[WinDbg Script] Hacking Minesweeper for Windows 8

<IMPORTANT UPDATE> Today two people told me the script was not working and they also said they did not have the minesweeper_ni.dll. It puzzled me because I tested the script and all the steps below countless times. So I started troubleshooting it (not debugging, troubleshooting :-)) and we all are running Windows 8.1, same debugger…

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Debugging – Low Level Software Analysis

Anybody there? Yeah I know, it’s been a while… Unfortunately in my current position I haven’t had one single opportunity to debug applications, which is why I’ve not been writing new blog articles. I have to admit I miss troubleshooting and debugging applications a lot! Hope to do that soon again. However, recently there have…

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Tools for Your Debugging Toolbox

This article was just updated to include an internal Microsoft tool that is now public. There are many free tools used to troubleshoot and debug software. Below I present a list of the tools that my peers and I use most of the time. Though most of the tools below are free Microsoft tools, not…

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D3v3l0p3r PF3s – 0bs3rv1ng Th3m in Th31r Natural Hab1tat

PFE has engineers who specialize in areas which can contain one or more technologies.  This species is universally known as D3v PF3 (Developer PFE).  Not everyone really knows their habits and role and, as a consequence, sometimes it’s hard for customers to engage them. Their specialty is problem isolation, application debugging, knowledge transfer, code review,…

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[WinDbg Script] Displaying the COM object referenced by an RCW object

Here we go again after a long time without blogging and an even longer time without blogging about WinDBG scripts. When debugging dump files from .NET applications sometimes we may encounter a situation where we want to get the COM object referenced by a System.__ComObject wrapper which references an RCWobject. You may think that dumping…

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Top Things to Consider When Troubleshooting Complex Application Issues

1- For reactive incidents: “Bring the engineer onsite because it is going to be easier to isolate the problem.” This is the most common misconception I’ve heard. Let me explain: most complex problems require deep debugging sessions.Collecting the necessary information is the easy part and can be done remotely or by the customer. However, several…

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New Debugging Book – Windows Debugging Notebook: Essential User Space WinDbg Commands

A reference book for technical support and escalation engineers troubleshooting and debugging complex software issues. The book is also invaluable for software maintenance and development engineers debugging Windows applications and services.   Do you want to know more about this book? Check out here…

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[PowerShell Script] PowerDbg v6.0 – Using PowerShell to Control WinDbg

Last October the latest version of the PowerDbg tool was released, version 6.0. This release has major changes. For example, it is now easier to write scripts or otherwise just hack around the debugger, and includes the PowerDbgConsole, a bootstrapper designed to make setting up an interactive PowerDbg debugging session a one-liner. In addition, this…

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[PowerShell Script] Troubleshooting for Port Exhaustion Using NetStat

Problem Description: Applications that use a great deal of TCP network activity may use all of the possible port numbers — especially if they are very “chatty”.  By default, when an application closes a TCP connection, the port number used cannot be reused for the same IP address for another four minutes (TcpTimedWaitDelay).  Also, by…

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[WinDbg Script] Displaying Parameters for Microsoft.ReportingServices.ReportProcessing

Here is a new script from a PFE from Portugal, Marcio Parente. Marcio kindly shared his source code in this blog post, so here is the story behind the script followed by its source code.     One report on a Reporting Server started to give this error: String: Syntax error converting the varchar value…

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