Digerati ModeratorHardware Expert Staff member Joined Aug 28, 2012 Posts 4,180 Location Nebraska, USA Dec 11, 2012 #21 Vir Gnarus said: Though I still don't see how any 'black box' can record everything Click to expand... I don't believe I ever said it can. But a black box type device can record everything up to and including the clock cycle just before a crash. And that might lead an analyzer towards the fault. But it might not. Ah, I guess our definition of crash is different Click to expand... Well, I am going by 40+ years supporting computing hardware to put a roof over my family's head. You seem to want to define crash as a specific, or specific category of failure. Not so. "Crash" is a very generic term used to signify the sudden failure of pretty much anything. Hard drives can crash. For example, the R/W heads can literally "crash" - as in hard physical contact with the platters. Browsers can crash, as can operating systems and other programs. Faulty RAM can cause a crash, as can a bad NIC, PSU, or graphic card, or malware. The term "crash", when referring to computer systems coming to a halt, is probably as old as Adm. Grace Hopper's term; "bug" - and just as ambiguous. It means one thing - it came to a stop. but even that doesn't resolve the fact that most of the work done is inside the components connected to the mobo! Click to expand... Ummm, no. Unless you mean a mounted CPU, the RAM, and graphics card. Most of the work, by far, is done in the CPU with data transferring back and forth over the motherboard bus to and from the RAM. The main exception might be the graphics solution which has its own dedicated number cruncher/CPU - the GPU - and dedicated graphics RAM to work in. The Chipset, which is really a small computer in itself, is somewhat autonomous, but not entirely. It still needs a processor - the CPU. The memory manager, for example, just sits there, until instructed by the CPU and OS to put or fetch this or that data. Yes, the memory manager may be programmed how to manage that data, but it is still not doing it on its own. The other devices are not as autonomous as your comment seems to suggest either. There's also, again, the whole performance thing involved. As if having Windows setup in a super-paranoid state wasn't crippling enough, but to have all the hardware constantly report on their operations, and the system would be reduced to something akin to a 386 IBM! Click to expand... Nah! I don't agree with that either. Not today. It is extremely difficult to intentionally max out CPU and RAM utilization as it is. Anti-malware solutions and firewalls are constantly monitoring nearly every aspect of our systems already. Watchdog software and hardware devices have been around for years. Mission critical computers and networks are often self healing - to a point, of course. At least to where they notice a problem, record what is happening, cut-over to redundant equipment while sending out all sorts of alarms, pages, text messages, and emails to the admins. Sure, real-time debugging does eat up resources and some adjustments (more resources - RAM, CPU horsepower, and disk space) may be desired. But the real problem is not performance, but cost. jcgriff2 said: I don't think it is all that impossible as we head toward Windows 9 now for improvements in crash recording/ reporting to be implemented far beyond what we think is possible now. Click to expand... I agree. And much of that is due to the fact today's systems are much more capable than what they typically are asked to do (meaning there is lots of headroom for the crash recovery process to operate in) and todays hardware and operating systems are much more "robust" to start with. While BSODs and system crashes may seem like commonplace events, they really aren't. With 1 billion plus Windows systems out there, even 1% is 10 million. It is just not cost effective for OS makers, hardware makers, and most users to have a failsafe, watchdog, crash recording, crash recovery system in place. Not yet anyway. I certainly think BSOD analysis is a valuable troubleshooting tool but we must understand that crashes that create BSODs errors are just one small type of crash. There are many causes of crashes that leave no crumbs to follow - regardless how sophisticated real-time debugging and status recording may be.