Windows® advanced debugging
Learn various methods for debugging issues that may occur on a computer with Windows.
In some cases the Windows operating system installed on your computer may hang or crash unexpectedly. Troubleshooting these issues is one of the challenges faced by the administrator. Stack overflow, deadlocks, failed driver unload, firmware failure etc., are the most common problems. We can debug these issues using advanced techniques. These advanced debugging techniques can resolve most of the problems associated with a Windows-based system. Advanced debugging techniques help the user to identify what application was running while the system crashed etc. Therefore, we can search for the solution easily to resolve the problem. There are several advanced debugging tools available. ADPlus, ProcDump, Windows Debugger are some of these tools.
Different advanced debugging techniques for a Windows-based system and points to keep in mid while using these techniques are explained below:
- Debugging a Service Application
- Debugging a Deadlock
- Things to Keep in Mind
Debugging a Service Application
A service or Windows service is carried out without human interaction. It will start automatically at system boot or by an application that uses the services. We can also enable services from the ‘Service Control Panel Utility’. Each service is composed of three elements: a service control program, service application and service control manager. There are different ways available to debug the service application. Local debugging, remote debugging and kernel controlled user level debugging are three debugging techniques. We can debug the Windows services manually as well as automatically.
Debugging a Deadlock
When a thread of a Windows-based system needs access to code or other resources, it requests a lock. Then Windows responds by giving the lock to the thread. When two or more threads requested locks on two or more resources, then a deadlock condition arises. We can debug the deadlock using Windows advanced debugging techniques. Deadlock may arise in user mode as well as kernel mode. To debug the deadlock, you can type ‘!locks’ at the debugger prompt. We can use commands to see whether the threads are waiting on other critical sections.
We have to keep in mind several things while using advanced debugging techniques. These methods are normally preferred for advanced users which have knowledge about the Windows operating system and system registries. Create a backup of Windows system before debugging the system. We can restore Windows system if any errors occur while debugging. Lots of advanced debugging tools are available to debug a Windows system.
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