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Migrating VC6 driver project to VC8 with DDK 2003


We have VC6 driver project configured as described in Creating Driver project for Visual Studio 6.0 article. Our task is to build it with minimal efforts under Visual Studio 8 using DDK 2003. Also we want to keep compatibility with previous versions of Visual Studio and DDK. At least .MAK file generated from VC6 .DSP project shall work with nmake utility under all environments.

Note: Sometimes DDK 2003 comes under name DDK XP, but DDK 2003 has very specific inc and lib directory structure:

  \atl21, \atl30, \crt, \ddk, \ifs,
  \inc16, \mfc42, \w2k, \wnet, \wxp
    \amd64, \i386, \ia64
    \i386, \ia64


  • different directory layout (see above), and as result disability to find headers .H and libraries .LIB
  • new compiler (cl.exe) and linker (link.exe) options
    cl : Command line warning D9035 : option 'GX' has been deprecated and will be removed
        in a future release
    cl : Command line warning D9036 : use 'EHsc' instead of 'GX'
  • string functions deprecation warning
    c:\projects\src\driver\mycpp.cpp(22) :
        warning C4996: 'strcpy' was declared deprecated
            C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\VC\INCLUDE\string.h(73) :
                see declaration of 'strcpy'
            Message: 'This function or variable may be unsafe. Consider using
                strcpy_s instead. To disable deprecation, use _CRT_SECURE_NO_DEPRECATE.
                See online help for details.'
  • "unresolved external" errors
    mycpp.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol ___security_cookie
    mycpp.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol @__security_check_cookie@4
    mycpp.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol __except_handler4
    LINK : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol __load_config_used

Solution N1 (by Alter)

Note: All these steps must be performed for each build configuration (Debug/Release).

  • Set still one environment variable - BASEDIR2K3 (I would recommend system one, not user-specific) like this:
    BASEDIR2K3 = C:\Develop\DDK2003
  • Open VC6 project settings under C/C++ section
    • Add the following include seacrh paths to the end of list
      $(BASEDIR2K3)\inc\ddk\wxp,$(BASEDIR2K3)\inc\ifs\wxp, $(BASEDIR2K3)\inc\wxp,
      for example my includes look so:
      Note: I used wxp subdirectory assuming that project could be built with XP DDK. Among this w2k and wnet options are available.
    • Replace /GX option for /EHsc, it is obviously what for :)
    • define the following constants:
      This will solve "warning C4996: 'strcpy' was declared deprecated" problem. You can also define them in your common include file like this:
      #define _CRT_SECURE_NO_DEPRECATE        // For VS 2005
      #define _CRT_NONSTDC_NO_DEPRECATE       // For VS 2005
      #define _CRT_NON_CONFORMING_SWPRINTFS   // For VS 2005
    • Also, add /GS- option. It will solve problems with ___security_cookie and __except_handler4, though shall produce non-critical warning under VC6, since VC6 doesn't know this option.
  • Open Link section
    • Add the following library seacrh paths
    • Also, add there /safeseh:no option. It will solve problems with __load_config_used, though shall produce non-critical warning under VC6 too.
  • Now export .MAK file and try to build project with it under Visual Studio 8.
    Note: by default Visual Studio 8 does not set neither system nor user INCLUDE and LIB environment variables. Since these variables may be required for successful build, it worth runing Visual Studio 2005 command prompt and executing nmake under this environment.

Solution N2 (by DeathSoft)

In order to get ___security_cookie, you have to add BufferOverflowK.lib to your project. You can get it from newer DDK. Set /entry:"GsDriverEntry@8" option, this information can also be found in MSDN. To have no problems with /safeseh:yes (it is the default in new Visual Studio) add the following file to project:

extern ULONG_PTR __security_cookie;  /* /GS security cookie */

 * The following two names are automatically created by the linker for any
 * image that has the safe exception table present.
* /

extern  PVOID __safe_se_handler_table[]; /* base of safe handler entry table * /
extern  UCHAR  __safe_se_handler_count;  /* absolute symbol whose address is
                                           the count of table entries * /
typedef struct {
    ULONG       Size;
    ULONG       TimeDateStamp;
    USHORT      MajorVersion;
    USHORT      MinorVersion;
    ULONG       GlobalFlagsClear;
    ULONG       GlobalFlagsSet;
    ULONG       CriticalSectionDefaultTimeout;
    ULONG       DeCommitFreeBlockThreshold;
    ULONG       DeCommitTotalFreeThreshold;
    ULONG       LockPrefixTable;            // VA
    ULONG       MaximumAllocationSize;
    ULONG       VirtualMemoryThreshold;
    ULONG       ProcessHeapFlags;
    ULONG       ProcessAffinityMask;
    USHORT      CSDVersion;
    USHORT      Reserved1;
    ULONG       EditList;                   // VA
    ULONG_PTR   *SecurityCookie;
    PVOID       *SEHandlerTable;
    ULONG       SEHandlerCount;

const IMAGE_LOAD_CONFIG_DIRECTORY32_2 _load_config_used = {
    0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,
    0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,
    (ULONG)(ULONG_PTR) &__safe_se_handler_count

Solution N3

Take pre-configured empty driver project for VS 2005 and add there your sources. You can find it together with VC6 project for kernel mode driver. Look in archive in pch_cpp subfolder. Also you can create VS8 project yourself with help of this manual: VC8 project for kernel mode driver.

Practically, you will completley convert your project from VS6 to VS8.

2006.11.23, updated 2006.12.02

See also:

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