How to solve Windows 10 crashes in less than a minute.

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Configuring WinDbg

configuring windbg

From the Windows 10 UI, select the Windows 10 button then WinDbg | More | Run as administrator

You will then see a window with a few menu options and a blank main window area. Before you open a dump file, you must tell WinDbg where to find the symbol files.

Configuring WinDbg Correlating a Windows dump file with the appropriate symbol files is not merely a matter of knowing which version number of the OS was running. There are myriad variants to the OS, a fact that is not obvious. The only way to be sure which file is correct is to let SymServ find it for you.

set symbol file path

Setting the symbol file path There are a huge number of symbol table files for Windows because every build, every update, every patch and the myriad one-off variants each result in a new file. And using the wrong symbols to evaluate a dump file would be like using a map for Boston to navigate San Francisco.

Enter the following path: srv*c:\cache*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols

In place of *c:\cache*, be sure to insert what location you want to store symbols.

In this case, c:\symbols was used. Then select OK.

Note: be sure that your firewall allows access to msdl.microsoft.com not just www.microsoft.com.

set symbol file path 02

What if you don’t have a memory dump to look at? No worries. You can generate one yourself. Yes, you can cause your system to crash and do so safely. There are different ways to do it but the best way is to use a cool tool called NotMyFault created by Russinovich.

Download NotMyFault To get NotMyFault, go to the Windows Internals Book page at SysInternals and scroll down to the Book Tools section where you will see a link to download it. The tool includes a selection of options that load a misbehaving driver (which requires administrative privileges). After downloading, I created a shortcut from the desktop to simplify access.

Note that Chapter 14 (Part Two of the book) thoroughly covers the use of NotMyFault and, more importantly, crash dump analysis.

WARNING: Using NotMyFault will create a system crash and while I’ve never seen a problem using the tool, there are no guarantees in life, especially in computers. So, prepare your system and have anyone who needs access to it log off for a few minutes. Save any files that contain information that you might otherwise lose and close all applications. Properly prepared, the machine should go down, reboot and both a minidump and a kernel (or whatever size you select) dump should be created.

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