A Real-life Debugging Challenge

My company typically sells to customers that are nowhere near its headquarters. This presents some special, real-world problems having to do with debugging of drivers. We’re currently in the middle of debugging a real booger of a bug, and in this case, the bug only shows up at low lattitude.

One of our customers is in Mexico, and in this particular network, the installation of our software causes his file “server” (Windows XP SP2) to suddenly drop off the network. Nobody could manage to reproduce the problem internally, and only two other customers in the history of the company had reported the problem.

The product has two kernel-mode drivers: a virtual Ethernet miniport and an NDIS intermediate driver.

Sooo, what would cause a windows computer to drop off the network an hour or two after boot, every time, but only when these two drivers are installed? I’ll discuss my first theory in the next post, but for an advance hint, go check out Larry Osterman’s blog – he has a couple of relevant posts in the last day or three.

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