Good scenario, and reading between the lines it appears perhaps that the OS is WinXP and whether my suggestion below would identify anything is anybody's guess. Further still, whether the person using this technique would fully understands its output and could put that to good use is questionable. This kind of troubleshooting is usually over the head of most and that is where the $ comes in.
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The article [Q286350] discusses Autodump+ (ADPlus.vbs) a new tool from Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) that can troubleshoot any process or application that stops responding (hangs) or fails (crashes) and is a console-based Microsoft Visual Basic script. AD+ has three modes of operation:
? Hang Mode is used to troubleshoot process hangs, 100 percent CPU utilization, and other problems that do not involve a crash. When you use AD+ in hang mode, you must wait until the process or processes hang before you run the script (that is, it is not perisistent like crash mode).
? Crash Mode is used to troubleshoot crashes that result in Dr. Watson errors, or any other type of error that causes a program or service to terminate unexpectedly. When you use AD+ in crash mode, you must start AD+ before the crash occurs. AD+ can be configured to notify an administrator or a computer of a crash through the '-notify' switch.
? Quick Mode is a light-weight version of hang mode that produces mini memory dumps of the specified processes and a debug log file with extended debugging information. For processes that consume large amounts of virtual memory, quick mode can be significantly faster than regular hang mode.
a. You should use AD+ to capture debugging information if you are experiencing the following problems:
? Processes that hang.
? Processes that consume 100 percent CPU on a single processor computer, 50 percent CPU on a dual processor computer, 25 percent CPU on a quad processor computer, and so on.
? Processes that crash or shut down unexpectedly.
b. You should not use AD+ in the following situations:
? If you need to troubleshoot a program or process that terminates unexpectedly upon startup. You can only use AD+ with processes that start successfully. If you need to troubleshoot processes that terminate unexpectedly upon startup, ''User Mode Process Dump'' may be a better solution.
? Alternatively, you can use the latest ''debuggers'' to manually debug the process.
? If there is a noticeable performance impact when you use AD+ in crash mode. This is usually caused by dynamic-link libraries (DLLs) or programs that throw a large number of Microsoft Visual C++ EH exceptions (which occur when you use the C++ throw statement or when you use try/catch blocks). Programs that write a large amount of information to the debug output stream can also cause a performance degradation. In the vast majority of cases, AD+ does not impact performance noticeably when it is running in crash mode.