Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Application debugging in a production environment (Hans De Smaele)

Very, very cool article:

Application debugging in a production environment

Summary: This document is made for people who have to support and maintain a production environment. Answers are given on questions like: "Yesterday it still worked and now it doesn't anymore, what did happen?" or "Why does it work on this computer and not on another one?". Every part of the paper is explained as a walkthrough in order to use it as reference material and/or as a workbook to learn some particular debugging scenarios. (125 printed pages)

This article covers the following topics:
  • Debugging and instrumenting scripts
  • Using tools to do first analysis (FileMon, RegMon, Dependency Walker, ...)
  • A step-by-step guide for using the WinDbg debugger
  • Symbol and symbol servers
  • Calling conventions
  • Stack tracing and related subjects
  • Debugging of "free builds"
  • Creation and debugging of "dump files"
  • Working with ILDASM and ILASM
  • Other useful WinDbg extensions
  • Remote debugging
  • Debug scenarios