Windows is notorious for its BSODs (Blue Screen of Death). In fact their notoriety has even earned them a place in pop culture. In an earlier article (All About the Blue Screen of Death) I discussed various aspects of BSOD including its source of origin and cause. I highly recommend that you take a look at it before proceeding any further.
Although BSODs are commonly associated with hardware errors, a huge majority of them are simply caused by badly written or incompatible drivers and system software. In the past I have already discussed how to get a rough idea about the cause of the crash by analysing the Error Message and Error Code. However, this information is often too vague to be of any use. This is where WhoCrashed comes in.
You may have noticed that Windows automatically dumps your physical memory to the hard disk in the event of a hard error. These crash dumps and minidumps are saved at C:\WINDOWS\MEMORY.DMP and C:\WINDOWS\Minidump. They contain detailed information which can be utilised to diagnose which event triggered the crash. Unfortunately, analysing a Minidump file (using Microsoft Debugging Tools) is extremely complex and is something beyond an average user.
Resplendence WhoCrashed is a freeware which tries to pin-point the faulty driver or software which triggered the BSOD by automatically analysing the crash dump files. It utilises Microsoft Debugging Tools for analysing the crash dump files. If you don’t have Microsoft Debugging Tools, WhoCrashed will automatically download and install it for you.
The best thing about WhoCrashed is its completely automatic. All you need to do is click on Analyze. WhoCrashed will go through your crash dumps and pin point the troublesome drivers which have been crashing your system. Of course, WhoCrashed is not a full proof solution. It may not always succeed in identifying the cause of a BSOD. However, most of the time it will be able to give you a fair idea about the problem, which is definitely better than shooting in the dark.
Download WhoCrashed (702 KB)
Version Reviewed: 1.01
Operating System: Windows XP and Vista; Windows Server 2000, 2003 and 2008