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New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

Last post 03-21-2009, 14:22 by idw. 32 replies.
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  •  10-13-2008, 14:55

    • idw is not online. Last active: Fri, Dec 06 2019, 20:50 idw
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    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    tmstein:

    Michael,

    I use PM professionally predominantly for my business. This of course leads to the question what information would be gathered during a crash dump with my business related email nicely accumulated on one spot ... While I definitely trust you folks Wink I still need to check on what type of information such a crash dump would actually generate and whether content related stuff, login information, etc. would be included - which I assume.

    Cheers

    Thomas

    Well, this depends on actual circumstances of the crash, so I can't really tell (except for Pegasus Mail's system information from the Help => About => Info screen): It may contain a text string parameter involved in the crash, shortened sample as presented by WinDbg:

    iconv!libiconv_open+0x21e

    winpm_32!decode_base64_str(char * dest = <Memory access error>, char * src = <Memory access error>, char * table = <Memory access error>)

    winpm_32!decode_mime_header_ex(char * dest = 0x0011d524 "", int dlen = 32768, char * src = 0x00125532 "=?ks_c_5601-1987?B?IrHox/a06yI=", unsigned long flags = 1)

    The last function call (actually the first, this is to be read "downside up") contains the header string to decode ("ks_c_5601-1987" is a Korean charset, e.g.), but may also contain explicit (decoded) strings like show in the second function call: "<Memory access error>" most probably means that the actual content couldn't be read when creating the crash dump, but in other cases it may as well work properly. IOW: All information used and provided by Pegasus Mail may occur in there. Microsoft on the other hand warns developers not to provide the debug symbol files as it may simplify reverse engineering of their applications ...

     


    Michael

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  •  10-18-2008, 20:35

    • hanscees is not online. Last active: 10-25-2008, 21:25 hanscees
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    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    I installed the extention and just send in my crash report. Hope it helps!

     

    Hans-Cees

  •  10-18-2008, 21:50

    • idw is not online. Last active: Fri, Dec 06 2019, 20:50 idw
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    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    hanscees:

    I installed the extention and just send in my crash report. Hope it helps!

    Hans-Cees

    Thanks for including the message: Unfortunately your crash dump was a zero size file (caused by the sequence of crash events probably modified by your software environment), but I could duplicate it here - and I've seen similar ones before. I have some ideas what might be causing this (some kind of "race condition"), but only David Harris can verify this.


    Michael

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  •  10-18-2008, 23:32

    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    Hi..

    We have installed the extension on lour system ...and updated to the lastest version..

     

    Our system is as follows...programme and mailboxes are on a file server (not a windows server system just a remote locating were all the companies files are stored )

     

    All users access the winpmailexe file by using a shortcut on there local machines with a -roam addition.

     

    So far to date we have have 3 machines crash pegasus out of 25 users over the last week

     (This is a normal rate of pegasus going down for us )

    So far the extension has nor produced a dump file for anyone

    Also the machine that I used to install the extension crashed pagasus as well ...agian with no production of a dump file...

     

    Not sure if I have installed the extension correctly...or if I need to install it in a different manne rfor a workgroup ?

  •  10-18-2008, 23:46

    • idw is not online. Last active: Fri, Dec 06 2019, 20:50 idw
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    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    lesembury:

    Not sure if I have installed the extension correctly...or if I need to install it in a different manne rfor a workgroup ?

    Thanks for reporting back. If you installed the extension on the server try installing it on a user's machine (it doesn't really matter where) - this way it should at least work on the respective user's machine. If other users encounter error messages ("Pegasus Mail has encountered an operating system error while attempting to load the extension ...") you may have to move the MiniDump.fff file from Pegasus Mail's main directory to the respective user's mailbox directory - in fact this is rather likely to occur.


    Michael

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  •  10-19-2008, 20:16

    • idw is not online. Last active: Fri, Dec 06 2019, 20:50 idw
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    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    tmstein:

    Michael,

    I use PM professionally predominantly for my business. This of course leads to the question what information would be gathered during a crash dump with my business related email nicely accumulated on one spot ... While I definitely trust you folks Wink I still need to check on what type of information such a crash dump would actually generate and whether content related stuff, login information, etc. would be included - which I assume.

    Cheers

    Thomas

    I've now included the source code with the downloads so people can at least check my sources for spying attempts ... ;-)


    Michael

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  •  10-20-2008, 10:01

    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    With regards to users machines and installing the extension locally.

     

    On each usrer machine or are no pegasus files only a short cut pointing to the main pegasus programme which is located on our file server ( the same place all the users users mailboxes are located.

     

    When you try a local install your extention programme automatically finds the remote location of pegasus and installs the files there .

     

  •  10-21-2008, 0:43

    • idw is not online. Last active: Fri, Dec 06 2019, 20:50 idw
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    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    lesembury:

    On each usrer machine or are no pegasus files only a short cut pointing to the main pegasus programme which is located on our file server ( the same place all the users users mailboxes are located.

     

    Yes, you told us previously.

    lesembury:

    When you try a local install your extention programme automatically finds the remote location of pegasus and installs the files there .

    Sure, but you can change the installation path (during setup) to a local directory and you (or any admin if you aren't one yourself) should move MiniDump.fff to the respective user's mailbox directory. I can even provide such an option in the installer with the next version if you tell me you can get it to work this way.


    Michael

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  •  10-21-2008, 23:25

    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    OK ....will install as per your instructions  on several machines in the system ...

    then if crash reports occour I will report

  •  10-22-2008, 0:10

    • idw is not online. Last active: Fri, Dec 06 2019, 20:50 idw
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    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    lesembury:

    OK ....will install as per your instructions  on several machines in the system ...

    then if crash reports occour I will report

    I've made it easier for you: The latest update provides an option to only activate the extension for the current (Pegasus Mail) user: You may still install the extension to any directory you want, but the fff-file pointing to it will be copied to the respective user's mailbox directory. There's no problem in using the installer repeatedly for several users, even on a single machine. Go to the Community Downloads page to get the proper version. Note, though: If you still install the extension on the server all activated users will get error messages once you remove it.


    Michael

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  •  11-02-2008, 14:21

    • idw is not online. Last active: Fri, Dec 06 2019, 20:50 idw
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    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    FYI: I've uploaded a new (reworked, compare sources if interested in details) version which should work more reliably. It has been tested against debug errors as well and includes some description about working with these in the ReadMe-file. I'm currently working on a version which might be able to remove the debug error dialogs for a current session once reporting has been done or canceled: Download here.

    NB: The package now includes a "stand-alone" debugger as well (PMDebug.exe, so far undocumented in the ReadMe-file) which does essentially the same as the extension but may be more reliable in special cases: Remember that the extension is part of Pegasus Mail and may be affected by its crashes as well as opposed to an external debugger. If you launch it while Pegasus Mail is already running it will attach to the current process (supposed you're only running a single instance on your machine, otherwise the first one it finds when scanning the system), otherwise it will start Pegasus Mail with the command line options used when it shut down before. You may also use it (via shortcut) with a Pegasus Mail command line of your choice, e.g. [DRIVE]:\[MiniDumpPath]\PMDebug -I [UserName] -X DE so you may start Pegasus Mail in a more customized way. Note that it will always create an "auto-saved" message when it resp. Pegasus Mail terminates after a debug event such as a crash or a debug error - without any dialogs involved at all. As with the extension it may not work properly with network installs - this will need to be tested in due course.

    Addition 03.11.2008, 07:10 pm (MET): Forgot to mention that PMDebug automatically terminates when Pegasus Mail is closed - and it smoothly detaches from Pegasus Mail if it is terminated itself (via Task Manager, e.g.).


    Michael

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  •  11-03-2008, 2:06

    • idw is not online. Last active: Fri, Dec 06 2019, 20:50 idw
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    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    idw:

    NB: The package now includes a "stand-alone" debugger as well (PMDebug.exe, so far undocumented in the ReadMe-file) which  ...

    Sorry, had to fix an installer bug which created a link to the install path instead of the destination path ...


    Michael

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  •  11-04-2008, 15:46

    • idw is not online. Last active: Fri, Dec 06 2019, 20:50 idw
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    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    Well, I've now uploaded some kind of "final version" which fixes a language selection issue occurring with the previous update, adds information about the stand-alone debugger to the ReadMe-file and creates additional shortcuts to this file and the licence - and not to forget about the most important addition: The extension can now remove "debug error" dialogs once they were handled for a current session.

    The only missing parts are translations (the just added parts in Italian but a complete translation of the French version - any volunteers (I currently don't get any replies from the French PM translation team, unfortunately)?

    Please download here.


    Michael

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  •  11-06-2008, 13:01

    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    ......Thanks...I have now got the mini dump working on one machine ....and its reporting errors that are being forwarded to pegasus......

    I will be unble to expand the use of the programme around our users  to give it a proper test due to travel commitments for a month

  •  11-06-2008, 14:05

    • idw is not online. Last active: Fri, Dec 06 2019, 20:50 idw
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    Re: New extension available for creating and sending crash dumps

    lesembury:

    ......Thanks...I have now got the mini dump working on one machine ....and its reporting errors that are being forwarded to pegasus......

    I will be unble to expand the use of the programme around our users  to give it a proper test due to travel commitments for a month

    Thank you very much, Les, I reviewed them already, but surprisingly they don't provide the details I was hoping for, this is all I get, the last (and only!) commands before the crash happens:

    winpm_32!find_qman_window+0x1c0
    WARNING: Frame IP not in any known module. Following frames may be wrong.
    0x12eeec

     

    Although the first line (top of the stack) is inside Pegasus Mail's main module it simply resolves to a (harmless) breakpoint instruction, while the address from the last line is in a seemingly "nameless" module: It probably actually isn't nameless but the address is just outside of any loaded module at all; it should be the command that called the last one (on top of the stack).

    So I have some more questions:

    What happens exactly when this crash occurs, i.e. what did you or Pegasus Mail do before (in this case it must be some queue related processing, I assume)? And, as you're using obviously Server 2008, is it a 64bit environment (you may answer these questions to the address you sent the crash dumps to if you don't want them to be shown here)? I certainly have to find some more people doing tests of my tool on network installations as well.

    And, like I said before: No need to hurry anything, just do as you can. BTW: Can you try whether my suggestion to fix (at least some) crashes fixes anything in your environment?


    Michael

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