|Debugging Tools for Windows|
See also debugging server.
For more information, see KD Connection Servers (Kernel Mode).
Performance-sensitive operating system components run in kernel mode. In this way they can interact with the hardware and with each other without the overhead of context switch. All the kernel-mode components are fully protected from applications running in user mode. They can be grouped as follows:
This contains the base operating system components such as memory management, process and thread management, security, I/O, interprocess communication.
This performs low-level functions such as thread scheduling, interrupt and exception dispatching, and multiprocessor synchronization. It also provides a set of routines and basic objects used by the Executive to implement higher-level semantics.
This handles all direct interface to hardware. It thus isolates the Windows Kernel, device drivers, and Windows Executive from platform-specific hardware differences.
This implements the graphical user interface (GUI) functions.
When a process erroneously accesses a portion of memory that is in use by another application or by the system, the lack of restrictions on kernel-mode processes forces Windows to stop the entire system. This is referred to as a bug check.
Malfunctioning hardware devices or device drivers, which reside in kernel mode, are often the culprits in bug checks.