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Things to consider before you enable Driver Verifier Manager on production servers

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Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 include Driver Verifier Manager. This is a tool that you can use to troubleshoot new drivers. The tool stresses one or more binaries in an attempt to make them not work. If a binary is not written properly and Driver Verifier finds a problem, an error message is displayed on a blue screen.

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Driver Verifier is designed for use in conjunction with the Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 Device Driver Kit (DDK) to allow you to simulate certain conditions (for example, low memory conditions, I/O verification, pool tracking, and so on) on drivers you have written. You should use Driver Verifier to help test new kernel mode drivers in a test environment, but in some situations you may need to run the tool on a production server. When you use this tool on a production server and a problem is identified, an error message on a blue screen is displayed.

The following list shows things to consider before you enable Driver Verifier Manager. Be sure to evaluate the information and include other contingencies that are unique to your environment. If you suspect a driver is causing a problem, Microsoft recommends that you stress the computer in a test environment.
  • Review the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:
    235496 How to enable a Memory.dmp file capture using the graphical user interface or the registry
    148954 How to set up a remote debug session using a modem
    216206 Blue screen or STOP error message troubleshooting before you call Microsoft Support
  • Create an Emergency Backup Disk (EBD) and a full backup of the server.
  • Create a contingency plan for production servers for extended down time.
  • Notify users when you test the production server. You may want to tell them to save their data locally and frequently, and that performance may be slower.
  • Do not verify all the drivers on the computer at the same time. Only test drivers that you suspect.
  • When you run Driver Verifier wait at least 30 minutes to log on to the computer, especially if you are troubleshooting domain or network issues. After the user presses CTRL+ALT+DELETE, the recovery process used in LastKnownGood is updated with all of the registry settings, and you are then unable to utilize LastKnownGood as a recovery process to back out of Driver Verifier settings.
  • If you need to contact Microsoft Product Support Services, advise the Support Professional that you are running Driver Verifier in your environment and also advise the Support Profession of any relevant case numbers.
  • Force domain replications on domain controllers prior to starting, and then perform a backup, which includes system state.
216417 How to install the Windows 2000 Recovery Console
229903 Partial list of possible error codes with Driver Verifier

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Keywords: KB251233, kbinfo

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Article Info
Article ID : 251233
Revision : 9
Created on : 5/17/2007
Published on : 5/17/2007
Exists online : False
Views : 451