tracing and troubleshooting your applications

So you're poised with a problem that you just don't know where to turn for help?

Here are a few ways to investigate problems you are having with your application. It's the basis of tools that Microsoft support engineers will most likely use first, to track down problems.

You can't go wrong spending a few minutes playing around with the Microsoft (Sysinternals) Tools - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx

You can perform some file and registry analysis by installing these tools
FileMon- http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896642.aspx. This tool will allow you to log what accesses to what files are being made at the time of program execution.

Another tool Regmon - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896652.aspx - will allow you to trace calls made by processes that are made to the registry. Both these tools help us in Microsoft support to understand if the correct files and the correct registry entries are being used for the successful running of applications.

Another 3rd tool called ProcessMon - <http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx> is good at identifying dependencies are required.

WindBG - Windows Debugging - this is one of the alternative tools that Microsoft support will utilize. We normally would require customers to build us a before, during and after dumps that would tell us the state of the process failing and ask you to send them over to us where we can perform the analysis and try and understand what was the cause of failure. of course you can have a peek as to what is happening to give you further clues yourself so heres a first bit of analysis you can try, you'll need to install the debugger (Windbg)  - from <http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/default.mspx>

Once installed,
- run windbg -z <dump file>
<< this dmp file will be located in a folder where you performed the adplus command

- in the windbg command window run these commands:
        .symfix c:\symbols
                                .reload
                                !analyze -v

- read the output of !analyze -v
<<!analyze -v is the first command we use to investigate what actually caused the crash in the first place.
More info about using windbg for your own training/researching can be found here

286350 How to use ADPlus to troubleshoot "hangs" and "crashes"
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;286350