Tools for Troubleshooting

Sunday 24 April 2011 @ 1:50 pm

This month an unusual number of customers have brought me errors to troubleshoot.  Most of them involve errors outside of Crystal with things like missing DLL files or installs that seem the same but that behave differently.  So I was pleasantly surprised to find a recent blog post on the SAP web site that provides a list of free tools for helping to troubleshoot things like this.  There are 5 tools listed but I think two would apply most to the problems I faced this month:

1) Modules is a free utility from the SAP web site.  It allows you to run a report on two different systems (ie one that works and one that doesn’t) and find all the files that are different in those two environments.  It makes a list of the files used in each environment and then compares to see which are different. It is an old tool but worked fine in my Win7 64 environment.

2) Depends.exe (Dependency walker) is another free tool that takes an EXE or DLL file and lists all of the other files that it relies on.  This is perfect for when you have a DLL that won’t work or register correctly.  Often a missing dependent file is part of the problem.

And if you need to troubleshoot hangs and crashes, monitor HTTP / HTTPS traffic or monitor local file system and registry activity, the other tools should help.

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