I only use WinDBG every once in a while, but, when I need it, I really need it and need it now. Kevin Dente pointed out earlier today that apparently, the latest versions of WinDBG was not available as a standalone installer, but only as part of the Windows Driver Kit ISO download.

That’s right. You now need to download a 620MB ISO, find a tool to open it up with (since Windows still lacks native support for opening ISO files directly) to extract a 17MB installer for WinDBG. From the WinDBG download page:


This current version of Debugging Tools for Windows is available as part of the Windows Driver Kit (WDK) release 7.1.0. To download the WDK and manually install Debugging Tools for Windows:

1. Download the WDK and burn the ISO to a DVD or other installation media. (The WDK ISO file is approximately 620 MB to download.)

2. Open the ISO from the installation media and open the Debuggers directory.

3. In the Debuggers directory, run the appropriate MSI or setup EXE for x86 and follow the instructions in the Setup Wizard.

4. After installation is complete, you can find the debugger shortcuts by clicking Start, pointing to All Programs, and then pointing to Debugging Tools for Windows (x86).

This really sounds awesome, on par with other MS utilities that get distributed as an MSI installer that installs an MSI installer that you can install. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

Get it together, Microsoft; WinDBG is too important for support to screw it up like this.


Tomas Restrepo

Software developer located in Colombia. Sr. PFE at Microsoft.