Windows crash dump location (memory.dmp file)

by admin on February 18, 2011

When Windows OS crashes (Blue Screen of Death or BSOD) it dumps all the memory information into a file on disk. This dump file can help the developers to debug the cause for the crash.   The default location of the dump file is %SystemRoot%\memory.dmp  or C:\Windows\memory.dmp if C: is the system drive. Windows can also capture small memory dumps which occupy less space. These dumps are created at %SystemRoot%\Minidump.dmp (C:\Windows\Minidump.dump if C: is the system drive). Below you can find details on crash dump settings. This article is valid for XP, Vista and Windows 7.
How to enable or disable kernel memory dump? If dump is enabled, how to choose mini dump or full kernel dump?

We can configure the dump settings through system properties. Detailed steps are given below.

  • Open System properties(Execute sysdm.cpl from Run window)
  • Click on Advanced tab
  • Click on the Settings button under Startup and Recovery
  • In this window, click on the drop down list under ‘Write Debugging information’

 

  • This list would show 4 options – None, Small memory dump(64 KB), Kernel memory dump, Complete memory dump. If you want to disable memory dump then select none from these options. Otherwise select your required option from the other three. After this click on OK and close the windows. The above snapshot does not show Complete memory dump option. This is because complete memory dump is not supported on systems with 32-bit OS and with more than 2GB RAM.

How to change crash dump file location?

You can set the dump file location in the same Startup and recovery window mentioned above. In the ‘Dump File’ text field you can enter the location of the file.

You can also change mini dump file location – Select ‘small memory dump‘ from the drop down box and then give the location of the file in the bottom text box.

How to enable or disable crash dump file overwrite?

In the Startup and recovery window(which can be opened from System properties window) unselect the check button ‘Overwrite any existing file‘ to disable crash dump overwrite.

Modifying Windows dump settings using registry keys:

Registry values related to Windows crash dump settings are stored under the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl.
We can configure crash dump by modifying these registry values also(listed below).

AutoReboot

CrashDumpEnabled

DumpFile

LogEvent

MinidumpDir

Overwrite

SendAlert

How to disable crash dump?

Open registry editor and navigate to the path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl. Set the registry value CrashDumpEnabled to 0. Or you can simply run the below command which does the same.

Reg add “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl” /v CrashDumpEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Disable crash dump overwrite:

Set the value of the registry key ‘Overwrite’ to 0. This key can be found in the registry path mentioned above. If you want to overwrite existing crash dump file, then set its value to 1.

Below command would disable crash dump overwrite.

Reg add “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl” /v Overwrite /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

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