Debugging crashes is fun! Actually no. With a little massaging, you can use the information on the crash screen to get a better idea of what’s going wrong, though.
A crash usually looks like this:
System ERROR REBOOT :[EXIT] INITIALIZE:[EXE] TLB ERROR TARGET=D223420F PC =081007C0
The lower three lines are the interesting ones, giving you the fault type, the memory access that caused the fault, and the PC value is where the fault occurred (the meaning of the PC depends on the exception type). In this case, it’s a TLB fault when trying to access memory at 0xD223420F. It’s usually a safe assumption (no matter the fault type) that it was cause by an invalid memory access.
By tweaking the linker options to emit a relocatable ELF object file (rather than the flat binary that is the default) [you can do this just by commenting out the first line of the prizm.x linker script], we can get an idea of what memory regions are in use:
$ sh3eb-elf-objdump -hr SDLTest.elf SDLTest.elf: file format elf32-sh Sections: Idx Name Size VMA LMA File off Algn 0 .text 0001b234 00300000 00300000 00000080 2**4 CONTENTS, ALLOC, LOAD, READONLY, CODE 1 .rodata 00003300 0031b234 0031b234 0001b2b4 2**2 CONTENTS, ALLOC, LOAD, READONLY, DATA 2 .data 00000088 08100004 0031e534 0001e604 2**2 CONTENTS, ALLOC, LOAD, DATA 3 .bss 0000225c 0810008c 0031e5bc 0001e68c 2**2 ALLOC 4 .comment 00000011 00000000 00000000 0001e68c 2**0 CONTENTS, READONLY 5 .debug_info 000033df 00000000 00000000 0001e69d 2**0 CONTENTS, READONLY, DEBUGGING 6 .debug_abbrev 00001b1f 00000000 00000000 00021a7c 2**0 CONTENTS, READONLY, DEBUGGING 7 .debug_loc 00001bed 00000000 00000000 0002359b 2**0 CONTENTS, READONLY, DEBUGGING 8 .debug_aranges 000002b0 00000000 00000000 00025188 2**0 CONTENTS, READONLY, DEBUGGING 9 .debug_line 00000bbf 00000000 00000000 00025438 2**0 CONTENTS, READONLY, DEBUGGING 10 .debug_str 0000040e 00000000 00000000 00025ff7 2**0 CONTENTS, READONLY, DEBUGGING 11 .debug_frame 000003fc 00000000 00000000 00026408 2**2 CONTENTS, READONLY, DEBUGGING 12 .debug_ranges 000001e8 00000000 00000000 00026804 2**0 CONTENTS, READONLY, DEBUGGING
The .debug_* sections can be safely ignored for now, since they provide the machine-readable mappings of addresses to names. Of particular interest are the .text, .data and .bss sections, which contain the code, initialized writable data, and uninitialized writable data respectively.
Referring to the error message, we attempted to access memory at 0xD223420F, which is far outside any expected ranges. The PC was 0x081007C0, which is suspicious- that’s in .bss, which code should not be executing from. This is usually a symptom of a smashed stack, and makes debugging very difficult since it comes from executing bogus code and we have no way to retrieve a stack trace to see what went wrong earlier.
It appears that this particular crash was caused by a NULL pointer dereference, which is unusual (wouldn’t expect that to make the system begin executing in .bss). Further additions to this page will probably be forthcoming as more experiments can be performed.
Exception Names #
The third line on the System Error dialog tells you what exception the OS handled. Please see more details here.