|18 Apr 2013||#2|
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The free build (or retail build)
The free build of Microsoft Windows is used in production environments. The free build of the operating system is built with full compiler optimizations. When the free build discovers correctable problems, it continues to run.
The checked build (or debug build)
The checked build of Microsoft Windows makes identifying and diagnosing operating-system-level problems easier.
The checked build differs from the free build in the following ways:
Many compiler optimizations (such as stack frame elimination) are disabled in the checked build. This makes it easier to understand disassembled machine instructions, and therefore it is easier to trace the cause of problems in system software.
The checked build enables a large number of debugging checks in the operating system code and system-provided drivers. This helps the checked build to identify internal inconsistencies and problems as soon as they occur.
Because the checked build contains fewer optimizations and more debugging checks than the free build, the checked build is both larger in size and slower to run than the free build. As a result, the free build is used in production environments unless it is necessary to use the checked build to identify serious problems.
Only really need it if you are developing a driver. Do not use a checked build of Windows as an everyday OS. It will drive you insane.
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