John Carrona - Microsoft MVP

Windows Expert - Consumer

www.carrona.org

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WinDbg Analysis Report RSS Feed Subscribe to the RSS feed Originally Added to Website:  14 Sep 2009
Last updated:  13 Aug 2014

Updated forum names at the end (section I)

Original located here:  http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic176011.html


How to receive help diagnosing Blue Screens and Windows crashes

Please note that though this process may appear long and daunting, it has been explained in such a way so that the steps will be easy to follow.

A memory dump is what happens when Windows crashes. The memory is dumped into the pagefile and saved for the next reboot. Once Windows reboots, it reclaims the memory dump data from the pagefile and saves it to a file, which usually ends with the .dmp extension. Analyzing these dump files can help to figure out what's causing your system to crash. While they don't offer a "sure" fix, they provide clues to the cause of a crash so that we can work on fixing them. In my experience most system crashes are caused by faulty/corrupted drivers, malware, or hardware failures (in that order). Following the steps below will help us determine what may be causing your computer to Blue Screen, or crash.

A. The first thing to do when your system crashes is to reboot. Doing so will create the memory dump file so it's able to be accessed. Windows may also ask permission to send the file for online analysis. I suggest that you always allow it to be sent. Most times you won't get anything back, but occasionally it will point out the problem and save you a lot of work trying to determine it on your own. Also, quite often the first crash is the only crash as Windows will fix the problem when it reboots, so there's no need to worry unless Windows crashes repeatedly. If you can't get into Windows, either in normal or Safe Mode, then just post straight to the appopriate forum and we'll help you from there. The various forums that we help diagnose crashes on are:

B. The next thing to do is to ensure that you are free of malware. If malware is present on your computer, it may have corrupted your installation, and be the cause of your crashes. I suggest you perform one of the free online scans that can be found at the following link:

Free Online Independent Malware Scanners

C. Once you have completed an online scan, or two, please search your hard drive for files ending with the .dmp extension. There are several types of memory dumps that Windows may create. These are distinguished below:

  1. A complete memory dump or a kernel memory dump that are usually saved in the C:\Windows directory and named MEMORY.DMP.
  2. A small memory dump, aka a minidump, which are usually saved in the C:\Windows\Minidump directory. These are named Miniwwxxyy-zz.dmp, where the ww is the number of the month, the xx is the number of the day, the yy is the number of the year, and the zz is the number of the crash dump that day. For example, a minidump with the name of Mini070108-03.dmp is the 3rd minidump generated on July 1, 2008.
On some systems the directories where the dump files are stored are protected by being Hidden and System files.

To show Hidden and System files in Windows Explorer, click on the Start button, then select All Programs, then select Accessories, and finally select Windows Explorer.

  1. Once opened, select the Tools menu and then select the File Options menu item. In Vista you may have to press and hold the Alt key to view this menu.
  2. Then go to the View tab and check the box labeled Show Hidden Files and Folders and uncheck Hide Protected Operating System Files
  3. You will now be at a dialog that asks you if you're sure you want to do this. Click on the Yes button to allow the change to take place.
  4. Then click the OK buttons at the prompts to exit the dialog. You will now be able to view hidden and system directories.
Warning - These files are hidden for a reason and messing with some of them may cause problems with your system.

D. Once you've located the memory dump file(s), then you'll have to get a debugger to analyze them. The one that I'm familiar with is the free Microsoft Debugging Tools for Windows. Download the version, 32 or 64 bit, that's appropriate for the operating system that you'll be running the debugger on. The debugger can be found at the following link: Debugging Tools for Windows

Once it's downloaded, double click on it to install it. Once it's installed, open the debugger by doing the following:

  1. Click on the Start Menu.
  2. Click on the All Programs menu.
  3. Select the Debugging Tools for Windows program folder.
  4. Click on the WinDbg icon to start the program.
Once you've opened the program, click on the File menu item, then on Symbol File Path.

E. In the window that opens, insert the exact text on the next line in the Symbol File Path box. This is a critical step, and if done incorrectly you'll end up with symbol errors:

SRV*c:\symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols

The easiest thing to do is copy the above bolded text and then paste it into the box. Once that is done, click on OKto exit the dialog. Next, click on File menu and then select the Save Workspace menu option. This will save the symbol path for future use.

NOTE: You MUST be connected to the internet in order to use the Symbol server listed above.

F. Next, click on the File menu and select the Open Crash Dump option. When the dialog box opens, click on the Browse button and browse to the location of the memory dump file and then double-click on it to load it into the Debugger. You may be prompted to save the workspace again, but just click on the No button. A window will now open and the dump file text will fill the debugging screen.

Here's an example of of an analysis report from a Minidump file. If this was a complete or kernel dump, it would be much larger.

Microsoft Windows Debugger Version 6.8.0004.0 AMD64
Copyright Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


Loading Dump File [C:\Users\FUBAR\Desktop\Mini070108-03.dmp]
Mini Kernel Dump File: Only registers and stack trace are available

Symbol search path is: SRV*c:\symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols
Executable search path is:
Windows XP Kernel Version 2600 (Service Pack 2) MP (2 procs) Free x86 compatible
Product: WinNt
Built by: 2600.xpsp_sp2_gdr.070227-2254
Kernel base = 0x804d7000 PsLoadedModuleList = 0x805624a0
Debug session time: Tue Jul 1 16:28:22.439 2008 (GMT-4)
System Uptime: 0 days 0:04:00.921
Loading Kernel Symbols
................................................................................
..................................................................
Loading User Symbols
Loading unloaded module list
.........
*******************************************************************************
* *
* Bugcheck Analysis *
* *
*******************************************************************************

Use !analyze -v to get detailed debugging information.

BugCheck 1000008E, {c0000005, 84c64731, f4fecc3c, 0}

Probably caused by : Unknown_Image ( ANALYSIS_INCONCLUSIVE )

Followup: MachineOwner
---------

G. The next step is to click on the !analyze -v link that's highlighted in blue in the report above.  This will generate more information, which would look something like this: 

Additional Commands (not reflected in the samples on this page):  
-  New commands thanks to OSR (12 Dec 09):   .kframes 1000;!analyze -v;lmtsmn
-  I'm starting to incorporate typing !analyze -v;!thread;r;kv;lmtn;lmtsmn;.bugcheck into the text box at the bottom of the debugger - thanks to jcgriff2.
-  List loaded drivers = lm kv
-  Memory usage = !vm
-  Current thread = !thread
-  List all processes = !process 0 0
-  If driver deadlock detected in verifier = !deadlock
-  Additional commands located here as time permits:  Debugging Commands


Microsoft Windows Debugger Version 6.8.0004.0 AMD64
Copyright Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


Loading Dump File [C:\Users\FUBAR\Desktop\Mini070108-03.dmp]
Mini Kernel Dump File: Only registers and stack trace are available

Symbol search path is: SRV*c:\symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols
Executable search path is: 
Windows XP Kernel Version 2600 (Service Pack 2) MP (2 procs) Free x86 compatible
Product: WinNt
Built by: 2600.xpsp_sp2_gdr.070227-2254
Kernel base = 0x804d7000 PsLoadedModuleList = 0x805624a0
Debug session time: Tue Jul 1 16:28:22.439 2008 (GMT-4)
System Uptime: 0 days 0:04:00.921
Loading Kernel Symbols
................................................................................
..................................................................
Loading User Symbols
Loading unloaded module list
.........
*******************************************************************************
* *
* Bugcheck Analysis *
* *
*******************************************************************************

Use !analyze -v to get detailed debugging information.

BugCheck 1000008E, {c0000005, 84c64731, f4fecc3c, 0}

Probably caused by : Unknown_Image ( ANALYSIS_INCONCLUSIVE )

Followup: MachineOwner
---------

0: kd> !analyze -v
*******************************************************************************
* *
* Bugcheck Analysis *
* *
*******************************************************************************


KERNEL_MODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED_M (1000008e)
This is a very common bugcheck. Usually the exception address pinpoints
the driver/function that caused the problem. Always note this address
as well as the link date of the driver/image that contains this address.
Some common problems are exception code 0x80000003. This means a hard
coded breakpoint or assertion was hit, but this system was booted
/NODEBUG. This is not supposed to happen as developers should never have
hardcoded breakpoints in retail code, but ...
If this happens, make sure a debugger gets connected, and the
system is booted /DEBUG. This will let us see why this breakpoint is
happening.
Arguments:
Arg1: c0000005, The exception code that was not handled
Arg2: 84c64731, The address that the exception occurred at
Arg3: f4fecc3c, Trap Frame
Arg4: 00000000

Debugging Details:
------------------


EXCEPTION_CODE: (NTSTATUS) 0xc0000005 - The instruction at 0x%08lx referenced memory at 0x%08lx. The memory could not be %s.

FAULTING_IP: 
+ffffffff84c64731
84c64731 ?? ???

TRAP_FRAME: f4fecc3c -- (.trap 0xfffffffff4fecc3c)
Unable to read trap frame at f4fecc3c

CUSTOMER_CRASH_COUNT: 3

DEFAULT_BUCKET_ID: DRIVER_FAULT

BUGCHECK_STR: 0x8E

LAST_CONTROL_TRANSFER: from 00000000 to 84c64731

STACK_TEXT: 
f4feccac 00000000 00000000 01790000 00000000 0x84c64731


STACK_COMMAND: .trap 0xfffffffff4fecc3c ; kb

SYMBOL_NAME: ANALYSIS_INCONCLUSIVE

FOLLOWUP_NAME: MachineOwner

MODULE_NAME: Unknown_Module

IMAGE_NAME: Unknown_Image

DEBUG_FLR_IMAGE_TIMESTAMP: 0

FAILURE_BUCKET_ID: 0x8E_ANALYSIS_INCONCLUSIVE

BUCKET_ID: 0x8E_ANALYSIS_INCONCLUSIVE

Followup: MachineOwner
---------

H. Once this is done, we want to copy the text of the dump file analysis report. To do this, select the Edit menu item in the Debugging Tools window and then select Copy Window Text to Clipboard. Now, return to the forums and paste the information into your next post.

I. If you haven't started a topic for your issue yet, you can start one at the appropriate link below. Please be sure and let us know the make and model of your system along with the symptoms that you're experiencing.

J.  An example of the process used when viewing the analysis that you've generated:  http://www.carrona.org/howidoit.html






© 2016 - John D. Carrona, Microsoft MVP
Windows Expert - Consumer
Forum screen name: usasma

Microsoft MVP Profile - http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/John%20D.%20Carrona-33494