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Problem :

I am learning the Kernel mode. If I run the below assembly sequence in the kernel mode of my Windows 7 x64 bit machine running in the VMWare Workstation virtual machine:

xor eax, eax
mov ax, gs
mov gs, ax     ; this line

Then that last line mov gs, ax instruction immediately causes my VM to crash with the below shown pop-up message:

A fault has occurred causing a virtual CPU to enter the shutdown state. If this fault had occurred outside of a virtual machine, it would have caused the physical machine to restart. The shutdown state can be reached by incorrectly configuring the virtual machine, a bug in the guest operating system, or a problem in VMWare Workstation.

How to fix this issue?

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2,300 points

1 Answer

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Solution :

I have also faced such issue while I was learning to use the kernel mode.

Your mov gs,ax instruction is loading a dummy 32-bit base value stored in your GDT and not your 64-bit value stored in the IA32_GS_BASE. You should know here the base address of a GS segment is now set to 0 and not to a address of your PCR for your current CPU. And on loading such incorrect GS base it is obvious that before your Windows kernel tries to use a GS register to access your PCR and while doing so ends up reading what is most probably the unmapped memory causing the very unexpected kernel page fault and crashing. And so you are facing this issue.

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4,980 points

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