Crash Dump Analysis Patterns (Part 225)

One of the questions asked was what can we do if we got a kernel memory dump instead of the requested complete memory dump? Can it be useful? Of course, if we requested a complete memory dump after analyzing a kernel memory dump then the second kernel dump may be useful for double checking. Therefore, we assume that we just got a kernel memory dump for the first time and the issue is some performance issue or system freeze and not a bugcheck. If we have a bugcheck then kernel memory dumps are sufficient most of the time, and we do not consider them for this pattern.

Such a kernel memory dump is still useful because of user space diagnostic indicators pointing to possible patterns in user space or “interspace”. We call this pattern User Space Evidence. It is a collective super-pattern like Historical Information.

We can see patterns in kernel memory dumps such as Wait Chains (for example, ALPC or Process Objects), Deadlocks (for example ALPC), kernel stack traces corresponding to specific Dual Stack Traces (for example, exception processing), Handle Leaks, Missing Threads, Module Product Process, One-Thread Processes, Spiking Thread, Process Factory (for example, PPID for Zombie Processes), and others.

Found evidence may point to specific processes and process groups (Couples Processes, session processes) and suggest process memory dump collection (especially forcing further complete memory dumps is problematic) or troubleshooting steps for diagnosed processes.

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org + TraceAnalysis.org -

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