System Crash (STOP error), General Advice for Support Partners, Including Steps Towards Initial Diagnosis

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Summary

This Knowledgebase article provides general advice for support partners about the System Crash (STOP error), including steps for initial diagnosis.


More Information

Under certain circumstances, the server may stop responding (hang) and a STOP error message similar to the example below may be displayed on a blue screen.

STOP error_code (parameter1, parameter2, parameter3, parameter4)
Optional_error_message

This type of system failure is rare and is the result of an unexpected and unrecoverable problem within the Windows kernel or one of the system’s drivers. It is sometimes referred to as a “Blue Screen of Death” (BSOD).

A separate Knowledgebase article #147 - ' System Crash (STOP error), General Advice for end-users' , has been prepared to provide advice to end-users of Neverfail software. It describes the initial steps to be taken, including what initial information you should request from the end-user.

  • Please ensure that you have read it before proceeding with any investigation.
  • Please also read the following Microsoft article which provides general information about frequent causes of this type of error:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winntas/tips/techrep/bsod.mspx

Neverfail has prepared a number of additional Knowledgebase articles (listed below) to provide information relevant to specific STOP errors or System Crashes.

End-users will provide the initial information from the system failure stop message and the size of the compressed memory dump file.

  1. The first course of action is to use the stop message to search Microsoft and Neverfail's knowledgebase for known causes of the system failure.
    1. If a match is found, the recommendations in that article should be followed.
    2. If the problem is resolved, the client should be instructed to delete the memory dump file, which they should be storing safely in a temporary location.
  2. If information is not found or the remedial actions in the article fail to solve the problem, more details will be required from the end-user site.
    1. As a background activity, the size of the compressed memory dump file should be noted and steps taken to get the dump delivered to the support center. This activity may take some time, as the file can be several Gigabytes in size depending upon the nature of the machine that produced it.
    2. When the dump is received, it should be loaded into the Microsoft WinDbg debugger that is available for download from the link at the end of this article. For a basic introduction to the use of WinDbg, another link is provided at the end of this article. The specific steps that the partner should perform to expedite the diagnosis of the system failure are:
      1. Load the dump file into WinDbg
      2. Within the command window issue – “kd> analyze –v”
      3. Cut and paste the results into an email and send to Neverfail Support.
    3. After receiving the results, Neverfail Support will provide further specific instructions based on that information.
  3. Please refer to Knowledgebase article #146 - 'How to retrieve the Neverfail Heartbeat logs and other useful information for Support purposes', for other diagnostic information which may be required to diagnose errors.

The following information is available from external sources, outside the responsibility of the Neverfail Group.

Microsoft description of BSOD errors
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winntas/tips/techrep/bsod.mspx

Latest Version of WinDbg
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/ddk/debugging/default.mspx

Crash Dump Analysis by Mark Russinovich
http://www.win2000mag.com/Articles/Index.cfm?ArticleID=16425

Complete Memory Dumps Are Not Available on Computers that Have 2 or More GB of RAM:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/274598/en-us


Applies To

All Versions


Related Information

None

KBID-148

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