Obtaining a WinDbg Dump File to Troubleshoot Crashes in National Instruments Software

Updated Jul 5, 2018

Reported In

Software

  • LabVIEW Full

Issue Details

I am experiencing exceptions and crashes in my application, which uses National Instruments Software. National Instruments has requested a WinDbg dump file (.dmp) to perform further troubleshooting.  How do I obtain this file?

Solution

The WinDbg tool can be used to monitor process exception information while an application is running. If a crash, exception, or other issue occurs in the application, WinDbg will generate a dump file containing information on the underlying code that is executing at the time of the problem.  This information can be helpful for National Instruments to characterize the problem.  The steps below describe the recommended procedure for configuring WinDbg and obtaining the dump file.

Using WinDbg
  1. To obtain the tool, download the Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4
  2. Install the Debugging Tools for Windows. The installer will automatically populate required depended items
  1. With your application open, navigate to Start >> All Programs >> Debugging Tools for Windows >> WinDbg, and launch WinDbg.
Note: Please make sure you use the appropriate version of WinDbg for the software process you are interested in. For example, WinDbg (x86) should be used with LabVIEW 32-bit and WinDbg (x64) should be used with LabVIEW 64-bit. 
  1. In WinDbg, select File >> Attach to a Process
  1. Select you application's process from the Process List, if you are running your application in the LabVIEW development environment, select LabVIEW.exe. Click OK.
  1. A command line window will appear in the main WinDbg application. Select Debug >> Go
  2. WinDbg is now monitoring the process. At this point, attempt to replicate the crash or other exception in your application. Once the behavior occurs, Navigate to the WinDbg application Window.
Note: When WinDbg catches a process exception, your application will appear unresponsive, and will not allow user interaction.
  1. Create a dump file by typing the following command in the prompt: .dump /ma C:\filename.dmp


The dump file created by WinDbg may be used by National Instruments to further pinpoint the origin of LabVIEW process exceptions. In addition to log files generated by LabVIEW, you may also include a WinDbg dump file in an attachment to National Instruments Support

WinDbg may also be used in troubleshooting exceptions that occur in LabVIEW built executables. As opposed to attaching the LabVIEW process to WinDbg, users may attach the debugging tool to their custom application in an effort to better pinpoint the source of exceptions that may cause an application failure. This diagnostic information can often be used by National Instruments Support to analyze areas of the LabVIEW Run-Time System, much like the Development Environment.

Additional Information

Alternate Methods
In Windows 7 and later, you can right-click the LabVIEW.exe process in Task Manager and choose Create Dump File to create this dump file.  This method works very well for unresponsive software, that hangs instead of crashing.
If your are using 64-bits OS and 32-bits National Instruments Software version (most commun cases) you need to launch the 32-bits Task Manager stored in the following location:
C:\Windows\SysWOW64/taskmgr.exe

In Windows XP and previous, the Dr. Watson tool can also be used to provide supplemental crash information.  However, National Instruments recommends using the WinDbg tool in most cases.

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