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debug x86 custom OS
From: HaQue <admin () smartwave-wireless com>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 19:55:46 +1100

Hi all,

Long time listener, first time caller.

The hint to post here came from Intern Mikes great talk at B-Sides.

I am hoping that someone here can give me some pointers on how to debug/monitor a custom OS that runs on a standard Intel mainboard. Basically it boots up and used the hardware directly, the Intel chipset and integrated video. Doesn't run on DOS, windows or Linux, is not a Linux or DOS "derivative or clone. It does use hardware interrupts, and I believe BIOS routines.

Obviously this means custom drivers and executables (which are very few).

IDA sees the driver files as "MS-DOS SYS-file(perhaps device driver)[dos.ldw]" and I get some coherent code mentioning interrupts, such as Strategy_Routine, Interrupt_Routine but nothing to really speak of.

I Initially thought to hook up to the serial port and monitor with another PC, similar to what you would do in an embedded system, though quickly realised that this output of dmesg Is programmed into Linux, and no such functionality exists in my case.

Short of JTAG on the CPU or video, is there anything anyone could suggest to figure out the routines?

Is there anything on a standard Intel PC motherboard that can help?

All the embedded hardware hacking I have done doesn't seem to transfer to this, and though ripping apart the software is kind of helpful to see the overall picture of how the system works, I don't see how to use the info to interact with the OS aside from the basic, intended functionality.

Any tips or links to sites that may help would be great.



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