This blog was originally written by Thomas Cantwell, Deepak Kumar and Gobind Vijayakumar from DELL OS Engineering Team.
Dell PowerEdge 13G servers (Dell PowerEdge 13G servers) are the first generation of Dell servers to have USB 3.0 ports across the entire portfolio. This provides a significant improvement in data transfer speed over USB 2.0. In addition, it offers an alternative method to debug Microsoft Windows OS, starting with Windows 8/Windows Server 2012 and later.
Microsoft Windows versions have had the ability to kernel debug using USB 2.0 since Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2, though there were some significant limitations to debugging over USB2.
1) The first port had to be used (with a few exceptions – see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff556869(v=vs.85).aspx ).
2) Only a single port could be set for debugging.
3) You had to use a special hardware device on the USB connection. (http://www.semiconductorstore.com/cart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=12083).
4) It was not usable in all instances – in some cases, a reboot with the device attached would hang the system during BIOS POST. The device would have to be removed to finish the reboot and could be reattached when the OS started booting. This precluded debugging of the boot path.
USB 3.0 was designed from the ground up, by both Intel and Microsoft, to support Windows OS debugging and has much higher throughput and is not limited to a single port for debugging.
As previously stated, Dell PowerEdge 13G servers will now support not only USB 3.0 (also known as SuperSpeed USB), but also USB 3.0 kernel debugging.
BIOS settings -
Enter the BIOS and enable USB 3.0 – it’s under the integrated devices category (By default, it is set to Disabled).
USB 3.0 drivers are native in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. There is no support for USB 3.0 debugging in any prior OS versions.
Steps to Setup Debugging Environment -
2.On the target system with the help of the USBView tool, locate the specific xHCI controller which supports USB debugging. This tool is the part of the windows debugging tools. See the following link: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-in/library/windows/hardware/ff560019(v=vs.85).aspx .
To run this tool, you must also install .Net 3.5. It is not installed by default on either Windows 8/2012 or Windows 8.1/2012R2.
2.Next, you need to find the specific physical USB port you are going to use for debugging.
2. Connect the host and target system by using the USB A-A crossover cable. Use the port identified at above.
Steps to Start the Debugging Session :-
Open compatible version of WinDbg as administrator (very important!).
4.USB debug driver will be installed on host system. This can be checked in the Device Manager (see below) and for successful debugging there should not be a yellow bang on this driver. It is OK that it says “USB 2.0 Debug Connection Device” – this is also the USB 3.0 driver (works for both transports). This driver is installed the first time USB debugging is invoked.
In Device Manager:
Summary – Dell PowerEdge 13G servers with USB 3.0 provides a significant new method to debug modern Windows operating systems.