The Crash Analyzer in Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 7 lets you debug a crash dump file on a Windows-based computer and then diagnose any related computer errors. The Crash Analyzer uses the Microsoft Debugging Tools for Windows to examine a crash dump file for the driver that caused the computer to fail.

Important
Typically, you run Crash Analyzer from the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset window on an end-user computer that has problems. The Crash Analyzer tries to locate the Debugging Tools for Windows on the problem computer. If the directory path dialog box is empty, you must enter the location or browse to the location of the Debugging Tools for Windows (you can download the files from Microsoft). You must also provide a path to where the symbol files are located.If you included the Microsoft Debugging Tools for Windows and the symbol files when you created the DaRT recovery image, they should be available when you run the Crash Analyzer on the problem computer. If you did not include them in the DaRT recovery image, or if disk size or network connectivity problems are preventing you from obtaining them, then you can copy the dump file from the problem computer and analyze it on a computer that has the stand-alone version of Crash Analyzer installed, such as a helpdesk agent’s computer.

How to open and run the Crash Analyzer on an end-user computer

  1. On the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset window on an end-user computer, click Crash Analyzer.

  2. Provide the required information for the following:

    • Microsoft Debugging Tools for Windows

    • Symbol files

      For more information about symbol files, see Ensure Access to Symbol Files.

    • A crash dump file

      Follow these steps to determine the location of the crash dump file:

      1. Open the System Properties window.

        Click Start, type sysdm.cpl, and then press Enter.

      2. Click the Advanced tab.

      3. In the Startup and Recovery area, click Settings.

      If you do not have access to the System Properties window, you can search for dump files on the end-user computer by using the Search tool in DaRT.

    The Crash Analyzer scans the crash dump file and reports a probable cause of the crash. You can view more information about the crash, such as the specific crash message and description, the drivers loaded at the time of the crash, and the full output of the analysis.

  3. Decide upon an appropriate strategy to resolve the problem. This may require disabling or updating the device driver that caused the crash by using the Services and Drivers node of the Computer Management tool in DaRT.

How to open and run the stand-alone Crash Analyzer

If you cannot access the Microsoft Debugging Tools for Windows or the symbol files on the end-user computer, you can copy the dump file from the problem computer and analyze it on a computer that has the stand-alone version of Crash Analyzer installed, such as a helpdesk agent’s computer.

To open and run the stand-alone version of the Crash Analyzer Wizard on a helpdesk computer that contains DaRT, click Start, click All Programs, click Microsoft DaRT 7, and then click Crash Analyzer. Then follow the steps in the wizard as described in How to open and run the Crash Analyzer on an end-user computer.

Ensure Access to Symbol Files

Typically, debugging information is stored in a symbol file that is separate from the executable. You must have access to the symbol information when you debug an application that has stopped responding, for example if it crashed.

Symbol files are automatically downloaded when you run Crash Analyzer. If the computer does not have an Internet connection or the network requires the computer to access an HTTP proxy server, the symbol files cannot be downloaded.

The following is a list of options that are available for guaranteeing access to symbol files:

  • Copy the dump file to another computer. If the symbols cannot be downloaded because of a lack of an Internet connection, copy the crash dump file to a computer that does have an Internet connection and run the stand-alone Crash Analyzer Wizard on that computer.

  • Access the symbol files from another computer. If the symbols cannot be downloaded because of a lack of an Internet connection, you can download the symbols from a computer that does have an Internet connection and then copy them to the computer that does not have an Internet connection, or you can map a network drive to a location where the symbols are available on the local network. If you run the Crash Analyzer in a Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE), you can include the symbol files on the DaRT recovery image. For more information about how to create a recovery image, see Create the DaRT 7 Recovery Image.

  • Access symbol files through an HTTP proxy server. If the symbols cannot be downloaded because an HTTP proxy server must be accessed, use the following steps to access an HTTP proxy server. In DaRT 7, the Crash Analyzer Wizard has a setting available on the Specify Symbol Files Location dialog page, marked with the label Proxy server (optional, using the format "server:port"). You can use this text box to specify a proxy server. Enter the proxy address in the form <hostname>:<port>, where the <hostname> is a DNS name or IP address, and the <port> is a TCP port number, usually 80. There are two modes in which the Crash Analyzer can be run. Following is how you use the proxy setting in each of these modes:

    • Online mode: In this mode, if the proxy server field is left blank, the wizard uses the proxy settings from Internet Options in Control Panel. If you enter a proxy address in the text box which is provided, that address will be used, and it will override the setting in the Internet Options.

    • Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE): When you run Crash Analyzer from the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset window, there is no default proxy address. If the computer is directly connected to the Internet, a proxy address is not required. Therefore, you can leave this field blank in the wizard setting. If the computer is not directly connected to the Internet, and it is in a network environment that has a proxy server, you must set the proxy field in the wizard to access the symbol store. The proxy address can be obtained from the network administrator. Setting the proxy server is important only when the public symbol store is connected to the Internet. If the symbols are already on the DaRT recovery image, or if they are available locally, setting the proxy server is not required.

See Also

Other Resources

Operations for DaRT 7

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