Part III: Advanced Topics in Software

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Part III is an advanced section that consists of chapters that discuss topics such as postmortem debugging 64-bit debugging, Windows Vista fundamentals, and much more The goal of these chapters is not to provide an exhaustive examination of each area, but rather provide just enough fundamentals for the reader to get started in the topic explained 11, Writing Custom Debugger Extensions, talks about custom debugger extensions Even though the Windows debuggers pack an extremely powerful set of commands and tools, there are times when you want to automate certain aspects of your own application debugging sessions This chapter details how the extensibility model of the debuggers works and describes an example of a sample custom debugger extension 12, 64-Bit Debugging, introduces the basic concepts of debugging 64bit architectures Basic concepts such as stack traces, function calls, and parameter passing are discussed to enable the reader to get started on debugging these powerful architectures 13, Postmortem Debugging, discusses postmortem debugging, which is an incredibly useful way of troubleshooting problems when there is no means of debugging a problem at the point of occurrence This is a very common form of debugging once the product has shipped and problems surface on the customer site
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14, Power Tools, discusses two powerful tools that can be used to automate the debugging process The rst tool is called DebugDiag, and it provides an excellent way of automating resource leak debugging The other tool is a command called analyze, which automates the initial fault analysis process 15, Windows Vista Fundamentals, details some of the fundamentals behind Windows Vista With the introduction of the new generation Windows platform, certain aspects of the operating system have changed dramatically, and some of the key changes are outlined in this chapter
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Required Tools
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All the tools required to make full use of this book are available as downloads free of charge The new Windows Drivers Kit contains a complete command-line C/C++ development environment and a great set of associated development tools
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As software engineers, we spend a great deal of our time hunting for the ultimate treasure of writing perfect code While writing this book, we were faced with quite the opposite chore the need to write not-so-perfect code to illustrate common programming mistakes The sample code is structured to achieve one goal: present examples of common programming mistakes in the shortest and most concise fashion as to not pollute the basic principle of the programming mistake being examined To satisfy the goal of short and concise examples, we had to, at times, concoct examples rather than use real-life examples Even though the sample code is made up, it serves to simulate real-life examples, and every effort was made to ensure that the example stays true to the problem being examined All sample code is written in C/C++ We chose this language for two simple reasons:
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C/C++ is predominantly used in Windows development In order not to obscure the debugging concepts discussed with higher-level abstractions, we chose the language that is most commonly used and also closest to the core
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All sample code is compiled and tested using the Windows Drivers Kit The WDK was chosen so that readers would be able to enjoy learning the art of Windows debugging without being required to purchase a complete developer suite The source code assumes a Unicode environment, and as such Win32 API calls, as seen in the debugger, will be illustrated using the Unicode version of the API For example, the sample code might show a call to the CreateProcess API, but when working in the debugger, the CreateProcessW API will be utilized The API shown in the debugger is pre xed by the module name implementing the API One example is the CreateProcessW API, which is implemented in kernel32dll It is often required to specify both the module name and the API name separated by the (!) character (kernel32!CreateProcessW) All sample code and binaries are available on the book s Web site (http://wwwadvancedwindowsdebuggingcom) In addition to source code and binaries being available, the site acts as a symbol and source code server for the book s binaries When you try out the debugging sessions illustrated in the book, there is no need to download all the symbols for the binaries; rather, point your debuggers symbol path directly to the book s symbol server, and you can debug with remote symbols The sources are also retrieved by the source servers from the book s Web site To provide a consistent learning experience, the binaries on the book s Web site have been built as nonoptimized and checked releases for the x86 architecture using the Windows XP platform We chose to use Windows XP as the common denominator due to its widespread usage If you choose to build the samples on your own using a different target platform, there might be minor variations in the debug output To build the samples on your own, simply open a WDK build window and type build /ZCc from the directory containing the make le If the source code being compiled requires additional steps, those steps will be spelled out in the chapter discussing the sample code Throughout the book, it is assumed that all binaries have been downloaded from the Web site and copied to the local hard drive (keeping the folder structure intact) to the following location: C:\AWDBIN, and the sources have been downloaded to the C:\AWD folder
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