Debugging STL containers using WinDbg

My good friend and colleague, Ambrose Wong, is a Principal PFE in Hong Kong. He has been debugging and troubleshooting production issues for over a decade now. More importantly, he mentors our customers to be their own hero and debug issues on their own.

One of the conversations we have with customers who are using WinDbg for the first time is obvious comparisons with Visual Studio, and how easy it is to ‘Watch’ things in VS.NET. The expression evaluation (a.k.a. Watch) capability in VS.NET is very easy to use, but what if you have to do that with WinDbg in a production environment?

While it may be easy to dump scalar values, how about when you are dealing with STL vector classes, such as vector<>? It may not be very apparent how to do that in WinDbg. Ambrose has started a series on how YOU can do that yourself – read the introduction and part 1 of his series. Highly recommended for WinDbg buffs!


BTW, if you have never heard about the Standard Template Library – STL – you can hear Stephan Lavavej (Mr. STL himself Smile) introduce it here.

Posted by Arvind Shyamsundar, MSPFE Editor

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