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Windows 7: How do I debug a minidump?


17 Sep 2009   #1

Windows 7 & XP Dual Boot
 
 
How do I debug a minidump?

Hey there folks I'm basically new to the turf and I have a couple of questions (You can skip the rest of this paragraph to get to the good stuff).
First let me introduce my self: I work a lot with installing windows and maintaining computers for friends and associates and I just installed Windows 7 and I've decided to stick with it (not like I did with Vista). I have a fair knowledge of hardware and software. But now I face an extraoirdinairy problem. Both my computers are unusable. One is beyond repair and the other has an incredible problem with installing windows (Linux Ubuntu did fine but could crash at any heavy duty stuff like partition management, 3D online games, and hard reading (I think it was called... basically when the bittorrent client was rechecking a big file (like over 2gb) the comp froze). I borrowed a computer I can use if I could repair it. But it has sudden crashes as well (though it's a bit more standard way of crashing, i.e bluescreen or continous loop freezing). Now I kinda feel constrained. I want to find out the problem so I can make with the solutions already. On to my questions (finally!):

How do you debug a dump? It's that simple. The question that is.
I've installed both the debugging tools and the windows 7 rtm (yes I've got RTM) symbols. Now I'm confused as to why things won't work. I used the "Global Flags" app and set some values hoping something would automagically happen but alass. So...
  1. Whats the difference between "minidump" (obvious), kernel dump (obvious), and "Full memory dump" (ehr... full ram with kernel and all running applications?)
  2. How do I get WinDBG (or crashdump?) to recognise the Windows 7 symbols package?
  3. How do I setup so that the memory dump outputs hardware errors?
  4. How do I setup so that the memory dump outputs software errors?
  5. Have I failed at searching the forums because there is a post adressing this issue already?
Signed, written, but mostly not read (the slobbish *******):
Third3ye

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

17 Sep 2009   #2

Win7x64
 
 

I'll try to answer your questions, followed by a suggestion.



1)
  • Minidump: A very sparse summary of the crash event. In more technical terms, a minidump usually contains the stack of the crashing thread, its register context, and a loaded module list. Size is between 64KB and say 300KB.
  • Kernel dump: Those portions of kernel code which were resident in RAM at the time of the crash. Size will depend on many factors, but usually several hundred MB.
  • "Full" or complete dump: All RAM contents at the time of the crash, including kernel-mode and all resident user-mode pages. Size will be equal to RAM amount plus 1MB for dump header.
2) You don't need the symbols packages. Set your "symbol path" to have the debugger download symbols from MS as required by running this command in WinDBG:

.symfix c:\symCache

Obviously, you can change the local dir to anything you like.

3) It doesn't work like that.

4) It's already "set up" to do that

5) You've done well to get this far.

As a suggestion, zip and upload your minidumps here and somebody will take a look at them. (Minidumps are entirely sufficient for this purpose - kernel and complete dumps are impractically large and unnecessary.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2009   #3

Windows 7 & XP Dual Boot
 
 

This post was more an attempt at teaching and learning how to quickly asess the hardware problems you may have :P But thanks for the help Heres the minidump. I had to switch computers again :P Cause I shut it down and now it refuses to get passed checking the DMI pool (? (I don't remember the correct acronym, I asume it might be apparent (but I'll check if not).

So heres my dump. From the other computer, the computer I was using, that I want to repair.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


25 Sep 2009   #4

Win7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Third3ye View Post
This post was more an attempt at teaching and learning how to quickly asess the hardware problems you may have :P But thanks for the help Heres the minidump. I had to switch computers again :P Cause I shut it down and now it refuses to get passed checking the DMI pool (? (I don't remember the correct acronym, I asume it might be apparent (but I'll check if not).

So heres my dump. From the other computer, the computer I was using, that I want to repair.
Here's what the debugger has to say about that crash:
A fatal hardware error has occurred. Parameter 1 identifies the type of error
source that reported the error. Parameter 2 holds the address of the
WHEA_ERROR_RECORD structure that describes the error conditon.
Arguments:
Arg1: 00000000, Machine Check Exception
Arg2: 85345024, Address of the WHEA_ERROR_RECORD structure.
Arg3: 00000000, High order 32-bits of the MCi_STATUS value.
Arg4: 00000000, Low order 32-bits of the MCi_STATUS value.

If that looks like classical Greek, I'd recommend the standard 5 step approach:

1) If over-clocking, stop it.
2) If under-cooling, fix it.
3) If not on the latest BIOS, flash it.
4) If under warranty, return it.
5) If out of options, eviscerate it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2009   #5

Windows 7 & XP Dual Boot
 
 

The strangest thing...

It's stopped complaining after I replaced thw wires :P
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2009   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by H2SO4 View Post
If that looks like classical Greek, I'd recommend the standard 5 step approach:

1) If over-clocking, stop it.
2) If under-cooling, fix it.
3) If not on the latest BIOS, flash it.
4) If under warranty, return it.
5) If out of options, eviscerate it.
The most comprehensive in depth 5-step program I've ever seen. Because of the rep system used here on SevenForums I can not rep you once again before I've repd some others first. I'm trying to compensate that fact by telling this here.

Kari

Extract from Reputation and Badges:
Attachment 30900
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2009   #7

Win7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
The most comprehensive in depth 5-step program I've ever seen. Because of the rep system used here on SevenForums I can not rep you once again before I've repd some others first. I'm trying to compensate that fact by telling this here.
Thank you again Kari. That particular response to the OP may have been a bit on the short side, but the intention was to underline the "reported first by hardware" nature of a 0x124 crash.

Bluescreen "codes" don't aways mean much from the perspective of those who would seek to understand an unexplained crash - a stop 0x50 is the same as a 0xD1, is the same as a 0xA, is the same as a 0x8E... Each of them can be caused by the exact same issue manifesting itself in a slightly different way, and it is wrong to focus exclusively on the code when deciding the next steps.

Stop 0x124 is different. It literally means "your hardware is reporting errors and Windows is simply passing the message along". Hence, I felt it was important to dissuade the OP from too much further "debugging". The minidump has nothing to say except: "your hardware is complaining and Windows can't do anything but crash".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2009   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

The post was perfect, I was serious about what I said. Those 5 steps are about the best advice anybody can get when computer is crashing often.

Your advice is at the moment circulating Europe in my emails.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2009   #9

Win7x64
 
 

[OT] My business partner lives in Helsinki, though he's a born and bred Canberrian (Australia). He says it's the best place on Earth, and apparently it's not just the ladies either.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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