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How can I read a windows crash dump ?

Posted on 2008-10-08
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I have an application crashing on a specific dll, we will call it datasss.dll i see this when windows reposrts the error and then creates a 6bc5_appcomat.txt file , if i search the file for this dll i can find many referasnces to it. i have not a clue what i am looking at please help. I cannot post the dump here due to security reasons
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Question by:kaos_theory
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by:moorhouselondon
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First thing to make sure of is that the dll is the correct version. Many crashes in DLL's are to do with routines being called from the exe which are either not represented in the DLL at all, or the code contained within that routine has changed.  
 
Using utilities from sysinternals.com will give you better insight into what is happening within the app, and why it is crashing.
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by:kaos_theory
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what exactly from sysinternals do you recomend procmon ?
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moorhouselondon earned 456 total points
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I think either Procmon and Filemon would do the trick, Process Monitor completely replaces Filemon, but as you say it is a case of interpretation, and if you get too much info it is counterproductive.  Things to look out for (in Filemon, probably the same in Procmon) are the Path - in here should appear the DLL you're interested in, and the type of Request - if you see an error in there then that's where to start looking.  (Backwards from there).

Before you start, prepare your app to the point where one click is all that is needed to crash it.  Go into filemon/procmon and choose Edit, Clear Display, click on your app, crash it, then quickly go into fmon/pmon, pull down File , choose to take the tick off Capture Events.  Now you can look at the dump at your leisure.  

Try to get rid of all other complications: programs or services running that may start to interfere during the dump process - e.g., virus checker, Windows Update, etc.
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