Please follow the procedure below to configure a Windows PC controlling the Jands Vista V2 application such that crash dump files may be collected and subsequently analysed in the event of a Vista V2 crash. This procedure is for Microsoft Windows operating systems only.
This procedure must be executed before any crash, as files generated without this application cannot be retrieved or analysed.
Note: Not all crashes will generate a log file. If you experience a crash and no log file is generated, please report all information you can to us.
There are three different procedures – one for XP, another for Microsoft Vista and Windows 7.
Setup Procedure for Windows XP:
- In the Start menu’s Run box, enter the command “drwtsn32 -i”.
- A dialog box will appear informing you that Dr. Watson has been installed as the default debugger. Press OK.
Retrieving Crash Files on Windows XP:
- Crash information will be written into the file “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Dr Watson\user.dmp”. Should a Vista crash occur, navigate to this directory and view the “user.dmp” file.
- Check the modification date of the “user.dmp” file to make sure that you are looking at the file that corresponds with when the crash occurred.
- Rename the “user.dmp” file to something a more descriptive eg Vista V22-0-6838_20101124_01.dmp”.
- Send the crash log file, an exported copy of the show file and a description of what you were doing, to email@example.com, or use the support contact form at www.jandsvista.com/support
Running drwtsn32 without any options or switches will bring up a window that allows various settings to be changed eg the location of the dump files can be made more easily accessible, or a visual alert letting you know a crash was logged.
If drwtsn32 is reconfigured, please ensure that the checkboxes and radio buttons remain set as per the image to the right.
Additionally the number of crashes to save is limited to 10 by default. Once the limit has been reached, the system will no longer generate new log files. To ensure that data is collected users should periodically remove log files.
Procedure for Windows Vista:
Windows Error Reporting (WER) has been integrated into the Microsoft Vista operating system. By default, Vista uploads the crash logs to Microsoft, but does not save a local copy. To save a local copy of the crash logs, the registry must be reconfigured by following these steps:
- Download the file “ActivateCrashDumps.reg” file from the Jands Vista website http://www.jandsvista.com/ActivateCrashDumps.reg. Some browsers helpfully add a “.txt” to the filename (which may not be shown if Windows is hiding file file extensions – see below for details on changing this behavior). The file must have the file extension “.reg”.
- Save the file to the PC.
- Using Windows Explorer, find the file and double-click on ActivateCrashdumps.reg to run it.
- Respond affirmatively to any prompts.
- Reboot the PC.
The next time any application crashes, the crash information will be written into a folder located inside “%LOCALAPPDATA%\local\Microsoft\Windows\WER\ReportQueue” (where %LOCALAPPDATA% is usually “c:\Users\user\AppData”). Check the modification date of the directory to make sure that the appropriate directory is being displayed.
Windows Vista hides many directories (and files) from the user by default. This can be changed in the Control Panel by selecting Folder Options -> View Tab -> Hidden Files and Folders -> Show Hidden Files).
Each crash will result in a new directory below “ReportQueue”. Package up the entire directory naming each file something more descriptive eg “Vista_1.13.522X_20090720_01.dmp” along with the show file and a brief explanation of what was being done, and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Procedure for Windows 7:
Log files are automatically generated in Windows 7. These can usually be found at C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WER\ReportArchive however this may vary slightly depending on the configuration of your machine. You may also need to change your settings to view hidden files in order to access these crash logs.