You might recall my recent posting about getting minidumps from SQL Server.  Even if you’ve never looked for dumps from SQL Server, you should get familiar with SQLDumper.exe.  SQLDumper is an internally called process that can produce a stack dump in mini, full, and filtered formats.  SQL Server has a default approach to how it does dumps, but you can alter this default behavior by starting SQL Server using trace flags ranging from 2540 to 2559.  (You should do so only under the advice of PSS, btw.)

Although SQLDumper can crank out a stack dump from any application, I recommend you stick with SQL Server.  Also, don’t plan on using SQLDumper as general purpose dumping utility.  Check out Microsoft’s recommendation for general purpose debugging at http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/default.mspx.

However, you can learn more about how and when to use SQLDumper with these resources:

·        http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917825 - How to use SQLDumper to generate dump files in SQL Server 2005

·        http://support.microsoft.com/kb/827690 - How to use SQLDumper to generate dump files for Windows Applications

That doesn’t mean that its easy to get SQLDumper working for you.  About the only way I’ve seen that you can get really good with SQLDumper is to have the unfortunate occurrence of needing it – i.e. lots of crashes.

If you have any experience with working with SQLDumper, I’d love to hear your feedback here.

Best regards,

-Kevin