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Who knows what's goin' on?

  1. Oct 7, 2005 #1

    saltydog

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    Who in this group, the whole PF for that matter, knows what's goin' on during a Windows XP startup? What does it take to have a real good understanding of everything that's goin' on while Windows XP starts up?

    I have "Autoruns" and even that is a bit complex.

    Can or is anyone willing to summarize for me in a short paragraph, the boot-up process for Windows XP?

    You know, I see what those chopper dudes see in stripping down a motorcycle to it's barest bones. That would work for me with my PC.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2005 #2

    ranger

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  4. Oct 7, 2005 #3

    saltydog

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    Thank you Ranger. That however only describes the boot-strap and what the operating system first does when it gets loaded. Mainly I was interested in the procedure (exact sequence) in which all the varous application programs startup in windows. Like, all the ones in Windows Task Manager.
     
  5. Oct 7, 2005 #4

    ranger

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    Sorry. I hope this is what you are looking for.

    To see a list of what services and programs are loaded, type msconfig in the run box (located in the start menu).
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2005
  6. Oct 7, 2005 #5

    saltydog

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    Well you go Ranger! I think you got the dibs in here dude. Other people in here too. Don't wish to offend anyone. That's a good start for me. I just need to sit down and spend some time with it.

    Thanks.
     
  7. Oct 7, 2005 #6
  8. Oct 7, 2005 #7

    saltydog

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    What I though was interesting to read is that during the loading of the operating system kernel, NToskrnl.exe, the "HAL" files are loaded . . . hummm . . . interesting. Does that mean HAL is in everybody's PC?
     
  9. Oct 7, 2005 #8

    saltydog

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    That just looks like a debugger Brad. I've used the debugger with MicroSoft Visual C++ a ton debugging applications I've written.

    Wanna' tell me what a checked build is and how to get it?
     
  10. Oct 7, 2005 #9

    ranger

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    HAL(Hardware Abstraction Layer) - This is the code that produces the interface between the hardware and any software using it; for example, a graphics adapter, and an API.
    Definition from www.futuremark.com/community/hardwarevocabulary/

    Well according to that definition, it sure seems so. On my linux system, I can recall seeding a "HAL daemon" load at boot time.
     
  11. Oct 7, 2005 #10

    saltydog

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    Dude, that's just a driver then: usually assembly code which interfaces the hardware electronics with the CPU. I once did an update, and there was something about 64k and old software with 64K+1byte data blocks, and then oh no, "our data has been compromized" . . . "we are our of regulatory compliance", bla, bla, bla, yada you know. Big problem, one measly byte. Anyway, solution was to modify about 5 lines of assembly code in the tape driver.

    Good to be a bit-head sometimes.:smile:
     
  12. Oct 8, 2005 #11

    saltydog

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    Well, I'd like to take this one step further if I can:

    You know how when you use a debugger, you can "step through" all the calls to the various functions?

    It would be nice to have that ability to "step through" the boot process for XP. I realize that's the "cart before the horse" (what's gonna' run the debugger"). But it doesn't have to be real. It could just be a simulator that you run which "simulates" the boot process but you could "step-through" it just like you would an application in a debugger.

    Any body have any ideas?

    Oh yea, the reason for having such is to learn about the boot process in detail. That to me gives you more control on your PC. Frankly, I do not like using a PC in which all kinds of stuf is runnin' and I don't know what it is. Also don't want to slow down my PC.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2005
  13. Oct 8, 2005 #12
    I think your 2 choices for debugging are windbg or an emulator that you run from a host PC on a target PC. The cheap JTAG emulators cost several thousand$ and an Intel ITP would cost over 20k.

    windbg is highly recommended to start with, then see where that leads.

    Id wait on the checked build for now
     
  14. Oct 8, 2005 #13

    saltydog

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    Jesus Brad! So I googled of course 'Windbg". This quote sounds very, very interesting::smile:

    You ever done this before Brad? You know, anybody else too is ok.:smile:

    . . . where can I get another computer from now? Suppose I could ask a friend, "hey, you mind if I use your computer to debug the operating system? I promise, I won't mess up anything"
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2005
  15. Oct 8, 2005 #14
    Yes Ive used windbg, but its been years and extra computers were plentiful

    There must be cheap $200 computers in the paper or ? The null modem cable should also be easy, thats about 3 wires if I recall, crossover;

    There is a microsoft public discussion forum for anything like this, but start with your OS type, general forum, was it XP? http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/related/default.mspx

    And some good Microsoft experts will know much better than I.
     
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