Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 7)

When we have software traces that record process identifiers (PID) and thread identifiers (TID) it is important to differentiate between trace statements sorted by time and by Thread of Activity. The latter is simply the flow of trace messages sorted by TID and it is very helpful in cases with dense traces coming from hundreds of processes and components. Here is an example from MessageHistory bulk trace fragment showing different threads of activity in different colors:

Start time: 21:5:36:651
Format time: 21:5:43:133
Number of messages sent: 24736
Number of messages posted: 905

[...]
21:5:41:990 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×0000000000010E62  Class: “ToolbarWindow32″ Title: “” WM_USER+4b (0×44b) wParam: 0×14 lParam: 0×749e300
21:5:41:990 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×00010E4A  Class: “CtrlNotifySink” Title: “” WM_NOTIFY (0×4e) wParam: 0×0 lParam: 0×749efa8
21:5:41:990 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×00010E62  Class: “ToolbarWindow32″ Title: “” WM_USER+3f (0×43f) wParam: 0×14 lParam: 0×749e1e0
21:5:41:990 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×00010E62  Class: “ToolbarWindow32″ Title: “” WM_USER+4b (0×44b) wParam: 0×14 lParam: 0×749e300
21:5:41:990 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×00010E62  Class: “ToolbarWindow32″ Title: “” WM_USER+19 (0×419) wParam: 0×14 lParam: 0×0
21:5:41:990 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×00010E62  Class: “ToolbarWindow32″ Title: “” WM_USER+61 (0×461) wParam: 0×6 lParam: 0×0
21:5:41:990 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×00010E62  Class: “ToolbarWindow32″ Title: “” WM_USER+56 (0×456) wParam: 0×0 lParam: 0×0
21:5:41:990 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×00010E4A  Class: “CtrlNotifySink” Title: “” WM_NOTIFY (0×4e) wParam: 0×0 lParam: 0×749f290
21:5:41:990 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×000E04A8  Class: “CtrlNotifySink” Title: “” WM_NCPAINT (0×85) wParam: 0xffffffffcc043bdb lParam: 0×0
21:5:41:990 P PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×000E04A8  Class: “CtrlNotifySink” Title: “” WM_PAINT (0xf) wParam: 0×0 lParam: 0×0

21:5:42:007 S PID: 1a8 TID: 660 HWND: 0×0001003C  Class: “CiceroUIWndFrame” Title: “TF_FloatingLangBar_WndTitle” WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING (0×46) wParam: 0×0 lParam: 0×29af030
21:5:42:007 P PID: a7c TID: 9b4 HWND: 0×00010084  Class: “CiceroUIWndFrame” Title: “TF_FloatingLangBar_WndTitle” WM_TIMER (0×113) wParam: 0×6 lParam: 0×0
21:5:42:007 P PID: 1a8 TID: 660 HWND: 0×0001003C  Class: “CiceroUIWndFrame” Title: “TF_FloatingLangBar_WndTitle” WM_TIMER (0×113) wParam: 0×8 lParam: 0×0
21:5:42:007 P PID: a7c TID: 9b4 HWND: 0×00010084  Class: “CiceroUIWndFrame” Title: “TF_FloatingLangBar_WndTitle” WM_TIMER (0×113) wParam: 0×9 lParam: 0×0
21:5:42:022 P PID: a7c TID: a28 HWND: 0×0001061A  Class: “WPDShServiceObject” Title: “WPDShServiceObject_WND” WM_TIMER (0×113) wParam: 0xd lParam: 0×0
21:5:42:022 P PID: a7c TID: 9b4 HWND: 0×00010084  Class: “CiceroUIWndFrame” Title: “TF_FloatingLangBar_WndTitle” WM_TIMER (0×113) wParam: 0×8 lParam: 0×0
21:5:42:022 P PID: a7c TID: 9b4 HWND: 0×00010084  Class: “CiceroUIWndFrame” Title: “TF_FloatingLangBar_WndTitle” WM_PAINT (0xf) wParam: 0×0 lParam: 0×0

21:5:42:036 P PID: 1a8 TID: 660 HWND: 0×0001003C  Class: “CiceroUIWndFrame” Title: “TF_FloatingLangBar_WndTitle” WM_TIMER (0×113) wParam: 0×5 lParam: 0×0
21:5:42:054 S PID: a7c TID: 9b4 HWND: 0×0001006C  Class: “ReBarWindow32″ Title: “” WM_USER+10 (0×410) wParam: 0×2 lParam: 0×0
21:5:42:054 S PID: a7c TID: 9b4 HWND: 0×0001006C  Class: “ReBarWindow32″ Title: “” WM_USER+18 (0×418) wParam: 0×2 lParam: 0×1041a
21:5:42:054 S PID: a7c TID: 9b4 HWND: 0×0001006C  Class: “ReBarWindow32″ Title: “” WM_USER+1a (0×41a) wParam: 0×0 lParam: 0×1041c
21:5:42:054 S PID: a7c TID: 9b4 HWND: 0×0001006C  Class: “ReBarWindow32″ Title: “” WM_USER+19 (0×419) wParam: 0×0 lParam: 0×0
21:5:42:054 S PID: a7c TID: 9b4 HWND: 0×00010084  Class: “CiceroUIWndFrame” Title: “TF_FloatingLangBar_WndTitle” WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGING (0×46) wParam: 0×0 lParam: 0×2bef960
21:5:42:054 P PID: a7c TID: 9b4 HWND: 0×00010084  Class: “CiceroUIWndFrame” Title: “TF_FloatingLangBar_WndTitle” WM_TIMER (0×113) wParam: 0×10 lParam: 0×0
21:5:42:054 P PID: a7c TID: 9b4 HWND: 0×00010084  Class: “CiceroUIWndFrame” Title: “TF_FloatingLangBar_WndTitle” WM_TIMER (0×113) wParam: 0×5 lParam: 0×0

21:5:42:074 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×00010E32  Class: “DirectUIHWND” Title: “” WM_NCHITTEST (0×84) wParam: 0×0 lParam: 0×640406
21:5:42:074 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×00010E30  Class: “DUIViewWndClassName” Title: “” WM_NCHITTEST (0×84) wParam: 0×0 lParam: 0×640406
21:5:42:074 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×00010E32  Class: “DirectUIHWND” Title: “” WM_SETCURSOR (0×20) wParam: 0×10e32 lParam: 0×2000001
21:5:42:074 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×00010E30  Class: “DUIViewWndClassName” Title: “” WM_SETCURSOR (0×20) wParam: 0×10e32 lParam: 0×2000001
21:5:42:074 S PID: a7c TID: 554 HWND: 0×00010E20  Class: “ShellTabWindowClass” Title: “Release” WM_SETCURSOR

[…]

Ususally when we see an error indication we select its current thread of activity and investigate what happened in this process and thread before. Here is a synthesised example from real CDF traces:


No     PID  TID  Time         Message
[...]
165797 4280 5696 07:07:23.709 FreeToken Handle 00000000 
165798 4660 7948 07:07:23.709 EnumProcesses failed. Error=-2144534527
165799 7984 6216 07:07:23.749 GetData threw exception
165800 7984 6216 07:07:23.750 === Begin Exception Dump === 
[…]

We see the error and sort by TID 7948 to see what happened before and get additional information like server name: 

No     PID  TID  Time         Message
[...]
165223 4660 7948 07:07:23.704 GetServerName: Exit. ServerName = SERVER02 
165224 4660 7948 07:07:23.704 GetServerProcesses: ServerName is SERVER02
165798 4660 7948 07:07:23.709 EnumProcesses failed. Error=-2144534527 

[…]

- Dmitry Vostokov @ TraceAnalysis.org -

3 Responses to “Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 7)”

  1. Crash Dump Analysis » Blog Archive » Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 8) Says:

    […] absence of response. All these problems can be reflected in software traces showing sudden gaps in threads of activity. I call this pattern Discontinuity per analogy with continuous and discontinuous functions in […]

  2. Crash Dump Analysis » Blog Archive » Extending Multithreading to Multibraiding (Adjoint Threading) Says:

    […] can filter trace messages that belong to any column and if we filter by TID we get a view of any Thread of Activity. However, each thread can “run” through any source directory, file name or function. […]

  3. Crash Dump Analysis » Blog Archive » Trace Analysis Patterns (Part 17) Says:

    […] is an extension of Thread of Activity pattern based on the concept of multibraiding and it is called Adjoint Thread of Activity […]

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