MantisBT - Cheat Engine
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0000055Cheat Enginepublic2008-07-19 15:332008-09-08 22:20
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PlatformOSOS Version
Summary0000055: CE 5.4.2 - Cannot debug (CE is not visible)
DescriptionI am trying to debug Warlords Battlecry 3.
I set a breakpoint, I go back to the game and wait until it is triggered.
When it is triggered, the game stops and appears hanging (music jams and of its some patterns are repeating, graphics hangs, etc - which is ok in this case, since we stopped the process at the breakpoint), however the CE window is not visible (it does not come up automatically) and therefore I cannot debug it.
Next, I try to hit ALT+TAB to switch to CE - I can select CE from the task list, but the CE window will not show up (it is only shown active in the task bar below); the game is still show.
Next, I hit F9 (run) while CE is shown active in the task bar; this will allow the game to continue running, detect the ALT+TAB and go to the background properly and after that - and only after that - the CE window becomes visible.
Additional Information- CE was started on XP SP2, 1920*1600, 144 DPI.
- The game is running in 1600*1200.
- Once the game is stopped, the only process I can switch to is CE - no other running programs (but I guess this is normal).
- After a few attempted breaks ("CE not coming up"s and "F9"s) the game hangs - dunno if it is significant, but it might be related.
- I tried experimenting with various options in CE settings, however I could not get the CE window to show up.

If you need to run some further tests, please email me.
Thank you.
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Attached Files

Dark Byte   
2008-07-20 07:45   
If it's possible run the game in windowed mode. Some games allow alt+enter to switch to windowed mode, but if it's possible with a option in settings that is preferred (alt+enter sometimes doesn't fully release the screenlock)
This way It is possible to alt tab to CE and just use it
2008-09-07 23:01   
The thing is that when CE stops at the breakpoint, the game hangs - so it cannot detect ALT+TAB or ALT+ENTER and take the appropriate steps to get back to the desktop.
Is it possible to force bringing CE to the front on program break?
Dark Byte   
2008-09-07 23:25   
If the normal hotkeys for 'bring ce to front' doesn't work then no. (directx has taken the whole screen)
Also, as I said, when debugging, do not run the game in fullscreen. See if there's a option to run in windowed mode. and if there is, enable it. close the game, and restart.
Then when you debug and the game breaks, you should be able to alt+tab to ce and it should be able to pop up. (and if that doesn't work, try running the game in a corner)
2008-09-08 20:10   
Windowed mode is not an option for many old games :-(
Anyway, I tried the hotkey variant.
I set a hotkey for CTRL+R, I set a breakpoint, back to game, trigger breakpoint, game hangs, I hit CTRL+R, wait a moment, nothing happens. I tap CTRL+R a few more times, nothing.
I hit ALT+TAB, the task list comes up, I can select CE (in the task bar it is shown as the current application), however it does not come up front (this is usual so far), then I hit CTRL+R again, and... nothing happens...
I ended up bringing up the task manager and killing the CE and the WBC processes.
So, I guess it means that this kind of games cannot be debugged (?).

What do you mean by "try running the game in a corner"?
Thank you.
Dark Byte   
2008-09-08 22:20   
There is one way, with 2 computers using remote desktop and a multi-user crack, you can login with another computer on the system running the game, and from there run ce and attach to it. There was a post about that somewhere in the tutorial section of the forum. I think I stickied it.

Another thing that you could try is using the break and trace option. Set a breakpoint and then let it record registers for a few steps. Downside is that it only records the first hit, so if you where waiting for a event with a different register then no luck. (But you could combine it with a AA script that checks the register, and if the register is what you want execute a nop instruction where you then have a brack/trace bp set)

Running in a corner is only for windowed mode. Because sometimes even if it is in windowed mode, the screen may still be gone at the pos the game window was.

Issue History
2008-07-19 15:33CsimbiNew Issue
2008-07-20 07:45Dark ByteNote Added: 0000108
2008-07-20 07:45Dark ByteStatusnew => acknowledged
2008-09-07 23:01CsimbiNote Added: 0000145
2008-09-07 23:25Dark ByteNote Added: 0000149
2008-09-08 20:10CsimbiNote Added: 0000157
2008-09-08 22:20Dark ByteNote Added: 0000158