WinCE Apalis T30 Kernel Crash

We are running a .NET application on the T30 using WinCE with the 2.0 released OS image.

Doing some stress testing which has a lot of IO to the flashdisk. Occasionally, the kernal crashes. I’m at a loss about how to debug this. Is there any way to turn on kernal level logging? I would like to turn on Dr. Watson as specified Post-Mortem Debugging: Watson | Toradex Developer Center. The config block editor does not have these options. In dbg, I only see serial, regread and regwrite.

However, I don’t even know if Dr. Watson would help during a kernal crash.

Any other suggestions for debugging this?


The config block editor currently does not support the newer configurations like the watson settings. No worry, there are some alternative ways to get that set.

You can configure these settings directly in the bootloader menu.

  1. To get into the bootloader menu, please check this developer page.

  2. Once you are in the bootlaoder menu, you get in the bootloader command prompt by typing “x”. See also here.

  3. Adjust the dbg settings by typing:

    set dbg.watson=1
    set dbg.watsonsize=xxxxx // in case you want to increase the size
    save dbg
    After rebooting the device watson debugging should be enabled.

Please also make sure, you have enabled the debug output, may be you already find some valuable information there that points out what is the reason for the crash.

I will add an issue to our bug tracker in order to get the missing config block settings added. Thanks for pointing this out.

Thanks. I tried this, but I got:

>set dbg.watson=1
 Invalid Command

I have turned on normal debug output and will see if I get anything useful. But it would be very useful to be able to setup our machines to dump out debug information after a crash, as the crash is rare and not always on a lab device connected to a running computer over serial.


@dmcreynolds: This should definitively work. Did you by chance copy any hidden special character? Try once to retype the command, and do not add the “>” as part of the command in case you did.

The > character was me copying and pasting from putty. I had not typed it.

What is strange is that several successive attempts typing “set dbg.watson=1” have different results. I wonder if there is something odd with putty.

@dmcreynolds: This does really sounds like a connection issue. You could also try some other fields. If you also see issues there, it must be an issue with putty or the serial connection. Do you see any issues with the debug output as well, or is it only the input that has some issues?

Output seems fine.

I guess I’m good with this issue. Though I do wonder if this Watson would even help me to debug our very intermittent kernel crashes.


Any progress on this? did the Dr Watson leas to any usefull informations?

No, I could never get any output of Dr. Watson. I was able to use serial debugging to at least find when in my app the Kernal crashes were happening, though never really the why. I was able to workaround most of them.

Thanks for asking.