Debugging/DoSing System Settings (win10)

August 12, 2018 in Undocumented Windows Internals, Windows 10

Opening System Settings is a very common operation – one that allows users manage their computer and its settings, troubleshoot and fix stuff, and update the windows as well.

So… it turns out that the program itself (C:\Windows\ImmersiveControlPanel\SystemSettings.exe) has a built-in support for debugging; when launched, it checks if the following value in Registry is set:

  • HKCU\Control Panel\Debug = 1

If the value is present, the program will enter a never-ending loop waiting for a debugger to be attached to the program.

For an average user the program will basically freeze:

For the more advanced users, this is an opportunity to attach the debugger 🙂

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