Releasing the Bits

Since we started this blog I have spent some time updating my music collection. In fact, as I type this I am listening to the band “Shadow’s Fall”, really, really loud. There is nothing like some aggressive guitars to help stir the creative juices. Yea!


As you read in Jason’s intro of the team, one of my primary responsibilities is to manage and drive the release to manufacturing. This involves a few separate, sometimes tedious, but totally necessary processes. Specifically, there are quite a few “checks” that the builds have to go through after the QA teams have signed off, before the public can have access to them. These checks are mostly designed to protect us, Microsoft, and our customers.


One of biggest and most important processes is something we call “Media Verification”. We do we do this because we must verify that the media we’ve burned from our builds is actually working and will not introduce any issues to our customers.


A majority of media verification is automated through an internal tool that we call “DDVerify”. You point this tool toward the media (CD/DVD/Web package), the path on the build server, enter it’s CRC Value and press “Verify Now”. The tool then spawns a few processes and does the following:


  • File Diff (Against build server)

  • CRC Check

  • Verifies Digital Signature

  • Verifies Volume Label (For CD/DVD’s)

  • Verifies Time bomb code (for pre-release builds)

  • Proxy File Check

  • Uncompresses all files and runs 4 different virus scanners


After the above has passed, then a manual install is run. Once everything has passed, and the install and uninstall succeed, then that piece of media is labeled a “Master” and it moves to the next step in the release process.


I would love to hear from you if you have similar processes in place, would like to know more about this one, or have some suggestions for some new “tuneage” I should be jamming to. Next time I will cover some of the other things we do as part of the “Releasing the Bits”.


If you are country music fan, just remember; if they take out that whiney steel guitar and violin, it is just a rock and roll song….


-  Jammin’ Dan –



Comments (1)

  1. I’ve been enjoying the lates Linkin Park CD, Meteroa, as well as the Evanescence CD, while I code, for the past several months.

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