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Using Dr.Watson for providing crash dumps to David Harris

Last post 09-20-2008, 14:57 by idw. 0 replies.
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  •  09-20-2008, 14:57

    • idw is not online. Last active: Mon, May 25 2020, 22:35 idw
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    Using Dr.Watson for providing crash dumps to David Harris

    Attachment: ErrorDialog.gif

    Added 04.10.2008: Please read about my new crash dump extension which renders the steps described below redundant.

    Here's another way of providing crash dumps and stack traces without installing an external debugger (i.e. using Windows' built-in capabilities on XP or later), especially useful when encountering random crashes which cannot be easily duplicated by other users:

    1. For this to work you need Dr.Watson being installed as "postmortem debugger": You can do so by executing "drwtsn32 -i" (omit the quotes) via Start menu => Run (on VISTA it appears to be the "Search" box at the bottom doing this).

    2. If Dr.Watson isn't automatically launched when a crash occurs and you get the Windows crash dialog offering you to show extended error information (see the screenshot of its German version below) just start Dr.Watson the same way as described above but without any parameters, i.e. simply type in "drwtsn32" (without quotes). Creating a Start menu or Desktop shortcut may be a smart idea for simplified further use.

    3. A configuration dialog will pop-up for customizing Dr.Watson, just ensure it writes its output files to a directory you can easily access on your machine (you may use the same one for all files created): There's no need to change any other settings unless being told otherwise by David Harris or anyone else involved in analysing crashes - well, appending to an existing log file may not be a good idea if you want to keep your crash reports small.

    4. After closing the dialog via "OK" button and closing the Windows error dialog (see screenshot below) two files will be created, a "log" file and a "dmp" file: The latter can be used by external debuggers like WinDbg while the former contains a readable version of the same data (minus some helpful details like source file names and line numbers, though). If you don't use WinDbg you should send your dmp-file (compressed) to David Harris or anyone else on the forum requesting you to do so.


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