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busTRACE This WEB page comes from the busTRACE 7.0 User's Manual. (Table of Contents)

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When you click on the My Computer device icon, in the Capture Devices tree, you view and edit busTRACE's global capture settings.

System Information

This section provides you read only information about the currently running system. If you have read in a saved busTRACE capture file, this section provides you information about the system where the busTRACE capture was performed (not the system currently running busTRACE).

Operating System This field shows you the operating system that is running.
Version Additional version information, such as a running Windows Service Pack, appears in this field. If no additional version information is applicable, this field does not appear.
busTRACE Version This field shows you the version of busTRACE that was running when the capture took place.

Capture Buffer

busTRACE utilizes your computer's system memory to capture I/O activity. The more memory you have, the more I/Os you will be able to capture and store in memory. This section provides you the means to alter the capture buffer settings.

Live capture analysis

busTRACE can capture and analyze I/O activity in one of two ways. One is with "Live" capture analysis enabled; the other is with it disabled.

When busTRACE capture is active, and live capture analysis is enabled, you can view I/Os being captured as they occur. You can scroll around and view any I/Os of interest. Any I/Os that are captured are simply appended to the I/O Capture List automatically.

When busTRACE capture is active, and live capture analysis is disabled, you are not allowed to view I/O activity until after you stop the capture process. Once the capture process is stopped, all of the I/O activity captured up to that point will then appear.

Typically you will leave this feature enabled. However, there are times where you might want to disable the feature:

  • Disabling this feature gives you the lowest busTRACE CPU overhead. If you are concerned about any impact capturing I/O activity will have on a performance test you're running, simply disable this feature. When disabled, busTRACE simply captures the I/O results down in kernel mode and then lets the I/O continue on its way.
  • If live capture analysis is enabled, the system could theoretically generate I/O faster than busTRACE can process it. For example, fast hard drives being sent a large quantity of I/O activity at a given time. In such a case, busTRACE may automatically stop the capture process and notify you that the system is generating I/O faster than it can process it (see below for a sample screenshot of this notification). In this case, you can simply disable live capture analysis and the problem will not occur again.
Halt when full busTRACE uses a circular buffer. That is, when the capture buffer gets full, older I/Os are removed from memory to make room for newer I/O activity. By placing a checkmark next to this option, you are informing busTRACE that you want it to automatically stop the capture process when the buffer is full.
Compress transfer data You can configure busTRACE to compress the captured data in memory. Depending on the type of data being captured, this will usually require less memory stored per each I/O. This, in turn, allows you to capture even more I/O activity into memory. This feature is only available when live capture analysis is enabled.
Buffer size

When you click on this field, you are shown a slider where you can adjust the busTRACE capture buffer size. The larger the buffer, the more I/O activity you will be able to capture. The amount of memory busTRACE will allow you to allocate depends on how much memory you have in your computer.

Live analysis window This field is not applicable if you have live capture analysis disabled. When live capture analysis is enabled, two buffers are allocated. One is the main Buffer size that was discussed above. The second buffer is one that is shared between our Windows device driver and the application. This is a "window" of memory that allows both driver and application to share the same space. As I/O activity is captured, it is placed in this window by the device driver. The application then pulls the data and moves it into its permanent location as allocated by the Buffer size. You typically do not need to adjust this value.

If your system is generating I/O faster than busTRACE can capture it with live analysis enabled, the following screen will appear:

If you receive this warning, review the informative text in the dialog box and adjust the Capture Buffer settings as needed.

Hot Insertion Device Settings

While busTRACE is active capturing I/O activity, what happens if a device is inserted during that time? Fore example, let's say you are capturing I/O activity and, while the capture is active, you hot plug a USB flash drive. busTRACE will detect the new device and use the options you set in this section to determine how to handle it.

Capture Placing a checkmark next to this option will notify busTRACE that you want busTRACE capture enabled automatically for any devices that appear while a busTRACE capture is active.
Maximum Capture Size

Each I/O that is occurring within your system might transfer a large amount of data. For example, let's say an I/O is sent to read 128 sectors from the hard drive. Sectors typically store 512 bytes. That would mean that the system is attempting to read 512*128 bytes which is 64K. busTRACE can capture the entire data, if so configured.

You may find that you are not interested in storing the entire amount of data transferred with each I/O. Perhaps you are only interested in the first 16 bytes or no bytes at all. Perhaps you're only looking for error information and do not care about the data. Alternatively, if you're doing Data Corruption Analysis, you probably want to store all the data transferred so that you have it available for your analysis.

Simply enter in the maximum number of bytes you would like captured per I/O. The smaller the value, the more I/O activity busTRACE will be able to capture into memory (as less space would be used to store any data transferred). busTRACE defaults to storing up to the first 512 bytes of transfer in the capture buffer.

You can enter the data in hex format if you like. Simply append the data with 'h'. For example, to submit 256 decimal bytes as the value, in hex, you would enter 100h.

Capture Power IRPs This field specifies whether or not you want Power Management I/O Request Packets (IRPs) captured for any devices that appear while a busTRACE capture is active.
Capture PnP IRPs This field specifies whether or not you want Plug and Play IRPs captured for any devices that appear while a busTRACE capture is active.
Capture IOCTLs This field specifies whether or not you want IOCTL requests captured for any devices that appear while a busTRACE capture is active.
CDB Filter This field specifies the Kernel Mode CDB Filter you want used for devices that appear while a busTRACE capture is active.

COM Port Triggers

busTRACE allows you to configure output and/or input hardware trigger points through your RS-232 Serial Port (i.e. COM Port). This feature is especially useful for hardware/firmware engineers that want busTRACE to notify them when a specific event occurs, or to have their hardware/firmware notify busTRACE of an event.

Enable Triggers Before you can use hardware trigger points, you first need to place a checkmark on this option.
COM Port Select from the drop-down list which COM port you want to use.
Output Trigger

By placing a checkmark on this option, you are informing busTRACE that you want to signal a trigger on the specified COM port when a busTRACE trigger point is hit. For example, you might have configured busTRACE to set a trigger point when a specified error is returned from a device.

To signal an external hardware trigger, busTRACE raises the RTS line on the specified COM port and leaves it raised until you stop the capture process.

Input Trigger

busTRACE also supports an input trigger. An input trigger is registered by busTRACE whenever the CTS line on the specified COM port is toggled. In other words, whether it is the rising edge or the falling edge of the CTS signal, busTRACE will signal an input trigger. busTRACE supports multiple input triggers. Each time an input trigger is detected, an input trigger event is inserted into the busTRACE capture buffer. When you view the I/O activity in the I/O Capture List, an input trigger will appear and show you the time when the input trigger occurred.

Trigger Position When trigger points are detected, you can configure busTRACE when it should auto-stop the capture sequence.

If you are performing a remote capture, the COM Port trigger points will be signaled on the remote system (i.e. the server).

busTRACE does not support COM Port triggers during a boot capture sequence. You can only enable the feature once the busTRACE application has launched.

busTRACE depends on the serial port driver's ability to monitor the CTS and line and allow us to raise the RTS line. We have seen some USB to serial adapters not support our CTS/RTS requests, nor do they return any error code. If you are attempting to use a USB to serial adapter, and you cannot get busTRACE hardware triggers to work, you are probably experiencing a limitation of the USB to serial device driver. We recommend you try using your PC's built-in COM ports, or possibly a PCI add-in card.

Automatic E-mail Notification

When running busTRACE, you may want to have busTRACE notify you when a certain condition is met. For example, let's say you are doing a lengthy stress test over several days, and you want busTRACE to notify you whenever an error occurs. That is what this section is for. If your cell phone has an e-mail address, as most cell phones do, you can use this feature to have busTRACE "call" you with any status.

Before you can use this feature, you need to make sure your e-mail client is properly configured. E-mail packages that require user approval before we can send e-mail through it, such as Microsoft Outlook XP, are not supported. The reason for this is that the e-mail client would be waiting for you to approve the sending of the e-mail. This obviously would not work as you want busTRACE to e-mail you without user interaction required.

Because many e-mail packages have limitations when it comes to unattended e-mails, we are limiting our support to using Outlook Express 6 (or later) as your e-mail client. This e-mail client is probably already installed on your computer. The following steps assume you are using Outlook Express 6.

Run Outlook Express 6 and configure it with an e-mail account by selecting Accounts from the Tools main menu (within Outlook Express itself). busTRACE will use your default email account to send e-mail. Once your e-mail account is configured, and you have verified that it is working properly, proceed to the next step.

Select Options from the Tools main menu. Click on the General tab that appears and, if the button is enabled, click on the Make Default button where it says "This application is NOT the default Mail handler."

Within the Options window, click on the Security tab and remove any checkmark next to the "Warn me when other applications try to send mail as me."

Click on the OK button to exit.

At this point, Outlook Express 6 has been configured such that busTRACE can use it to send e-mail. We recommend you send out a test message, through busTRACE, to ensure everything is working properly.

E-mail on trigger Placing a checkmark on this option will have busTRACE e-mail you when a trigger point is detected. Only one e-mail will be sent for the very first trigger point detected.
Periodic status reports If you want busTRACE to e-mail you periodically with its capture status, you can place a checkmark next to this option.
Status report interval If you placed a checkmark next to the Periodic status reports field, you can specify how many hours and minutes you want elapsed between reports. For example, using this feature, you can have busTRACE e-mail you every hour with status.
E-mail to send

This section configures the e-mail that will be sent.

In the Send to field, you specify the e-mail address of the recipient. If you want to have the e-mail sent to multiple recipients, simply separate each e-mail address with a comma.

The Subject field specifies the subject you would like to have in the e-mail sent.

The Message field shows you the e-mail message that will be sent. When you select this option, simply click on the button to view the template. You can adjust the format of the e-mail if you so choose.

The Send Test Message option should be used to ensure that your system is properly configured to send out automatic e-mail messages. After you have configured the fields described above, simply click on the button to have a test message sent out. Make sure you have properly configured Outlook Express as described earlier.

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