Troubleshooting Notes Client Crashes
Technote (FAQ) (From the KnowledgeBase)
This document provides a basic overview of the steps that IBM Lotus Support uses to troubleshoot Notes Client crashes. It includes information for customers about the files that Lotus Support requests and the information required to troubleshoot such issues.
I. General Information:
A Notes Client crash is characterized by an abnormal termination of the Notes Client application. Most abnormal terminations will force Notes to create a diagnostic file (NSD file) containing information about the workstation experiencing the crash. In most cases, the information in the NSD file is not enough to diagnose a Notes Client crash but is used by Lotus Support as the first step in troubleshooting. When contacting Lotus Support regarding Notes Client crashes, please consider the following troubleshooting questions:
1. How many machines are crashing?
- If multiple machines experience identical crashes, one machine will be isolated for troubleshooting. If the cause of the crash can be determined from one machine and a workaround results from troubleshooting, the same workaround will be applied to the other problem machines.
- If multiple machines crash for different reasons, a new Problem Management Record must be opened for each crash.
3. Were there any error messages displayed during the crash?
4. What was the user doing at the time of the crash?
5. How often does the crash occur?
6. Can the crash be reproduced at will? If so, what are the exact steps to reproduce the crash?
7. What other programs, applications, and operating system tasks were running at the time of the crash?
8. Was Notes installed by CD, over the network, or via image?
NOTE: It is critical that particular NSD or RIP files can be attributed to particular user actions. If the NSD or RIP files are all of different crash types, then specifics on what was occurring at the time must be presented, or else the information may be of no value.
Additionally, in cases where multiple crashes are being reported, for example, in an ADC database, the crashes should be categorized by Fatal Stack content. If a user experiences a number of crashes, have them note what they were doing (during each crash) and the time it occurred. (In a RIP file, the "When" entry reflects the time of the crash; in an NSD, the file name itself reflects the time).
II. What Can Cause the Notes Client to Crash?
Crashes can occur for the following reasons:
- Software problems in the client code
- Software problems in design element features
- Corrupt ID, database, or database element
- Conflict with a third-party application/Operating System task
- Corrupt client cache file (hint: delete the cache.ndk (R5 cache.dsk) file in the Notes data directory)
- Corrupt workspace icon or bookmark (hint: rename the desktop6.ndk (R5 desktop5.dsk) and bookmark.nsf files in the Notes data directory. Notes will recreate the cache, desktop, and bookmark files on its next run.
III. Troubleshooting Guidelines:
When troubleshooting workstation/desktop crashes, it is important to isolate the issue and create a reproducible scenario. To do this:
- Isolate the issue by focusing on one machine/user
- Find exactly which databases, operating systems, service packs, or applications are involved.
- Create a reproducible scenario by establishing a pattern to the crashes
- Find the exact sequence of actions that cause the Notes Client to crash
General Error Messages Seen During a Notes Client Crash:
The following are error messages that may appear during a Notes Client crash. These are general errors that are used to alert the user that Notes has crashed. The errors typically are not used in problem determination but should be included when calling Lotus Support.
"An application breakpoint error has occurred."
"NSD is running."
BAD VBLOCK HANDLE"
"PANIC: Lookup Handle: handle out of range."
Using NSD for Domino Servers and Notes Clients on Windo
How to Maximize Notes 6 Client Performance