So I have this audio problem on Windows 7…

I’ve blogged a number of times about how to use the Feedback Hub to report problems and suggest features. But if you’re using Windows 7, you don’t have the Feedback Hub. What can you do? Here’s a couple of suggestions.

  1. Try a Windows 10 machine and see if the problem still exists (or if the feature you want to suggest is still not added.) If so, great! Now you have the Feedback Hub, use it.
  2. Open a support request on https://support.microsoft.com/
  3. Note that Windows 7 exited mainstream support on January 13, 2015, and will exit extended support on January 14, 2020, though if you’re really married to Windows 7 you will still be able to purchase extended security updates until 2023
  4. Microsoft Support has a lifecycle database you can search to see the support lifecycle for any Microsoft product. For example, it looks like Windows Embedded Standard 7 Service Pack 1 exits extended support October 13 2020

EDIT 2018-10-03: added link to lifecycle database

Collecting audio logs the old-fashioned way

In previous blog posts I have showed how to use the Feedback Hub to file a new problem report with logs, and to add logs to an existing problem report.

It can also be useful to gather the logs outside of the Feedback Hub environment. For example, there is a current issue in the Feedback Hub which affects builds 14996 through 15006 (it is fixed in 15007) that breaks log collection.

  1. Download CollectAudioLogs.zip
  2. Extract it to a folder
  3. From the extracted folder, launch CollectAudioLogs.cmd
  4. This will prompt for elevation; allow it.
  5. You will receive two yes/no questions. Answer y to the first if you can reproduce the issue. Always answer y to the second.
  6. The script will run for several minutes and eventually create a .zip file right next to itself. The last line of the script output will refer to the .zip file, something like this:
    Logs are located at C:\Users\mateer\Desktop\Temp\CollectAudioLogs\MATEER-K_20170109-021827.zip

EDIT 2017-04-12: updated script

EDIT 2017-05-01: updated script to run WOW64

EDIT 2017-06-01: replace “media issues” .wprp with “audio glitches” .wprp

EDIT 2017-06-06: updated powershell to work even if run WOW64

EDIT 2017-07-28: various ETW provider changes (added ACPI, removed IE, added some driver-specific providers)

EDIT 2018-01-05: more ETW provider changes (added Capability Access Manager)

EDIT 2018-02-21: allow spaces in the script path and temporary path

EDIT 2018-03-05: update ETW providers for Intel audio drivers

EDIT 2018-04-04: more ETW provider changes (added inbox effects)

EDIT 2018-12-28: grab ksthunk service registry key

EDIT 2019-03-26: move CollectAudioLogs.zip to https://github.com/mvaneerde/blog

EDIT 2019-09-23: more ETW provider changes (added Windows Error Reporting providers)

EDIT 2019-10-20: add DdoDiag and PnpUtil. More ETW provider changes.

Getting larger bluescreen memory dumps on your PC

If your PC hits a blue screen of death (or if you’re an Insider, a green screen of death) then Windows will (usually) create a C:\Windows\memory.dmp file that captures the state of the machine at the time of the crash.

Sometimes this file has enough in it to determine what the cause of the crash was; sometimes not.

There is a setting you can tweak on your PC to determine how much goes into this dump file:

Start > Settings > Search “View advanced system settings” > View advanced system settings > Startup and Recovery > Settings… > System failure > Write debugging information

startup-and-recovery

From the dropdown, choose the setting you would like to apply. A good default is “Automatic memory dump”.

There is some documentation on MSDN which outlines the differences between the various types of kernel dump.

Adding logs to a reported problem in Feedback Hub

Last time I talked about how to report problems (with logs) and make suggestions in the Feedback Hub. I mentioned how to add logs when reporting a problem for the first time.

You can also add logs to problems that have already been reported.

  1. Start > Feedback Hub > Feedback | Find the problem report you want to add logs to. Note you have various filtering and sorting options.
  2. Click/tap on the specific problem report in question > Add feedback details > Recreate my problem > Start capture
  3. Make the problem happen; monitoring will continue in the background. This will go into a circular buffer. It’s OK if it takes a long time for the problem to happen; new data will overwrite old data.
  4. Come back to the Feedback Hub > Stop capture. It’s important to do this as soon as you can, once the problem has happened.
  5. Use the Submit or Submit and upvote to send us the logs. (You will see Submit and upvote if someone else submitted the feedback originally, and you have not yet upvoted it. If you submitted the issue originally, or you have already upvoted it, you will see Submit.)

EDIT: 2016-11-01 The screenshot shows “Audio and sound” and “Media Issues”. Since taking the screenshot we have removed “Audio and sound”; use “Media Issues” instead.

EDIT: 2017-10-11 We have now added an “Audio Glitches”. Use that instead.

EDIT: 2018-05-29 We’re back to “Audio and sound” again, and the UI has changed considerably. Updated screenshots and removed references to Phone.

Report problems, with logs, and suggest features, with the Feedback Hub

If you run into a problem with Windows 10, or if you would like to make a suggestion, you can use the Feedback Hub app.

(Xbox has a similar but not identical mechanism for reporting problems, called the Xbox Insider Hub)

  1. Launch the Feedback Hub app. Do a search for the thing you’re looking for. I used “usb” as an example.
  2. You can filter the category and subcategory down to make searching simpler. Note in the screenshot I have filtered down to Category: Devices and Drivers and Subcategory: Audio and sound.
  3. If you see your problem or suggestion listed already, use Upvote to reinforce it, and you’re done!
  4. If it isn’t there, congratulations – you are a pioneer! Use + Add new feedback
    new-feedback
  5. You can select whether this is a problem or a suggestion. Give a quick summary in the title and more detail in the description. You can also attach screenshots or other files.
  6. If you are reporting a problem, it is very helpful for developers to have logs of the problem as it is happening.
    1. Use Recreate my problem > Start capture to start the log collection. Start capture will change to Stop capture.
    2. Make the problem happen.
    3. As soon as possible after the problem has happened, come back to the Feedback Hub and Stop capture. A “Recorded diagnostic data” file will be automatically attached to the feedback.
  7. Submit

If you want to share a direct link to the feedback you filed, you can use the Copy link feature.

But how do you find it again?

Well, you could search for it. But there’s a trick to make it easier. You can limit search results to feedback you have filed by clicking My feedback in the search screen. Use Sort: Most recent to get your most recently filed feedback at the top.

EDIT 2018-05-29: updated screenshots, removed references to Phone

Taking audio glitch traces on Windows 10: phone edition

Related blog post: Taking audio glitch traces on Windows 10: desktop edition

Sometimes if audio is glitching we will reach out to people and ask them to take glitch traces so we can look at them and try to figure out what is going on.

One of the tools we use to take audio glitch traces on Windows 10 phone editions is Field Medic; this is an app in the Windows Store.

To take audio glitch traces on a Windows 10 phone:

  1. On the phone:
    1. Install the Field Medic app
    2. Start | All apps | Field Medic
    3. Agree to the EULA
    4. Advanced
    5. Choose which ETW providers to use
    6. From the “…” menu, choose unselect all
    7. Under Default Group check the Multimedia-Verbose checkbox
    8. Hit the Back button to return to Advanced
    9. Hit the Back button again to return to the main Field Medic screen
    10. Hit Start Logging
    11. Note that Start Logging has become Stop Logging and a counter is advancing
    12. Reproduce the problem. The logging will continue in the background. It’s OK if it takes a while to reproduce the problem – the logging goes into a circular buffer, and old data is overwritten with new data. It is important, though, that once you do hit the issue, you should stop the logging as soon as possible (say, within 10 seconds.)
    13. Go back the Field Medic app | Stop Logging
    14. Enter a title, repro steps, attach images etc.
  2. Plug the phone into the computer via USB
  3. On the computer:
    1. Start | File Explorer | This PC | Windows phone | Phone | Documents | FieldMedic | reports
      field-medic-reports
    2. You will see a subfolder containing your report
    3. Copy the whole subfolder over to the computer
    4. Right-click | Send to | Compressed (zipped) folder

At this point you have a .zip file containing your report text, images, and a FieldMedic-Multimedia-Verbose.etl file. This last can be analyzed using any tool that consumes .etl files, including:

  • Windows Performance Analyzer, which is part of the Windows Performance Toolkit
  • Media eXperience Analyzer

Both are part of the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK)

EDIT 9/19/2016

  • Changed Multimedia + Performance to Multimedia-Verbose
  • Removed old “profile exclusivity” warning
  • Media eXperience Analyzer is now part of the ADK

Taking audio glitch traces on Windows 10: desktop edition

THIS BLOG POST IS OBSOLETE. READ THIS BLOG POST INSTEAD

Related post: Taking audio glitch traces on Windows 10: phone edition

Sometimes if audio is glitching we will reach out to people and ask them to take glitch traces so we can look at them and try to figure out what is going on.

One of the tools we use to take audio glitch traces on Windows 10 desktop editions is Windows Performance Recorder; this is part of the Windows Performance Toolkit, which ships as part of the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10.

To take audio glitch traces on a Windows 10 desktop:

  1. Download [redacted] and extract FieldMedic-Multimedia-Verbose.wprp
  2. Go to the “Download kits and tools for Windows 10” page: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/dn913721%28v=vs.8.5%29.aspx
  3. Click the “Download the Windows ADK for Windows 10” link: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=526740
  4. Run. Check the Windows Performance Toolkit feature; you don’t need the other features to take audio glitch traces.
    windows-performance-toolkit
  5. Start | Windows Performance Recorder – this will prompt for elevation
  6. Choose the kind of tracing you want:
    • First level triage | First level triage | uncheck this
    • Add Profiles… | point to the FieldMedic-Multimedia-Verbose.wprp profile you downloaded in step 1
  7. Changing Logging mode to “File”
  8. Hit the “Start” button within the Windows Performance Recorder window
  9. Do the thing that causes the glitches
  10. Hit Save

At this point you have an .etl file. This can be analyzed using any tool that consumes .etl files, including:

EDIT 8/27/2015:

Windows Performance Toolkit also comes with a command-line tool: wpr.exe. To capture the same traces using the command line tool:

  • Start tracing:
    wpr -start FieldMedic-Multimedia-Verbose.wprp!MultimediaVerboseCategory -filemode
  • Stop tracing and save the results to a file (say, my-wpr-glitches.etl:)
    wpr.exe -stop my-wpr-glitches.etl
  • (Optional) if you want to cancel tracing:
    wpr.exe -cancel
  • (Optional) if you want to see whether tracing is currently active:
    wpr.exe -status

EDIT 2016-03-21: the original .wprp file logged to a file that grew unbounded in size. This put pressure on the analysis tools. Replaced it with a version that logged to a fixed-size circular buffer.

EDIT 2016-03-23: well, that didn’t work. Putting the old .wprp back.

EDIT 2016-03-29: OK, I think I have the circular .wprp working again. Just in case, here’s the non-circular version: [REMOVED 2016-07-01]

EDIT 2016-07-01: moving to the “official” Field Medic “Multimedia – Verbose” profile

EDIT: 2016-09-19: picking up the new version of Multimedia-Verbose. Also, note that wpr.exe now comes inbox in recent builds of Windows, so there is no longer a need to download the ADK if you are comfortable using the command line.

EDIT: 2016-10-11: picking up the next version of Multimedia-Verbose with WDF ISR/DPC attribution and TP_LOWEST Media Foundation WPP collection

EDIT: 2017-01-03: picking up the next version of Multimedia-Verbose with more providers: spatial audio, Watson, Realtek audio, HoloLens audio, DVD, and Code Integrity

EDIT: 2017-02-06: picking up the next version of Multimedia-Verbose with more providers: spatial audio, improved Realtek audio keywords, fixed Intel Cherrytrail provider, added shared WPP provider for USB audio and Bluetooth HFP audio

EDIT: 2018-09-05: removed Multimedia-Verbose. Added link to the blog post which obsoletes this one.