Advanced application crash troubleshooting in Windows
I recently upgraded a company from a mixture of Windows XP and Windows 7 machines to Windows 8. Almost immediately one of the machines (a tiny and awesome Lenovo M93p) started having issues with crashing applications whenever sign-in of some kind was required, and it started happening shortly after install. It was a fresh machine, with no prior issues, running brand new installations of all applications.
The crashes primarily manifested in Outlook, which would crash right when the user was being prompted for their password. The crashes were all pointing to KERNELBASE.DLL (located in C:\Windows\System32), according to Event Viewer, and the error messages had something to do with System.IO.FileNotFoundException. Not terribly helpful.
Thinking that the culprit may be Office 2013 ProPlus, I first repaired the installation (quick repair), then really repaired it (online repair), then uninstalled it and reinstalled – all with the same results.
A few internet searches later, I found this little gem – a crash analysis freeware app written by NirSoft. When you run it, you get a view of modules loaded by the crashing application, and the ones at the bottom of the log would indicate the module closest to the crash – which, at the very least, should give you some further pointers for troubleshooting purposes. In my case, it was Lenovo’s Password Manager (which would explain why anything related to passwords would crash – Outlook, specifically, in this case). After removing the application, the problem went away.