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Advanced Windows Debugging 1st Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342374469
ISBN-10: 0321374460
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


"-- Bob Wilton, Escalation Engineer, Critical Problem Resolution Team, Microsoft" "An excellent reference for both intermediate and advanced debuggers: highly practical, and filled with tricks and strategies. This book stands out from all other Win32 debugging literature, thanks to its in-depth examples-including resolving intricate problems like stack and heap corruptions." "-- Kinshuman, Development Lead, Windows Core OS Division, Microsoft" The First In-Depth, Real-World, Insider's Guide to Powerful Windows Debugging For Windows developers, few tasks are more challenging than debugging--or more crucial. Reliable and realistic information about Windows debugging has always been scarce. Now, with over 15 years of experience two of Microsoft's system-level developers present a thorough and practical guide to Windows debugging ever written. Mario Hewardt and Daniel Pravat cover debugging throughout the entire application lifecycle and show how to make the most of the tools currently available--including Microsoft's powerful native debuggers and third-party solutions. To help you find real solutions "fast," this book is organized around real-world debugging scenarios. Hewardt and Pravat use detailed code examples to illuminate the complex debugging challenges professional developers actually face. From core Windows operating system concepts to security, Windows(R) Vista(TM) and 64-bit debugging, they address emerging topics head-on-and "nothing" is ever oversimplified or glossed over! This book enables you to Master today's most powerful Windows debugging tools, including NTSD, CDB, WinDbg, KD, and ADPlus Debug code that wasn't designed or written for easy debugging Understand debuggers "under the hood," and manage symbols and sources efficiently Debug complex memory corruptions related to stacks and heaps Resolve complex security problems Debug across processes: identity tracking, RPC debugger extensions, and tracking IPCs with Ethereal Find and fix resource leaks, such as memory and handle leaks. Debug common thread synchronization problems Learn when and how to write custom debugger extensions Perform "postmortem debugging" using crash dumps and Windows Error Reporting Automate debugging with DebugDiag and the Analyze Debugger command Whether you're a system-level or application developer, "Advanced Windows Debugging" delivers the deep understanding of debugging that could save you weeks on your very next project. Part I Overview Chapter 1 Introduction to the Tools Chapter 2 Introduction to the Debuggers Chapter 3 Debugger Uncovered Chapter 4 Managing Symbol and Source Files Part II Applied Debugging Chapter 5 Memory Corruptions Part I - Stacks Chapter 6 Memory Corruptions Part I - Heaps Chapter 7 Security Chapter 8 Inter-process Communication Chapter 9 Resource Leaks Chapter 10 Synchronization Part III Advanced Topics Chapter 11 Writing Custom Debugger Extensions Chapter 12 64-bit Debugging Chapter 13 Postmortem Debugging Chapter 14 Power Tools Chapter 15 Windows Vista Fundamentals Appendix A Application Verifier Test Settings
If you like Advanced Windows Debugging, keep an eye out for ADVANCED .NET DEBUGGING COMING IN NOV. 2009.

About the Author

Mario Hewardt is a senior design engineer with Microsoft, and has worked extensively in the Windows system level development area for the last nine years. He is currently involved with designing and implementing the next generation management protocol for Windows Longhorn.


Daniel Pravat is a senior design engineer with Microsoft and has worked in the Windows division, primarily within the Windows management area. He is currently leading a development team that has the responsibility of shipping the most reliable management platform for Windows Longhorn.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 840 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (November 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321374460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321374462
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gary McNickle on December 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a technical supervisor, one of the biggest problems I have is training our development teams in the use of the various debugging tools available. I purchased a copy of this book hoping it would help me in that training, and I was not disappointed.

This book goes far beyond my expectations and provides insight into not only the use of the various debuggers, explaining how to set breakpoints and analyze memory locations, but it also goes into detail on how to debug some of the more insidious problems common to developers.

The chapters on thread synchronization and stack and heap corruptions are excellent and provide invaluable insight into debugging these common problems. But more than that, the book outlines and gives instructions on using some of the lesser known debugging aids, such as the application verifier and the leak diagnosis tool, as well as writing your own debugger extensions.

There is a chapter on post-mortem debugging, which goes into detail on using crash dump files, instructions on obtaining information from the Windows reporting service and a chapter on managing symbol and source files.

Finally, there are chapters on debugging Vista applications, security problems, and interprocess communications.

The authors are clearly masters of debugging windows applications, and this book stands alone in the field.

I am a senior C++ engineer with over ten years of experience writing applications for windows and linux, and I found new information in every chapter, all of it easy to understand and well written.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have little to add to the effusive praise of previous reviewers. This is a one-of-kind book. An instant classic.

Beware, however. As others have noted, this is definitely an _advanced_ book. If you're not comfortable with arcane command syntax, bits and bytes, and such this will be painful to incomprehensible for you. On the other hand, I dare say you will never be a true Master Debugger until you have a good grasp of this material.

You would do well to start with Debugging Microsoft .NET 2.0 Applications or the now-unavailable Debugging Applications for Microsoft .NET and Microsoft Windows. Both will give you an easier introduction to WinDbg. The latter, older volume has much more information on native code debugging than the newer version. As they also cover the Visual Studio debugger in detail, most developers need go no further than one of these.

Note that WinDbg _can_ be used with SOS and ADPlus to do some pretty fancy .NET debugging that isn't possible with Visual Studio alone. For that matter, the .NET CLR on Windows is implemented using the same Windows API as any native application. I've seen WinDbg used to trace bugs through C# application code down to find that the defect was actually in the CLR or Windows itself. John Robbins (author of the previously mentioned books) states in Chapter 6 of the latest version that "in our consulting work at Wintellect, which as you know works on the toughest bugs, we use WinDBG nearly 70 percent of the time.
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This is the book I wanted to read when I started doing Windows crash dump analysis more than 5 years ago. Although other excellent Windows debugging books existed at that time including "Debugging Applications" written by John Robbins and "Debugging Windows Programs: Strategies, Tools, and Techniques for Visual C++ Programmers" written by Everett N. McKay and Mike Woodring I needed a book that discusses debugging in the context of WinDbg and other tools from Debugging Tools for Windows package. So I had to learn from day-to-day experience and WinDbg help. Now WinDbg is a de facto standard in debugging and troubleshooting on Windows platforms and the book comes at the right time to teach the best practices and techniques. I'm reading it sequentially and I'm on the page 387 at the moment and I have already learnt techniques and debugging strategies I missed due to certain habits in using WinDbg. See my real time reading notes on Software Generalist blog. Even if you do mostly memory dump analysis and not live debugging of your product, you also will learn a lot to apply in your day-to-day problem identification and troubleshooting. Absolutely must have for any Windows software engineers, escalation engineers and technical support engineers willing to advance their debugging skills.

Dmitry Vostokov
Founder of DumpAnalysis Portal
Editor-in-Chief of Debugged! MZ/PE magazine
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Format: Paperback
I've been using the Windows Debuggers for a long time now and I found myself an expert and I am regarded as such at my working place where I actively push the use of windbg and friends for trouble solving.
This book however shows that even experts can gain a new level of debugging tips and tricks.
This is not a one of many books on this topic but one that stands out with head and shoulders.
A definately must have for those who do serious debug work, both on kernel and user level debugging!
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