How to Generate Crash Dump for VMware Virtual Machine Guest

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Vmss2core is a tool to convert VMware checkpoint state files into formats that third party debugger tools understand. It can handle both suspend (.vmss) and snapshot (.vmsn) checkpoint state files .The vmss2core tool can produce core dump files for the Windows debugger (WinDbg), Red Hat crash compatible core files, a physical memory view suitable for the Gnu debugger gdb, Solaris MDB (XXX), and Mac OS X formats.

Steps are as follows:

  1. Take the Snapshot of the Virtual Machine which is hung or unresponsive state. Which will create .vmsn file in the virtual machine directory.
  2. Select the .vmsn or .vmss file and download to  your local machine where you are going to  save the Vmss2core utility.
  3. Place the downloaded file (vmss2core_win.exe)  in your local drive (C:\ or D:\). Ensure  your Windows machine is installed with Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 runtime. Place both the Vmss2core file and downloaded .vmsn or .vmss file in same location.
  4. Execute the below commands to generate core dump. The vmss2core tool can produce core dump files for the Windows debugger (WinDbg), Red Hat crash compatible core files, a physical memory view suitable for the Gnu debugger gdb, Solaris MDB (XXX), and Mac OS X formats.

    Example: c:\>vmss2core_win.exe -M VC-1-Snapshot3.vmsn