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HP OpenVMS Alpha Crash Dump Analysis

Course Code: 780
Length: 5 days

Schedule and Registration

This course is not currently scheduled.

Course Description

This course provides the foundations to perform crash dump analysis on HP OpenVMS Alpha servers. Alpha architectural characteristics are introduced in order to analyze crash dumps and system hangs. The calling standard is reviewed, allowing students to walk call frames to determine where improper arguments to a function call have been passed. Interrupts and exception code flow are discussed. Considerable time is spent exploring different types of crashes and reviewing specific examples.

Who Should Attend

hp OpenVMS System Programmers and Advanced Troubleshooters, especially those who understand the coding considerations for code that will run in kernel or executive mode.


To get the most out of this course, students should have:

Benefits of Attending this Class

Students attending this course should leave with the ability to:

  • Identify the general Alpha architecture and procedure call types
  • Describe what causes a crash to occur
  • Describe the general characteristics of interruptions on Alpha servers
  • Identify the reasons for an "Unexpected System Service Exception" crash
  • Describe and analyze basic "Invalid Exception" crashes
  • Identify and analyze basic "Page Fault with IPL too high" crashes
  • Describe monitoring oriented system parameters
  • Describe and perform basic analysis of the "kernel stack not valid" crash
  • Identify general causes of SMP-related crashes
  • Describe and analyze basic AST-related crashes
  • Analyze system hangs

Course Contents

Overview of General Itanium Architecture
  • General Alpha architecture
  • Register conventions and usage considerations
  • Using map and listing files
Procedure Calls
  • OpenVMS calling standard on Alpha
  • Calling procedures
  • Passing parameters
Crash Dump Fundamentals
  • Overview of OpenVMS crashes
  • Crash dump analysis tools
  • General steps in analyzing crashes
Interrupts and Exceptions
  • Interrupts and exceptions
  • Exception frames
Exception-Related Crashes
  • Exceptions and condition handling review
  • Exception related crashes
  • Examining unexpected system service exception crashes
Invalid Exception Crashes
  • Invalid exception crash concepts
  • Analyzing invalid exception crashes
Analysis of Page Fault with IPL too High Crashes
  • Page fault with IPL too high crash concepts
  • Analyzing page fault with IPL too high crashes
More on SDA
  • SDA techniques
  • Monitoring oriented parameters
Kernel Stack Not Valid Crashes
  • Kernel stack not valid concepts
  • Sample analysis of kernel stack not valid crashes
SMP Related Crashes
  • Symmetric multiprocessing
  • SMP bugchecks
  • Spin wait crashes
  • CPU sanity timeout crashes
AST Related Crashes
  • AST concepts
  • AST crash considerations
  • Sample crashes in AST routines
System Hangs
  • System hangs
  • Methods for forcing a system crash
  • Analyzing system hangs
  • Sample analysis of system hangs