This tip is about how to setup Kernel-Mode debugging in a VM using Visual Studio 2012. This tip will be helpful for people new to driver development that wish to create, build, deploy, and debug a simple "
The setup process can be divided into three parts:
- Setting up the Virtual Machine
- Setting up Visual Studio 2012
- Setting up your
Each part will be explained step by step.
How to Setup the Virtual Machine
The Virtual Machine setup was tested on VMWare 9.0 running Windows 7 x64 OS.
- Create a new VM, use default settings (tested on VmWare, Win7 x64)
- Add a serial port to the VM, follow these steps:
- Right click VM -> Settings -> Add -> Serial Port -> Output to named pipe
- Named pipe = \\.\pipe\com_2
- First combo box = The end is the server
- Second combo box = The other end is an application
- Connect at power on = Checked
- Yield CPU on poll = Checked
- In the VM, in an elevated command prompt window, enter the following commands:
- bcdedit /debug on
- bcdedit /dbgsettings serial debugport:2 baudrate:115200
- In Windows, search for "Manage advanced sharing settings":
- Set "Turn on file and printer sharing"
- Set "Turn off password protected sharing"
- In Windows, search for "Computer Management":
- Local Users and Groups -> Users:
- Administrator -> Right Click -> Properties -> Uncheck Account is disabled
- Administrator -> Right Click -> Set Password -> Set your password
- Install WDK Test Target, the setup can be found on the host computer in the following path:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Remote"
- Reboot the VM
How to Setup Visual Studio
- Install Visual Studio 2012 (or above) and WDK 8 (or above)
- Run Visual Studio as administrator
- On the main toolbar, press Driver-> Test -> Configure Computers -> Add New Computer:
- Computer name = VM name
- Select Provision computer and choose debugger settings
- Connection Type = Serial
- Pipe = Checked
- Reconnect = Checked
- Port = \\.\pipe\com_2
- Target Port = com2
- Next -> Finish (Don’t worry if Status is Undetermined)
- Reboot the VM
- Create a snapshot in the VM called "
- You may be prompted for Username\Password, enter Administrator\YourPassword
- Important! Currently Visual Studio 2012 has a weird defect that causes the steps above to fail if your Windows username has spaces in it. The active username must have no spaces !
How to Setup Your HelloKernel Project
- Use this tutorial to create your
- In order to debug your project, do the following:
- OPTION I
- Press F6 (Important! A newly configured VM requires one successful build before debugging)
- Press F5
- When Visual Studio changes to DebugMode, on the main toolbar press Debug -> Break All
- In the "Debugger Immediate Window" write the following commands:
- bu HelloKernel!DriverEntry (Tells the debugger to break on DriverEntry)
- g (Tells the debugger to continue)
- OPTION II
- Open two instances of VS, one will be the Deployer and the second the Debugger
- [In Debugger] On the main toolbar press Debug -> Attach to Process
- [In Debugger] Select "Windows Kernel Mode Debugger" and attach to the VM
- [In Debugger] When Visual Studio changes to DebugMode, on the main toolbar press Debug -> Break All
- [In Debugger] In the "Debugger Immediate Window", write the following commands:
- [In Debugger] bu HelloKernel!DriverEntry (Tells the debugger to break on DriverEntry)
- [In Debugger] g (Tells the debugger to continue)
- [In Deployer] Press F6
- OPTION III
- Setup VS as a Debugger, as done in OPTION II
- Copy the package folder located at "
HelloWorld\Win7Debug\HelloWorld Package" into the VM
- In the VM, create a new file named install.bat with the following commands:
sc stop HelloWorld
- "C:\DriverTest\devcon.exe" install "C:\HelloWorld Package\HelloWorld.inf"
sc start HelloWorld
- In the VM, run install.bat as administrator
- If prompted, press "Install this driver software anyway"
- In order to reinstall a newer version of the driver, just update the package folder and rerun install.bat
- Your code should break on
DriverEntry, and you can start debugging
- Tip I - Be sure your solution configuration is valid (Win7 x86 Debug\Win7 x64 Release ...)
- Tip II - Redeploying a driver to the VM after it had one successful deployment may cause problems (Such as the VM wanting to reboot).
One possible solution would be to set a valid
DriverUnload function in your driver.
DriverUnload function is a member of the
PDRIVER_OBJECT received at
Another solution would be to return to the "
Configured" snapshot before each deployment.
I hope this tip will help people new to driver development in getting started quickly.
It may seem straight forward, but I must say I encountered many problems trying to setup my environment, with nearly no useful and complete help found on the web.