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Can you use a MacBook Pro as a WinDBG host? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I have not been able to find this information anywhere online, but I'm sure someone here must know.

    I want to use a MacBook Pro (the new Thunderbolt model) as a WinDBG host machine to debug my drivers on a separate Windows box. The MacBook comes with a Firewire 800 port, and the target machine would be Firewire 400, so an adapter cable is needed. Has anyone had any luck using a Mac as a host machine? There is very little information I could find online.

    Thanks!

    Friday, July 29, 2011 2:22 PM

Answers

  • Wow, never mind... I got the driver installation failure, but then I tried again and it worked, I was able to connect to the target machine.
    So here it is, for anyone searching for this info in the future (I know I could not find it):
    You can use WinDBG on an Early 2011 (Thunderbolt) MacBook Pro as a host machine to do Firewire (1394) debugging.
    • Marked as answer by Marcos Kirsch Wednesday, August 10, 2011 1:58 PM
    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 1:58 PM

All replies

  • So you would be running windbg in a VM hosted by the macbook? That would only work if the firewire port appears to the VM as a functional firewire port.
    Mark Roddy Windows Driver and OS consultant www.hollistech.com
    Friday, July 29, 2011 2:37 PM
  • I'd like to do it from VMWare, but if I need to boot into Windows using BootCamp that's fine too.
    Friday, July 29, 2011 2:48 PM
  • If it is running native windows then firewire will work (or not) as it does (or doesn't) on any other platform. It is a bit of a crapshoot on all platforms, which is one reason why serial persists.

    MSFT should do something to provide a longterm viable debugport on Windows. Serial is problematic simply because many platforms don't have one. Firewire is not exactly ubiquitous and is getting less so and is not reliable. The USB mechanism was and is a non-starter. Those of us debugging VMs running windows at least have virtual ptys over the network (in various flavors) to keep us in business, but not all kernel debugging can use VMs.


    Mark Roddy Windows Driver and OS consultant www.hollistech.com
    Friday, July 29, 2011 2:56 PM
  • Agreed, it's a crap shoot. That's why I ask, as I assume someone around these forums probably owns a recent MacBook Pro, as they are pretty common machines. I am buying one but if I can't use WinDBG from it, then I might not.
    Friday, July 29, 2011 8:48 PM
  • I got the MacBook Pro (Early 2011). Installed Windows 7 64-bit and booted into it (not through a VM).

    I installed WinDBG and ran it as an Admin so that it can install the 1394 (Firewire) driver. This failed with a dialog:

    Device driver software was not successfully installed
    Unidentified Device   No driver found

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 1:51 PM
  • Wow, never mind... I got the driver installation failure, but then I tried again and it worked, I was able to connect to the target machine.
    So here it is, for anyone searching for this info in the future (I know I could not find it):
    You can use WinDBG on an Early 2011 (Thunderbolt) MacBook Pro as a host machine to do Firewire (1394) debugging.
    • Marked as answer by Marcos Kirsch Wednesday, August 10, 2011 1:58 PM
    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 1:58 PM
  • It's called bullheaded persistence, and sometimes it does break down the brick wall against which you have been banging your head. :)

    Gary G. Little NanoTelesis Systems, LLC
    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 2:39 PM
  • I am trying to do the same thing with a MB Pro with a firewire port running Windows 7 64 trying to connect to an XP x32 box. Can you list the steps so I can try and duplicate what you did? What is your host/target config? did you add the 1394 boot parameters to the boot.ini file?
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:57 PM
  • Once you boot up your host using Boot Camp (not VMWare) you use it pretty much the same as you would use a host PC. Have you done it with a PC as a host or are you learning from scratch?

    You will likely need a Firewire 800 to Firewire 400 adapter. I use a Moshi branded one sold on the online Apple Store. I am using port 62 but I don't think this matters much as long as both host and target match.

    Good luck!

    Friday, September 23, 2011 12:42 AM