• greggm's WebLog

    Using the Whidbey Beta 1 Debugger Today

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    Now that Whidbey beta 1 is out, people are probably sick of hearing about it. But I figured I would talk about one practical way to use Whidbey on your production code – use the new debugger. While you can't yet use a Whidbey compiler or the Whidbey...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Debugger Type = Auto for C++ projects

    • 5 Comments
    We frequently get support calls due to breakpoints not being hit. There are lots of possible reasons why this can occur. Today I would like to talk about one of those – using the 'auto' debugger type. Here is the basic idea of how auto works: ...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Breaking when a module loads

    • 6 Comments
    We occasionally get requests for the ability to break when a module loads. WinDbg (the other debugger that Microsoft produces) exposes this as an exception (see the 'sx' command), although it isn't really an exception. Ideally, I think this should be...
  • greggm's WebLog

    What are your remote debugging scenarios?

    • 9 Comments
    I am constantly using remote debugging. I have one ‘development’ machine. On this machine, I have Visual Studio 2005 and an environment setup to build whatever version of VS I want. Then I have a bunch of test machines which run debug versions...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Nebraska

    • 1 Comments
    My wife is currently in graduate school in Lincoln Nebraska. She started last Tuesday and will be there until December of 2005. I am currently sitting in the Denver airport waiting to board a plane to go see her. Anyway, I hope to visit Nebraska many...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Designing code for debugging

    • 5 Comments
    I would like to advocate designing code so that it is easier to debug. When write code, we thinking about many different things: What edge cases am I missing? How will this code perform? How readable is this code? etc. But most programmers...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Fibers, and other mad stuff that you shouldn’t use

    • 5 Comments
    In Cyrus’s last post ( http://blogs.msdn.com/cyrusn/archive/2004/06/07/149893.aspx ) he wrote: “...i got a great email from Neil pointing me to this article on fibers and coroutines in .Net “ I am not sure I can say this strongly...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Debugging an ASP.NET application as a non-admin

    • 15 Comments
    The debugger team has gotten many requests to debug ASP.NET applications as a non-admin. In Whidbey, the ASP.NET team did a good job solving this problem. Their solution is much nicer then mine. In the mean time, here is a way that you can get this scenario...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Debugger web service magic

    • 2 Comments
    I am going to talk today about the 'magic' that the debugger does to improve Web service debugging. The debugger has two features in this area: The debugger can automatically step from a web service client, into the web server, without requiring...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Remote Debugging Transports

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    VS7.1 shipped three different ways of doing remote debugging. We called these 'transports'. Unfortunately, the naming of the different transports was fairly poor. The good news is that we have a much better story for this in Whidbey. Anyway, let's go...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Today's journey debugging into DCOM process creation code

    • 5 Comments
    I love the feeling of euphoria after you finish debugging a difficult problem. My difficult problem of the day was figuring out why one of the test suites that I own was failing. The test works by running a macro in Visual Studio. The problem was that...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Data Breakpoints

    • 8 Comments
    Usually, people put breakpoints on an instruction. These breakpoints are set by replacing the first byte of an instruction with the ‘int 3’ instruction (0xcc). When the processor executes the ‘int 3’ instruction, it causes the...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Attaching to a process without a dialog

    • 8 Comments
    In http://blogs.msdn.com/shaykatc/archive/2004/04/19/116222.aspx , Shaykat gave one alternative to the ntsd '-pn' option. I figured I would give two more. Alternative #1 - Attach project. Open the exe as a project (File->Open->Project, then select...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Rant: Why do unsafe string functions still exist?

    • 7 Comments
    One thing that I fail to understand is why, in 2004, we still have code that uses strcat, strcpy, sprintf or any of the other string functions that don’t take a buffer size input. Microsoft, Open source, etc all still use these functions. Why? Can...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Breakpoint exceptions from the heap

    • 2 Comments
    New programmers sometimes ask why the debugger stopped at a ‘user breakpoint’ exception in their program. The exception dialog will come up and say something like: Unhandled exception at 0x77f75a58 in CoruptHeap.exe: User breakpoint. ...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Diagnosing 'The debugger is not properly installed'

    • 58 Comments
    One of the error codes that we included in the VS.NET 2002 and 2003 debuggers is: The debugger is not properly installed. Run setup to install or repair the debugger. Diagnosing this is much harder then it should be (more on this later). For now lets...
  • greggm's WebLog

    CoUnmarshalInterface and firewalls

    • 0 Comments
    One of the features I have recently worked on is improving our error messages around firewalls. I have a suggestion to anyone trying to use CoUnmarshalInterface to unmarshal an interface on a remote machine – don’t show the user the HRESULT...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Back from India

    • 0 Comments
    In case anyone noticed, I haven’t blogged for a while. I also haven’t been answer questions in my comments. This is because I was on vacation in India. If you left a comment, it should now have an answer.
  • greggm's WebLog

    Debugging an exe without a project

    • 4 Comments
    On several occasions I have seen a feature request to debug an exe without a project. I love this feature request because we already have it. Just open the exe as a project. You can even configure the project to attach to the exe instead of launch it...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Launching multiple projects during start debugging

    • 1 Comments
    On another blog, I saw a feature request to be able to script start debugging so that the debugger could launch/attach to multiple projects. There isn't automation support for launch, but there is something that is easier to use - a solution can be configured...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Automatically launching the remote debugging monitor

    • 2 Comments
    One of the debates that has gone on in the debugger team is who should be responsible for launching the remote debugging components. VC has traditionally required that the user launch msvcmon.exe. VJ automatically launched debugging components. In VS...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Running msvcmon.exe from a fileshare

    • 0 Comments
    It’s not widely advertised, but you can set up a file share pretty easily that has everything you need for remote native debugging. This article has the list: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/vsdebug/html/vctskInstallingRemoteDebugMonitor...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Symbol loading and remote debugging

    • 0 Comments
    One of the problems with remote debugging is the lack of consistency with symbol loading. For managed debugging, we load symbols on the debuggee machine. For native debugging, we load symbols on the debugger machine. This means that if you are, for example...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Why a process vanishes

    • 4 Comments
    Sometimes processes vanish without putting up the unhandled exception dialog first. Here are a few of the reasons why this can happen. Bad exception handling. Exception handling code is a bit tricky, and if you get it wrong, the OS may not get the...
  • greggm's WebLog

    Win64 Registry

    • 4 Comments
    For those of you who haven’t had the joys of the Win64 registry, I decided that I would blog about it. When Win64 came around, clearly the Windows team had to think about how to support having 32-bit and 64-bit applications installed side-by-side...
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