One of my favorite things to do is to watch Leo Laporte’s TWiT network. On the website they offer a live feed which is great to tune into. The feed however requires Adobe flash to view the feed. When I tried to checkout the show on my work laptop, it would immediately BSOD my HP 8510p laptop running Windows XP SP3 x86. Unfortunately this would happen EVERY time I tried to view the show. Being a fan of Mark Russinovich’s ‘the case of’ blog series I thought I'd share how I identified the cause of the BSOD and ultimately how I fixed it.
To analyze the crash I had to install WinDbg which is installed with the Windows SDK. I downloaded the Windows 7 SDK and installed WinDbg . Before I installed WinDbg I needed to set my system crash dump settings to a create a full dump. On the System Properties applet select Advanced tab > Start and Recovery Settings > Kernel memory dump.
Opening the crash dump showed me:
Probably caused by : ativvaxx.dll ( ativvaxx!vMMDLLInitFuncs+51a9 )
Ah ha! An ATI driver:
0: kd> lmvm ativvaxx
start end module name
bf400000 bf573100 ativvaxx (export symbols) ativvaxx.dll
Loaded symbol image file: ativvaxx.dll
Image path: \SystemRoot\System32\ativvaxx.dll
Image name: ativvaxx.dll
Timestamp: Tue Jan 29 21:49:52 2008 (479FE5D0)
File version: 126.96.36.199
Product version: 188.8.131.52
File flags: 0 (Mask 0)
File OS: 40004 NT Win32
File type: 2.0 Dll
File date: 00000000.00000000
CompanyName: ATI Technologies Inc.
ProductName: ATI Technologies Inc. Radeon Video Acceleration Universal Driver
PrivateBuild: Built by swtools on CNABAE04 on 01/29/08 at 21:49
SpecialBuild: DevStudio Build
FileDescription: Radeon Video Acceleration Universal Driver
LegalCopyright: Copyright (C) 1998-2005 ATI Technologies Inc.
LegalTrademarks: Radeon (TM) is a Trademark of ATI Technologies Inc.
After I identified the cause I decided to update my video card drivers. So I went over to HP’s website and downloaded the latest ATI video card drivers and installed them.
After rebooting, the version of ativvaxx.dll changed from 184.108.40.206 to 6.14.10.0233 and viola opening the Flash TWiT live feed player did not crash my computer anymore! Now back to watching TWiT :-)