Monday, October 09, 2006

Now That's a Lot of Crash Dumps

According to the New York Times, Microsoft has collected more than 5.5 petabytes (5.5E15 or 6.2E15, depending on whether you're doing base ten or base two byte measures) of crash dumps from Vista Beta 2. That's at least 450,000 crash dumps, if I read the article right. Nah, it's gotta be a lot more crashes than that -- I really doubt each crash dump is ten gigabytes...must be five million or more individual crashes.

Analyzing that many crash dumps must be fascinating. I wonder if there are automated things you can do in the analysis when you have that many individual cases that make a qualitative difference in your ability to find an individual bug, or if the vast majority of the dumps are uselessly redundant. Certainly it seems likely that bugs exercised by particular hardware (or even generated in particular device drivers) should stick out like a flashing red light (or blue screen), and repeatability is the first step in fixing a bug.

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