How to Debug the Installation/Uninstallation of Windows Service (.NET)

(original blog entry)

Just setup in your “Debug” tab of your Visual Studio “Windows Service” project:

  • Select “Start external program” and find “InstallUtil.exe” (usually under <Windows>\Microsoft.NET)
  • Then as command line argument put the name of your executable
  • As a working directory, select the output folder of your project

It should look like this:

 

Setup the breakpoints and hit F5. The installation should start and stop at your breakpoint.

If you want to debug uninstallation of your Windows Service (.NET), use the “/u” argument of InstallUtil.exe.

If the debug session is aborted (because you stopped it in the middle or an error arose) , then the service might not be completely installed or removed. If that is the case, just open a command line window and type in:

>InstallUtil.exe /u <path:filename of your .NET executable>

Good debug session.

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