Debugging

Debugging Crashes in Windows Applications: The Null Pointer Dereference

Debugging Crashes in Windows Applications: The Null Pointer Dereference

Windows C++ developers remain all too familiar with the standard Windows crash dialog. This post is an attempt to teach developers how to understand the data the crash dialog reports to diagnose difficult issues. A basic understanding of assembly language is assumed; for more background on these topics please read Matt Pietrek’s “Under The Hood” articles in the Microsoft Systems Journal February 1998 and June 1998 issues. To begin with, let’s write an application that crashes with a null pointer dereference: