BSOD Shenanigans and Minidump files

WindowsRecoveredFromErrorSince we imaged our 2740p Tablets with our Windows 7 SOE two weeks ago, we’ve had a few problems with machines blue screening on shutdown and hadn’t been able to work out which application or driver was causing it. When a machine BSOD’s it creates a minidump file with debugging information about why Windows crashed. Usually we can work out what’s caused the BSOD and we can fix it without having to check the minidump, but this one had us stumped.

Downloading Windows Debugging Tools and the Windows SDK sounded like a massive effort for checking the contents of a file, but in the end, it turned out to be nice and easy. PCHell has a nice Step-by-Step guide to viewing minidump files and after downloading and installing the debugging tools, all we had to do was run WinDbg and open the last minidump file to see that NIPALK.SYS was the offender.


WinDbg doesn’t make you trawl through useless info to get to the offending driver, the info you need is at the bottom of the dmp file labelled Probably Caused by!

A search of the computer found NIPALK.SYS in the C:\Windows\Systen32\drivers folder and Google search found lots of results for Labview and Robolab. Since Robolab is in our SOE, we quickly removed it from the system and that seems to have fixed the BSOD issues on shutdown. Looks like we might need to update to the latest version of Robolab for our next SOE 🙁