Bus Hound Details

Product Overview

Bus Hound may be the very first product of its kind -- a software bus analyzer for capturing device I/O and protocol. Below is a sample screen shot showing commands sent to a CD-ROM drive:


Pricing and Availability

Bus Hound was first released on April 26th, 2000. The product may be purchased securely online directly from Perisoft using a credit card. The product is delivered by electronic download. The download size is less than one megabyte. The cost of a Bus Hound license is $799 US dollars per user. Each user may run the product on an unlimited number of machines. A site license may be purchased for $4995 US dollars, which allows every employee at a site to use the product.

SYSTEM Requirements

Bus Hound runs under Microsoft Windows 95, 98, Millennium, NT 4, 2000 and XP. No extra hardware or changes to the system are needed; Bus Hound is strictly a software product.


Bus Hound supports every device that can be attached to IDE, SCSI, USB, 1394 and Fibre Channel buses. This includes disk drives, DVD drives, mice, digital cameras, scanners and web cams.


  • Captures megabytes of I/O at a time. The capture depth can be set starting from 1K up to available system RAM in 1K increments.

  • Measures device performance.

  • I/O from multiple devices can be captured simultaneously, even if devices are attached to different buses.

  • There is no limit on how many machines can run the product in parallel.

  • The system startup process can be captured, allowing capture of the very first commands sent to a device.

  • In addition to data transfers, low-level protocol is captured such as sense data and operating system status information. This information can be used to efficiently trouble shoot device driver or firmware issues.

  • Microsecond resolution timing is captured. This allows the time between commands to be measured as well as the elapsed time of a single command.

  • Captured data can be viewed in real time, dragged and dropped to other applications, or saved to a text or zip file.

  • When the capture buffer fills to capacity, Bus Hound can be configured to stop the capture process or continue capturing, keeping the most recent acquired data.

  • The capture depth of each individual I/O phase can be configured from 1 byte up to 2GB in 1-byte increments. For instance, if the capture depth is set to 8 bytes, only the first 8 bytes of each packet will be captured.

  • A simple web-like interface. Devices are selected simply by placing a checkmark next to them in a graphical tree.

Windows Logo compliant. Bus Hound includes an installer, uninstaller, automatically migrates to new operating systems, has keyboard support, is designed to run in a multi processor environment and passes rigorous stability tests.

Individual Bus Features

USB: Bus Hound captures all 4 transfer types--control, bulk, interrupt, and isochronous. Bus Hound supports all USB versions and speeds including USB 2.0. Bus Hound also shows the USB endpoint each transfer is sent to.

IDE: Bus Hound captures command and data transfers for ATA and ATAPI devices. All PIO and DMA modes are supported such as Ultra/133. Bus Hound also captures SMART commands to hard drives.

SCSI/Fibre Channel: Bus Hound captures the command and data phases for all parallel and serial bus standards. Bus Hound decodes the command op codes and logs sense data for check conditions.

1394: Bus Hound captures read/write/lock operations, isochronous transfers and bus resets. All 1394 versions and speeds are supported.

Other buses: Bus Hound supports device configurations where one of the above buses is emulated. Examples include virtual devices or certain parallel port attached devices.

BHLOG Command Line Tool

The site license version of Bus Hound includes bhlog.exe, a command line tool that allows capturing traces directly to a file. Comparatively, the Bus Hound GUI captures to RAM. Since bhlog is limited only by free hard drive space, it provides the capability to capture I/O over tremendously wide time periods. The other advantage of bhlog is the ability to retain captured data in the event a system freezes or reboots by directing the captured data to a file on a network drive.

Market Positioning

Bus Hound is targeted to expand the market for bus analyzers. Bus Hound captures snap shots of packets sent across the bus rather than individual hardware signals. Users will find Bus Hound a very capable bus analyzer for their needs or may find it complementary to a hardware bus analyzer. Its low cost and simplicity of operation makes it attractive to users who otherwise would not want a hardware bus analyzer. Since it runs on the host, it can also be more effective for analyzing host side problems. Bus Hound has a number of pricing advantages over hardware analyzers:

  • The cost is a fraction of a hardware bus analyzer.

  • Includes support for each bus, eliminating the need to purchase add-on modules or new bus analyzers for different buses.

  • Automatically supports incremental bus standards. Higher bus speeds and added bus features are transparent to Bus Hound since it is built on a layered software architecture.

  • Runs on an unlimited number of machines, eliminating the need to purchase multiple hardware bus analyzers in order to perform captures in parallel.

How It Works

Bus Hound captures I/O using a device driver. The device driver is positioned very low in the I/O subsystem architecture such that it can take an accurate snapshot of commands, data, status, and timing information. The below figure demonstrates how Bus Hound captures data for SCSI devices.


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