Are you a hardcore debugger:  a kernel-mode, device driver-writin' stud?  Do you avoid chrome-plated GUI and your mouse at all costs?  If so, you can stop right now. This post isn't exactly for you.

At the other end of the spectrum, if you're one of the vast majority of my twenty three readers who are happy and content with the Visual Studio debugger, take a gander at iUnknown’s WinDBG Rocks and Saikat Sen’s phenomenal WinDBG tutorial.  WinDBaG, as it is affectionately known inside Microsoft, is powerful, free, and has a much smaller footprint than Visual Studio, all of which make it the ideal debugger for non-development machines.

If you are a post-hardcore debugger and WinDBG beta convert (or potential convert:-), I have some good, good news to share:

The WinDBG beta includes a “source server” component that enables you to retrieve the exact version of the sources used to build the PDB file from a source control database or repository, directly and on-the-fly.  The WinDBG Beta download does not provide a way to retrieve sources from a Visual SourceSafe (VSS) database in particular. I do.

If the ability to retrieve sources from a VSS database to investigate issues on-the-fly sounds like something that you might put to good or even nefarious use, I’ll be happy to send you a program that does just that. In return, I ask only three things:

  1. Share and share alike.
  2. Read the attached README prior to use and;
  3. Provide me and my team with a little feedback about the tool, in the comments for this post or via email.

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