A Bluescreen By Any Other Color

Note: for an easier way to customize the blue screen’s colors, see my next blog post, “Blue Screens in Designer Colors with One Click”. Seeing a bluescreen that’s not blue is disconcerting, even for me, and based on the reaction of the TechEd audiences, I bet you’ll have fun generating ones of a color you…


The Case of the Slow Project File Opens

If you’ve seen one of my Case of the Unexplained presentations (like the one I delivered at TechEd Europe last month that’s posted for on-demand viewing), you know that I emphasize how thread stacks are a powerful troubleshooting tool for diagnosing the root cause of performance problems, buggy behavior, crashes and hangs (I provide a…


LiveKd for Virtual Machine Debugging

When Dave Solomon and I were writing the 3rd edition of the Windows Internals book series Inside Windows 2000 back in 1999, we pondered if there was a way to enable kernel debuggers like Windbg and Kd (part of the free Debugging Tools for Windows package that’s available in the Windows Platform SDK) to provide…


The Compound Case of the Outlook Hangs

This case was shared with me by a friend of mine, Andrew Richards, a Microsoft Exchange Server Escalation Engineer. It’s a really interesting case because it highlights the use of a Sysinternals tool I specifically wrote for use by Microsoft support services and it’s actually two cases in one. The case unfolds with a systems…


The Case of the Random IE Crash

While I long for the day when I no longer experience the effects of buggy software, there’s something rewarding about solving my own troubleshooting cases. In the process, I often come up with new techniques to add to my bag of tricks and to share with you in my “Case of the Unexplained…” presentations and…


The Case of the Printing Failure

The most interesting cases I receive are those that demonstrate a unique troubleshooting technique or uncover an interesting root cause. I received this one recently that has both characteristics. The case opened when a systems administrator got a report from a user that they were unable to print from their computer. There was no visible…


Pushing the Limits of Windows: USER and GDI Objects – Part 1

So far in the Pushing the Limits of Windows series, I’ve focused on resources managed by the Windows operating system kernel, including physical and virtual memory, paged and nonpaged pool, processes, threads and handles. In this and the next post, however, I will explore two resources managed by the Windows window manager, USER and GDI…


The Case of the Slow Logons

Update:  The Active Directory team has released useful guides for troubleshooting slow logon issues: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/10130.root-causes-for-slow-boots-and-logons.aspx http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/10128.tools-for-troubleshooting-slow-boots-and-slow-logons.aspx http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/10123.troubleshooting-slow-operating-system-boot-times-and-slow-user-logons.aspx Emails containing troubleshooting cases keep arriving in my inbox. I’ve received many cases that start with a seemingly unsolvable problem and end a few steps later with a solution or – often just as useful – a workaround….