Archive for the ‘Memory Diagrams’ Category

Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5 is available for download

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

I’m pleased to announce that MDAA, Volume 5 is available in PDF format:

www.dumpanalysis.org/Memory+Dump+Analysis+Anthology+Volume+5

It features:

- 25 new crash dump analysis patterns
- 11 new pattern interaction case studies (including software tracing)
- 16 new trace analysis patterns
- 7 structural memory patterns
- 4 modeling case studies for memory dump analysis patterns
- Discussion of 3 common analysis mistakes
- Malware analysis case study
- Computer independent architecture of crash analysis report service
- Expanded coverage of software narratology
- Metaphysical and theological implications of memory dump worldview
- More pictures of memory space and physicalist art
- Classification of memory visualization tools
- Memory visualization case studies
- Close reading of the stories of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Watson’s observational patterns
- Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume 4

Its table of contents is available here:

www.dumpanalysis.org/MDAA/MDA-Anthology-V5-TOC.pdf

Paperback and hardcover versions should be available in a week or two. I also started working on Volume 6 that should be available in November-December.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Forthcoming Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Five volumes of cross-disciplinary Anthology (dubbed by the author “The Summa Memorianica”) lay the foundation of the scientific discipline of Memoretics (study of computer memory snapshots and their evolution in time) that is also called Memory Dump and Software Trace Analysis.ca

The 5th volume contains revised, edited, cross-referenced, and thematically organized selected DumpAnalysis.org blog posts about crash dump, software trace analysis and debugging written in February 2010 - October 2010 for software engineers developing and maintaining products on Windows platforms, quality assurance engineers testing software on Windows platforms, technical support and escalation engineers dealing with complex software issues, and security researchers, malware analysts and reverse engineers. The fifth volume features:

- 25 new crash dump analysis patterns
- 11 new pattern interaction case studies (including software tracing)
- 16 new trace analysis patterns
- 7 structural memory patterns
- 4 modeling case studies for memory dump analysis patterns
- Discussion of 3 common analysis mistakes
- Malware analysis case study
- Computer independent architecture of crash analysis report service
- Expanded coverage of software narratology
- Metaphysical and theological implications of memory dump worldview
- More pictures of memory space and physicalist art
- Classification of memory visualization tools
- Memory visualization case studies
- Close reading of the stories of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Watson’s observational patterns
- Fully cross-referenced with Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume 4

Product information:

  • Title: Memory Dump Analysis Anthology, Volume 5
  • Author: Dmitry Vostokov
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 22.86 x 15.24
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (10 December 2010)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-96-4
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Opentask (10 December 2010)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-906717-97-1

Back cover features memory space art image Hot Computation: Memory on Fire.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

Virtual to Physical Memory Mapping

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

There are many different approaches to illustrate virtual to physical memory mapping on systems with paging like Windows. Here is another approach that uses natural memory visualization. An image of a user process was generated and juxtaposed to an image of kernel memory dump generated afterwards to produce the combined picture of the full virtual space. Of course, uncommited regions were not included in it as they were not present in user and kernel dumps. Then, after reboot, the same application was launched again and an image of a complete memory dump was generated. Finally, both images were juxtaposed to produce this approximate picture:

In the virtual memory space to the left we see much more granularity. On the contrary, the physical memory space to the right is more uniform and has a different coloring.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

User/Kernel Diagramming Styles

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Similar to different C/C++ styles like where to put the right brace we have User/Kernel Space/Mode architecture diagramming styles. Some prefer to put User part on top (Windows Internals team) and some prefer to put Kernel on top (like me). Marc Sherman in the comment here explains the former style as “calling down into the kernel”. Originally I thought about a psychological explanation where you put on top what you value the most or use the most. However, the reason I put Kernel on top is because I value Space over Mode in depicting memory and dependencies. In stack traces from complete memory dumps you have kernel portions on top as well. Also Google and Bing favour “stack grows down” slightly over “stack grows up” and I prefer “down” as well. Additionally, if you value User on top you would be forced to put Managed on top as well. If you put Kernel on top than Managed is at the bottom like on this flag that became a logo of Memory Dump Analysis Services. So here are two diagrams where I prefer the first (Kernel on top) with any stack growing down (in address decrement sense) and any stack trace from WinDbg having Kernel on top too:

 

The second diagram has any stack growing up:

I also suggest this variant (but people who write and read from right to left may prefer its reflection):

Another diagram style that is consistent with the traditional depiction of Privilege Mode rings (here Kernel is also on top but can be put in any direction):

What style do you favour? Please let me know.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -