Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

UC Berkeley

Why Does Windows Crash?

Archana Ganapathi

EECS Department
University of California, Berkeley
Technical Report No. UCB/CSD-05-1393
May 2005

http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2005/CSD-05-1393.pdf

Reliability is a rapidly growing concern in contemporary Personal Computer (PC) industry, both for computer users as well as product developers. To improve dependability, systems designers and programmers must consider failure and usage data for operating systems as well as applications. In this paper, we analyze crash data from Windows machines. We collected our data from two different sources -- the UC Berkeley EECS department and a population of volunteers who contribute to the BOINC project. We study both application crash behavior and operating systems crashes. We found that application crashes are caused by both faulty non-robust dll files as well as impatient users who prematurely terminate non-responding applications, especially web browsers. OS crashes are predominantly caused by poorly-written device driver code. Users as well as product developers will benefit from understanding the crash behaviors and crash-prevention techniques we have revealed in this paper.


BibTeX citation:

@techreport{Ganapathi:CSD-05-1393,
    Author = {Ganapathi, Archana},
    Title = {Why Does Windows Crash?},
    Institution = {EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley},
    Year = {2005},
    Month = {May},
    URL = {http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2005/5653.html},
    Number = {UCB/CSD-05-1393},
    Abstract = {Reliability is a rapidly growing concern in contemporary Personal Computer (PC) industry, both for computer users as well as product developers. To improve dependability, systems designers and programmers must consider failure and usage data for operating systems as well as applications. In this paper, we analyze crash data from Windows machines. We collected our data from two different sources -- the UC Berkeley EECS department and a population of volunteers who contribute to the BOINC project. We study both application crash behavior and operating systems crashes. We found that application crashes are caused by both faulty non-robust dll files as well as impatient users who prematurely terminate non-responding applications, especially web browsers. OS crashes are predominantly caused by poorly-written device driver code. Users as well as product developers will benefit from understanding the crash behaviors and crash-prevention techniques we have revealed in this paper.}
}

EndNote citation:

%0 Report
%A Ganapathi, Archana
%T Why Does Windows Crash?
%I EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley
%D 2005
%@ UCB/CSD-05-1393
%U http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2005/5653.html
%F Ganapathi:CSD-05-1393