Wednesday, February 02, 2005

[tech] Dr Watson log

Learned more about debugging on XP today. After Dell sent me a new internal wireless card, I decided to upgrade the network driver. I went to the Dell website and downloaded the latest Broadcom utility and driver.

The package installed and the computer rebooted. All is fine for about 20 min. And then, boom, the hard drive kicks into churning mode and my computer completely locked up.

I started up FileMon (what a god sent), though it was locked out and took a few minutes to start, it showed me immediately what the problem was: bcmwltry.exe (Broadcom Wireless Tray) and drwtsn32.exe (Dr Watson) kept on starting.

Now Dr Watson, that's something I hadn't heard in a while. After a little research, I learned that Dr Watson is still well and alive in XP, and it writes a log file:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Dr Watson\drwtsn32.log

I love log files! It was 35M when I got there, and as I opened the file, I noticed that it kept on growing. The log file confirmed that bcmwltry.exe keeps crashing.

I went to services.msc, and shut down the Dell Wireless LAN Tray Service -- that shut down wltrysrv.exe, which was the thing that kept trying to start bcmwltry.exe.

And of course, my wireless card still works without the service. So indispensible service, do you suppose, was provided by "Dell Wireless LAN Try Service"?