Test Signing X64 Drivers

Well, I did learn a lot today!

You may be familiar with the restrictions that Windows Vista X64 places on unsigned kernel-mode drivers (I was only vaguely familiar with it). This is new – XP64 (which I upgraded from) would warn but allow installation, from memory – WV64, the driver won’t load.

There was a driver for a USB device that I absolutely, positively had to have working, so I looked around for ideas on how to approach it.

Here’s the step-by-step guide. Useful for testing while developing a driver, or in situations of dire need.

IIS6 Perf Tweak for Intranets

Kerb authentication is performed at each request, rather than each connection. This can end up being a little top-heavy.

917557 FIX: You may experience slow performance when you use Integrated Windows authentication together with the Kerberos authentication protocol in IIS 6.0

Once installed, the hotfix is toggled by registry key: the value name is EnableKerbAuthPersist.

Why Intranets? it’s usually the borderline-insane that try to use Windows Kerberos across the Internet (requirements: the client needs to be a domain member; the server needs to be a domain member; the client needs to be able to talk to a domain controller directly to acquire a ticket. 99.99999% of internet scenarios – not going to happen), so this is pretty much an intranets-only scenario.

DebugDiag 1.1 Released!

IIS Troubleshooters rejoice!

If you’ve ever had an application on an IIS server do one of the following, this tool is for you:

 – hang (or respond slowly)
 – crash (W3WP.exe terminated unexpectedly)
 – chew memory in the lead-up to a crash or need a restart on a regular basis (memory climbs, until it falls over, then memory starts climbing again)

DebugDiag automates much of the routine debugging work that we perform in PSS. We’re still useful for something (I’m told; my manager is supportive that way) but I’d guess that a good 50% of problems we see can be understood and resolved through the use of this tool.

And it’s not just for IIS, I should add – it’s a generally useful debugging tool, that just happens to be focused on IIS. But you could use it against pretty much any process in ad-hoc mode (where you just point and shoot a process to get a memory dump, though with Windows Vista, a dump file is always just a Task Manager click away!).

Once you have a dump file, the Hang/Crash and Memory Leak analyzers in DebugDiag can be run to provide analysis of that file, hopefully work out what’s gone wrong, and produce some recommendations about what to do next. Brilliant, no?

New in 1.1 (this is a quote, so please don’t shoot me if there’s something inaccurate here):

· IE7, Vista, and 64-bit Windows compatibility (currently targets only 32-bit processes, but works on 64-bit platforms)

· Leak rule improvements (dump on memory thresholds)

· Leak monitoring improvements (‘fasttrack’ feature, injection fixes)

· Analysis improvements (Data access components and socket support)

· Custom actions for crash rules (DebugDiag scripts)

· Managed call stack resolution

· Support for managed exceptions (such as System.DivideByZeroException)

· Support for debugger events (such as Module Load and Unload)

· Sample scripts included

I’m itching to give it a try! It’s available here.

Sick Day

My eyes just haven’t been the same since the tusk incident, and the medication seems to be making them worse. I’m typically the last person you’ll see away from the office, but with eye things, it’s better to not take the risk of spreading them.

Still, British heritage, stiff upper eyelid and all that, so let’s use the time wisely to make up words for things that probably already have more succinct definitions.

Invertendre – the act of deliberately picking the meaning other than the one intended by the perpetrator of a double (or *tuple) entendre.

Inadvertendre – when the other entendre dawns on you only after the uncomfortable silence sets in.

In other news – and close enough to this sick day to be of suspicious timing – the Armed Assault demo is absolutely rockin’ with my new ($AU350! cheap!) X1950 Pro under Windows Vista. It’s *so close* to being playable at 1920×1200.

I’d been using a 6600GT, but this makes that look like last year’s video card. Sure, it’s probably the video card of 18 months ago, but until ArmA, no cause for upgrade.

Two years from now, I’ll be playing Armed Assault at 1920×1200 with 8xAA and 40-60fps. Can’t wait to see what G80 and R600 make of it…

Back to work… (yes, I work on my sick days).

5 Dirty Secrets About Me*

Thanks Andrew. No, no, really, thank you.

Um, right. As this is my corporate blog, I feel an innate hesitation to tarnish the company sheen (actually, it’s more like demarcation: as far as I’m concerned, the marketing department are responsible for it 🙂 ), so here’s the G-rated version:

1. Since the PC 3D graphics accelerator was invented – which is going on 11ish years now – I’ve owned pretty much everything that counted in the gaming market: (sure, no Nv1, but that’s just a function of having no income at the time, otherwise I’d have been there)

Rendition Verite; 3dfx Voodoo x2, Rush, Banshee, 2 (x2, never SLI tho), 3, 4 (for multimon at the time – excellent 2D card, eh?), 5 5500, Riva128 x 2, TNT, TNT2 x2, GeForce2, Radeon 9600, Geforce4, Radeon 9800, Geforce6 x2. Approximate expenditure: lots! (too much)

Next card: Looks like an 8800GTS (er, or GTX), but I’m trying to hold out until the R600 ships… Ironically, now I earn more, less of my income is devoted to gaming… sigh!

2. I’m travel-phobic. To the extent that a long commute scares me. The term “postcode violation” was coined for me due to my near-compulsive lack of wanderlust.

3. I readily watch my girlfriend’s (relatively close by) soccer matches, but I draw the line at softball. No one should have to sit through that.

4. I dropped out of second-year Graphic Design at Uni, and got a job in the computer industry. Had always been OK with fiddling things like Config.sys and twiddling EMS/XMS to get games working… it just grew from there…

5. I owned my first car – an ’87 Ford Laser KC – for 12 years. I still think it drove better than these newfangled things. I like the feel of non-power steering. (And it kept me in better shape when reverse parking).

Who would I like to spill their guts?

Ben Armstrong ; Jeff Atwood ; Dugie ; Brian Crecente ; Ozy/Andre.