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How does one use an SKSE minidump file to diagnose CTD


Best Answer GrantSP , 26 April 2016 - 07:11 PM

Welcome to STEP @tjax323

 

For everyday users minidumps are not much use, they are specifically designed to be read by the programmers of the code that generated it, in this case the SKSE team. This is because you need to have the Symbols Package for the compiler that compiled that code and a means to read the dump in a debugger along with the installed symbols.

 

For gamers the best course of action is to follow some simple guidelines such those we have compiled here which look at general reasons for CTDs, ILSs and other common issues.

 

A brief look through the translated minidump though does show you experiencing some memory issues where a section of code was trying to reference some memory and failing. This leads me to conclude you may be seeing the very common problem with regards to memory allocation as defined in the SKSE INI. The very first post in that topic addresses the way to diagnose/fix that.

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#1 tjax323

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 06:26 PM

Evening to all. This is my first post on the STEP Project. Please be gentle. After a brief discussion with Michael of Gamer Poets on his recent SKSE video of just a day or two ago, I felt better about posting this here. Briefly, I will say I've been having some CTD issues on a new save for a STEP install. I learned not to use Papyrus logging and caught in the GP video about the mini-dump ability. I generated a .dmp file and found a website to translate it to English (https://www.osronlin...fm?name=analyze), but as I asked Michael, how do I read this to help myself? I'd be happy to post on the general CTD post in regards to my CTD, but after searching the forum I didn't see anything about using the mini dumps one can enable on the SKSE ini, which is the purpose of this post. I hope I've followed the community guidelines by doing this. So..... Back to the question... if I can't read & use a dump file, then it's not worth much, so does anyone know how to read this thing? I need a decoder ring, man! A copy of my dump file is below. Any navigational assistance on where to go is appreciated. If someone also knows what the CTD problem is from this file... major bonus, though I would think there would me more to it than just this. Unfortunately, I am innately curious, so it gripes me I can't read this sucker. Also, suddenly it occurs to me now I have 2 problems instead of just the CTD. <sigh> I swear this modding stuff is like peeling an onion. <face-palm> ::D:

 

Dump file (it's long):

 

SKSE Mini-dump file

 

---- Edit ---- (2 days after original post)

Within this discussion, another person admonishes using the website above in a very generalist sense. He, nor I, levy suggestion or criticism regarding the credibility or reputation of this site; rather, the warning is based on nothing more than online privacy & security "best practices" with personal data... nothing more, nothing less. This individual offers an alternative link to download a debug tool to translate an SKSE dump file without needing to submit any data to an external party (a link from Microsoft no less). I do not want to alter my original post, but felt it important to point this out should anyone read this thread in the future. I have yet to use this alternative as I originally got the translated dump file directly above this edit from the website I mentioned earlier in this post.


Edited by tjax323, 28 April 2016 - 06:09 PM.

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#2 GrantSP

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 07:11 PM   Best Answer

Welcome to STEP @tjax323

 

For everyday users minidumps are not much use, they are specifically designed to be read by the programmers of the code that generated it, in this case the SKSE team. This is because you need to have the Symbols Package for the compiler that compiled that code and a means to read the dump in a debugger along with the installed symbols.

 

For gamers the best course of action is to follow some simple guidelines such those we have compiled here which look at general reasons for CTDs, ILSs and other common issues.

 

A brief look through the translated minidump though does show you experiencing some memory issues where a section of code was trying to reference some memory and failing. This leads me to conclude you may be seeing the very common problem with regards to memory allocation as defined in the SKSE INI. The very first post in that topic addresses the way to diagnose/fix that.


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#3 tjax323

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 09:26 PM

Thank you, GrantSP. I'll read that thread in full tomorrow. I may post on it depending on what transpires after my save, but regardless, thank you for the explanation and for the bonus information. I hadn't expected that, so as I originally wrote... bonus. I can verify that I have my SKSE ini set up correctly from running the Sheson's memory block log, but I know from a glance at the first post on the referenced thread you cited, there's more to the whole thing than just that. Thanks again. I feel certain I'll be back.


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#4 mikegray

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 01:28 AM

I'll piggyback onto this thread:

 

I've noticed that there's a loverlab thread where people do actually get a lot of input on those dumps. (It's worth mentioning that you need to use the following online analyzer: https://www.osronlin...fm?name=Analyze) The OP in that thread seems to know how to get a lot more out of those report files that I could ever get, which leads to a couple questions:

 

- Why the heck does that thread have to be on LL?! I mean, obviously, the OP has every right in the world to post wherever he wants. Still. Understanding CTDs is about as important an issue in Skyrim modding as there is, and it's a crying shame to severely reduce the number people who can be involved in such a crucial line of research! 

 

- Is getting more meaning out of those osronline reports something we non-programmers can learn how to do or does it require a deeper background?

 

- Any chance some of those whiz-kids here on STEP could host a crash-dump-clinic?


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#5 GrantSP

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 01:40 AM

Crashdumps, by their very nature, are describing what went wrong within a compiled executable, ie. *.exe, *.dll, when it crashes and are very useful for diagnosing where the code in those applications is messing up.

Since the only ones that can make edits to those files are usually the actual teams that create them, there is next to no need I can see why the average gamer will need them. If they have been asked to generate them and send them to the teams involved, fine, but for general diagnostic purposes all you have is a vague idea where the error is but no way to fix it yourself.


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#6 Greg

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 05:37 PM


NOTE: By clicking the "Upload Dump" button, you agree that OSR may use the uploaded dump without restriction, including as an example in OSR's Windows System Software Seminars. All crash dumps uploaded become the property of OSR Open Systems Resources, Inc. Your dump upload is anonymous, we do not store any information that associates your dump with your IP address or any other information from OSR Online.

 

I recommend being extremely cautious about uploading a Windows dump file to any website. A minidump (even one taken of a single process) may contain sensitive information (e.g. passwords or credit card numbers) and information that you may not want revealed to the public. Also note that this website claims ownership of anything you send or upload (including your minidump) with a stipulation that it can do anything it wants with your submissions.

 

The site even clearly states it does nothing more than run !analyze -v via windbg on the file and shows the results. Anyone with windbg installed can do this themselves in two seconds and windbg is a free download. I realize the average user may not want to do this. but it's still a two second task that is trivially easy.

 

I'm not saying this company isn't necessarily reputable... I'm just saying this raises a lot of red flags that warrants a lot of caution.



#7 tjax323

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 06:10 PM

Holy Schnikes! Thanks, Greg. Can't be too careful when it comes to privacy and protection of information. I think I'll probably be okay as I don't save any passwords info in my browser (including financial stuff- use a vault with 2F authentication), but one never knows what one doesn't know. A quick google turned up a lot of download links for a "windbg" program. Could I trouble you for a link you would recommend or feel might be "safe"? As the OP on this thread I feel some measure of responsibility to ensure a "safer" alternative solution is presented. I don't know the dump files will be all that useful from the responses on this thread, but I'd hate to think someone reads this, goes to the link above, and the worst case scenario happens.


Edited by tjax323, 27 April 2016 - 06:11 PM.

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#8 Greg

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 05:06 PM

Get Debugging Tools for Windows (WinDbg) (from the SDK)

 

Click the link above or browse to Download the WDK, WinDbg, and associated tools page. Scroll down near the bottom of the path looking for the "Get debugging tools" heading and you'll see the link to Get Debugging Tools for Windows. The link on this page is exactly the same as one above, but I included this information in case you want more information or want to verify the authenticity of the above link.



#9 tjax323

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 05:31 PM

Thank you, Greg. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to help myself with this stuff, but in the event someone helping me needs a dump file, I appreciate your offering everyone that checks this thread a means to get that without unnecessarily risky behavior. Like you, I don't mean to suggest the above link I cited near the top of this thread is "fly-by-night". As a matter of fact, I see others recommending them, but online privacy & security is only as safe as one makes it - can't be too careful. Much thanks again.


Edited by tjax323, 28 April 2016 - 05:43 PM.

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