Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Learning BSOD Debugging - 5 Tips

Okay, most computers will get a BSOD at some point in their lifetime, much like we will almost certainly become ill at some point. A BSOD can be a scary and frustrating predicament for most users who may not have the knowledge of what a BSOD is and how to resolve it.

They will tend to search YouTube or a Google, and here's what really irritates me; the usual advice which is given to them is to clean install Windows and hope that the problem doesn't happen again, that's until they install the program or driver which was causing the problem.

Okay, that's enough of exerting my annoyance with posts like that, in this blog post, I'm going to give you future debuggers some quick learning tips which will help you improve your responses when debugging BSODs, and when attempting to understand the technical concepts of computers.

Tip #1

Grab a programming book on C++ or find a website which offers some good tutorials for learning how to program in C++. The drivers developed for the Windows operating system are primarily written in C++ now, and therefore I feel it's important if you wish to understand what some of the driver function calls do then learning C++ will certainly be an asset. 

Here's a good reference - 


Tip #2

You will soon see many parameters of bugchecks giving us some very useful information, to how the BSOD was exactly caused, I feel learning how the Windows operating system works internally, will help you understand what these parameters mean and what steps should be taken when debugging the crash.

Tip #3

I suggest learning how hardware works and how we can test different hardware, many BSODs can be caused by hardware, and having a good background of hardware diagnosis will certainly help you with the debugging process.

Tip #4

Read the Windows Debugger documentation, and learn how to use different extensions and commands to extract more useful information from the dump files. Please note that a Kernel memory dump may be needed for most of the commands.

Tip #5

Sign up and join a forum and start reading different debugging blogs, there is a huge level of knowledge which many users share openly and many will be willing to answer any questions you have about debugging BSODs.

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