Debugging Device Installations

On Windows Vista and later versions of Windows, the core stages of device installation are always run in a non-interactive context known as server-side installations. The host process for device installation (DrvInst.exe) runs under the security context of the LocalSystem account.

Because the server-side installations run non-interactively and must complete without any user input, it provides some challenges to the driver package developer who wants to debug the actions of the driver package's class-installer and co-installer DLLs. For the developer of a driver package, it is usually most desirable to debug the actions of a co-installer DLL during the installation of a device.

This section contains the following topics, which describe techniques that are used to debug co-installers during the core stages of device installation:

Enabling Support for Debugging Device Installations

Debugging Device Installations with a User-mode Debugger

Debugging Device Installations with the Kernel Debugger (KD)

For more information about co-installers, see Writing a Co-installer.