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Windows Boot Debugging on laptop W/O Serial Port?

Hi all!!

Looking for hints / pointers / advice that might help us:
At work we have problems with the laptop of one of our clients that is not booting properly, etc, etc so we want to be able to debug the Windows boot process and the drivers we develop.

The problem is that for the programmers to be able to connect the debugger (WinDBG, IIRC), we need a null serial cable... and the laptop (an HP Omnibook XE) has no serial ports. The laptop has paralell, USB, Net, etc... ports, but no serial.

We have gotten hold of a PCMCIA -> Serial card but it seems that the COM ports are not avaliable before OS boot (BIOS won't recognize it?)... so at the moment we're quite baffled.

SO my question is, how would you do it to be able to debug this thing? I know we're probablly mising something painfull obvious, but... Any (more or less strange) way to connect the beast to the developer's machine?

  Thanks a lot

Javier Jarava
Monday, June 16, 2003

What about a serial to USB adapter. I don't know what USB devices the BIOS is able to accept though.

Stephen Jones
Monday, June 16, 2003

IIRC i386kd ( the windows kernel debugger ) over FireWire kernel debugging didnt make it into win2k, but did made it into xp and later. Course, what are the odds that you are using XP you and you have firewire...

Monday, June 16, 2003

If the laptop is running Windows XP or Server 2003 you can use KD or WinDbg to perform local debugging.  You can get WinDbg from - it's improved a lot in the last couple of years.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

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