Installing WinDbg 32bit on 64bit Windows 7

Debugging mini dumps or full dumps from another machine, say a windows server 2003 x86 on your 64bit Windows 7 developer machine is not as straight forward as you would think. First you download debugger tools with the windows SDK. This part is straightforward.

Then you install it while making sure debugging tools is marked.

Then you start WinDbg, open your crash dump and write the incantations:

.symfix  (to fix symbols)

.reload (to reload module)

.loadby sos clr (to load .net debugging tools).

The last line gives the error:

The call to LoadLibrary(C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\sos) failed, Win32 error 0n193
“%1 is not a valid Win32 application.”
Please check your debugger configuration and/or network access.

Your 64bit debugger tries to load the 32bit sos.dll needed to debug the 32bit crash dump – and that does not work. But you don’t have a 32bit debugger – you were never given the choice to install one.

It went wrong during the installation of the SDK. Luckily you can just start the installation again, and select to change the installation (not repair).  This time you have to select “Debugger tool” under “Redistributable”. This will install dbg_x86.msi in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1\Redist\Debugging Tools for Windows – Run dbg_x86.msi, and you will get the 32bit version of WinDbg installed.

Now you can start debugging your 32 bit crash dump.

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About Lund

Owner of iCodeIT, a software consulting company. I am primarily working the .NET development and architecture.
This entry was posted in C#, Debugging and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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