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understanding crash logs

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Michael Kocanunderstanding crash logs
by on Jan 16, 2011 at 1:20:27 am

I googled and searched forums for this answer and came up empty. I always see people posting crash logs for help on crashes and such. I was curious to understand them a bit, or at least know what to look for when reading them to determine what the cause was for the crash.


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Steve ModicaRe: understanding crash logs
by on Jan 16, 2011 at 2:48:47 am

Take a look around for "The Magic Garden Explained". It's an old System V unix book, but it covers kernel stack traces and how that works.

Basically, when you have a stack trace, it's showing you the path of calls that got you to the panic. A panic is something built into the code to protect the system. If the system detects an unexpected condition, it panics to avoid corruption or other problem.

You would generally need to set keepsyms=1 in nvram to get a complete stack trace.

Once you have one, you can generally figure out what module was involved and search around to see if others are seeing the same panic. If the module is part of darwin, you may also be able to look at the source itself.

The most important elements of kernel analysis are understanding kernel internals and having some experience in the type of bugs that occur so you recognize them.

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Michael KocanRe: understanding crash logs
by on Jan 16, 2011 at 3:37:09 am

Oh wow...That just sounds a little too much for me to comprehend at this time. I appreciate your reply and knowledge though.

Thanks


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Michael KocanRe: understanding crash logs
by on Jan 16, 2011 at 5:06:46 am

The crash is happening with an error that pop-ups saying something dynamic link manager. Which I dont even use.


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Steve ModicaRe: understanding crash logs
by on Jan 16, 2011 at 12:44:50 pm

In the old days, we would look at the expanded stack trace and assembly for each call. We would see how the arguments were saved on the stack (usually at a certain offset from the stack pointer), then we could pull them out and see what arguments were being passed up to the next call. In this way, you could find out if a particular structure was corrupted or whatever.

On a mac, we setup two system debugging and have to get into it that way. There's no crash utility like we used to have. Crash would let us examine the kernel on the fly.

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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Todd KoprivaRe: understanding crash logs
by on Jan 16, 2011 at 5:19:10 pm

Regarding your specific crash:

What is the exact text of the error message that you're seeing?

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
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Todd KoprivaRe: understanding crash logs
by on Jan 16, 2011 at 11:00:05 pm

Do you experience the crash when the third-party effects (Boris BCC effects) aren't used?

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Michael KocanRe: understanding crash logs
by on Jan 17, 2011 at 12:14:13 am

Nope. Therefore it probably has something to do with the BCC plugins huh? I dont know or understand why that dynamic link manager would have anything to do with the 3rd party plugins.


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Todd KoprivaRe: understanding crash logs
by on Jan 17, 2011 at 12:56:40 am

> I dont know or understand why that dynamic link manager would have anything to do with the 3rd party plugins.


When one thing fails, it often has unpredictable side effects. That Dynamic Link Manager error appears in a lot of contexts when something else failing to initialize makes the Dynamic Link Manager's initialization time out.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Steve ModicaRe: understanding crash logs
by on Jan 17, 2011 at 1:31:25 am

These aren't system crashes (what I was talking about). This is adobe's proprietary linker. It's core dumping. I'd call adobe. They may have a debug version you can load or some thing you can enable that gives them better trace info.

Steve Modica
CTO, Small Tree Communications


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