Software Crashes: A New Year's Resolution

Published: 2018-12-31
Last Updated: 2018-12-31 00:03:20 UTC
by Didier Stevens (Version: 1)
1 comment(s)

Recently, I experienced a couple of stop errors (also known as Blue Screen of Death) on a Windows machine, that I was able to fix with the help of NirSoft's BlueScreenView utility. With this utility, I immediately pinpointed the cause of the crashes to a driver that I was able to update.

And that reminded me of another NirSoft tool: AppCrashView.

Like BlueScreenView, AppCrashView is a convenient GUI programs that presents application crash reports found in the WER folder in a table:

I used to take a regular look at the application crashes on my machine, to identify applications who could have security problems, like buffer overflows. Depending on the results and frequency of crashes, I would update or replace the application.
And sometimes, it was the starting point of vulnerability research.

I will make this a habit again, and you could too, as AppCrashView is a simple, convenient program that gives an tabular overview of application crashes, without requiring a debugger.
If you want to do this in a more organized and scalable way, know that application crashes are also recorded in the Windows Application Event log.

Please post a comment if you have tips or suggestions to monitor application crashes.

Didier Stevens
Senior handler
Microsoft MVP

1 comment(s)


Another tool I find handy to have when troubleshooting application crashes is Microsoft's Debug Diagnostic tool. It allows you to capture memory dumps for specific exception codes. It can handle normal processes, services, com objects and IIS app pools. In addition to crash dumps you can analyze performance and memory leak issues. I wrote a basic crash dump capture tutorial over at

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