

namespace NDP_UE_CS
{
    // Define two derived exceptions to demonstrate nested exceptions. 
    class SecondLevelException : Exception
    {
        public SecondLevelException( string message, Exception inner )
            : base( message, inner )
        { }
    }
    class ThirdLevelException : Exception
    {
        public ThirdLevelException( string message, Exception inner ) 
            : base( message, inner )
        { }
    }

    class NestedExceptions
    {
        public static void Main() 
        {
            Console.WriteLine( 
                "This example of Exception.GetBaseException " +
                "generates the following output." );
            Console.WriteLine( 
                "\nThe program forces a division by 0, then " +
                "throws the exception \ntwice more, " +
                "using a different derived exception each time.\n" );

            try
            {
                // This function calls another that forces a  
                // division by 0.
                Rethrow( );
            }
            catch( Exception ex )
            {
                Exception current;

                Console.WriteLine( 
                    "Unwind the nested exceptions " +
                    "using the InnerException property:\n" );

                // This code unwinds the nested exceptions using the  
                // InnerException property.
                current = ex;
                while( current != null )
                {
                    Console.WriteLine( current.ToString( ) );
                    Console.WriteLine( );
                    current = current.InnerException;
                }

                // Display the innermost exception.
                Console.WriteLine( 
                    "Display the base exception " +
                    "using the GetBaseException method:\n" );
                Console.WriteLine( 
                    ex.GetBaseException( ).ToString( ) );
            }
        }

        // This function catches the exception from the called  
        // function DivideBy0( ) and throws another in response. 
        static void Rethrow()
        {
            try
            {
                DivideBy0( );
            }
            catch( Exception ex )
            {
                throw new ThirdLevelException( 
                    "Caught the second exception and " +
                    "threw a third in response.", ex );
            }
        }

        // This function forces a division by 0 and throws a second  
        // exception. 
        static void DivideBy0( )
        {
            try
            {
                int  zero = 0;
                int  ecks = 1 / zero;
            }
            catch( Exception ex )
            {
                throw new SecondLevelException( 
                    "Forced a division by 0 and threw " +
                    "a second exception.", ex );
            }
        }
    }
}

/*
This example of Exception.GetBaseException generates the following output.

The program forces a division by 0, then throws the exception
twice more, using a different derived exception each time.

Unwind the nested exceptions using the InnerException property:

NDP_UE_CS.ThirdLevelException: Caught the second exception and threw a third in
 response. ---> NDP_UE_CS.SecondLevelException: Forced a division by 0 and thre
w a second exception. ---> System.DivideByZeroException: Attempted to divide by
 zero.
   at NDP_UE_CS.NestedExceptions.DivideBy0()
   --- End of inner exception stack trace ---
   at NDP_UE_CS.NestedExceptions.DivideBy0()
   at NDP_UE_CS.NestedExceptions.Rethrow()
   --- End of inner exception stack trace ---
   at NDP_UE_CS.NestedExceptions.Rethrow()
   at NDP_UE_CS.NestedExceptions.Main()

NDP_UE_CS.SecondLevelException: Forced a division by 0 and threw a second excep
tion. ---> System.DivideByZeroException: Attempted to divide by zero.
   at NDP_UE_CS.NestedExceptions.DivideBy0()
   --- End of inner exception stack trace ---
   at NDP_UE_CS.NestedExceptions.DivideBy0()
   at NDP_UE_CS.NestedExceptions.Rethrow()

System.DivideByZeroException: Attempted to divide by zero.
   at NDP_UE_CS.NestedExceptions.DivideBy0()

Display the base exception using the GetBaseException method:

System.DivideByZeroException: Attempted to divide by zero.
   at NDP_UE_CS.NestedExceptions.DivideBy0()
*/

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5.2, 4.5.1, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

.NET for Windows Store apps

Supported in: Windows 8

.NET for Windows Phone apps

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8, Silverlight 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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