Creating a Core Dump from a Running Process using WinDbg

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When trying to debug a process which may be behaving erratically or seemingly deadlocked (hung), it might be worthwhile creating a core dump from the process which is still running. For Zimbra purposes, this technique is valuable when trying to identifiy and solve problems with the Zimbra Connector for Outlook. This core dump can be sent to Zimbra support for further analysis. The easiest way to do this is using WinDbg.

Contents

Downloading WinDbg

Before using WinDbg, the Debugging Tools for Windows must be downloaded and installed. This is a free download from Microsoft using the following URL: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/installx86.mspx Most people should be downloading the latest 32-bit version of the product. Once downloaded and installed, there will be a WinDbg shortcut in installed programs folder, i.e. Start Menu->Programs->Debugging Tools for Windows->WinDbg.

Launching WinDbg and Attaching to Outlook

  1. Launch WinDbg via the shortcut
  2. Click File->Attach to a Process... (F6)
  3. Select Outlook.exe from the list of running processes and then hit "OK"

At this point the debugger is attaching to the process. The attach is complete when you see output that resembles the following in the output window:

ntdll!DbgBreakPoint:
7c901230 cc              int     3

Generating the Core Dump

Once WinDbg has attached the the process, you will need to focus on the command input window at the bottom of the WinDbg window and enter a command that looks similar to:

.dump /ma c:\temp.dmp

c:\temp.dmp is just the filename that I used for this example. You should specify a filename that is more meaningful for you. Also make sure that the file is created some place where you can easily retrieve it in the future.

If the syntax of the command is successful, you will see the following output:

Creating c:\test2.dmp - mini user dump

When the dump file has been successfully written, you will see the following output:

Dump successfully written

Contacting Support

Once you have created the dump file, please forward it to Zimbra support at support@zimbra.com along with the steps to reproduce the issue, applicable system information, software version numbers and a general description of the problem.

Verified Against: unknown Date Created: 11/19/2007
Article ID: http://wiki.zimbra.com/index.php?title=Creating_a_Core_Dump_from_a_Running_Process_using_WinDbg Date Modified: 02/18/2010
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