How to get a debugger or backtrace without Microsoft Visual Studio (Windows)

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Overview

  1. First install the WinDbg tool. This can be downloaded from

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/debugger/ .

  1. Then configure WinDbg to be the “Just in Time Debugger”. To do this, run the following from the command prompt (console; with administrator rights on Windows Vista and higher):
windbg.exe -I

(windbg.exe is located in whichever directory you just installed it to).

To get a backtrace, in WinDbg, click ViewCall Stack. This will pop up a dialog — make sure that the “Source” and “Source args” are selected. The call stack window has an additional icon in its toolbar that opens a menu: pull down that menu and click its Copy stack to clipboard option; then paste the result into your email to froglogic support.

Caveats

Requirement - Binaries compiled with symbols

To get line number of source file information with the above approach symbol information must be compiled into the binary files. This is automatically the case for “debug” builds, but for “release” builds the compiler must be told to do so explicitly.

Microsoft compilers

To compile the Squish binaries with symbol information you can use one of these patches (but keep in mind that they may be outdated, so feel free to ask our support for recent versions of these patches):

Squish version (branch)Patch
4.1release-with_symbols-41.diff
4.2release-with_symbols-42.diff
4.3 (the current “unstable” branch)release-with_symbols-43.diff

These patches have the following in common:

⚠️ If you would rather get such a Squish release build with symbols from froglogic please contact froglogic support and provide the file <SQUISH_DIR>/buildinfo.txt.

Other compilers

Currently we not have more detailed instructions for other compilers (MinGW, GCC on Windows).

Requirement - Disabling Squish crash handlers

Squish tries to install crash handlers into most processes started by it. These crash handlers must be disabled because otherwise the Windows crash dialog which allows starting the debugger does not show up.

To disable the Squish crash handlers set the environment variables SQUISH_NO_CRASHHANDLER and SQUISH_DISABLE_DUMPFILES to value “1” and start Squish. For example, in cmd.exe enter the following:

set SQUISH_NO_CRASHHANDLER=1

set SQUISH_DISABLE_DUMPFILES=1

"<path_to_squish>\bin\squishide.exe"

Unreliable or lack of source file or line number information

Unfortunately retrieving backtraces from Windows is highly unreliable. Expect 50% or more of all backtraces to not contain any useful information.