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Windows 7: What is a Dump File on BSOD?

14 Mar 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
What is a Dump File on BSOD?

What is a Dump File on BSOD?: I've posted this thread once on the BSOD section but the moderators said to post it here. So anyone has Idea on What does a BSOD do and what is a Dump File about?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2011   #2


A Blue Screen of Death is an error message, so a BSOD gives a strong visual indication that something has stopped working correctly.

And a dump file is a recorded history of all the data that was loaded in the memory at the time. Basically it's a snapshot of what the computer was doing right up to the point it crashed.

Ideally it will contain all the information necessary that allows you to backtrace to the root of the problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


A dumpfile is created when your Windows crashes producing a Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD). Wikipedia: A dumpfile is an output file used to save detailed step-by-step results of a simulation run for analysis, re-simulation, or design verification.

A dumpfile or as it is often called minidump helps analyzing why BSOD occured. It is stored in folder %WinDir%\Minidump. Its name consists of date, an identifier and extension .dmp, syntax being DDDDDD-IIIII-II.dmp (D = date, I = identifier).

A common reason why user does not find a minidump after BSOD is panic ; as soon as BSOD occurs, user rushes to power off the computer. You have to let BSOD process to finish collecting data and creating a dump. Indicator at the bottom has to reach 100% in order for a minidump to be created.

Attachment 143478

My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Mar 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium

Thanks everyone for the enlightenment. Another question though if you don't mind; Usually what are the reasons for a computer to BSOD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2011   #5


A multitude of reasons.

But the two most general categories are either incorrectly functioning software or incorrectly functioning hardware.

The BSOD error code and the subsequent data contained in the crash dumps are the clues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium

Thanks everyone for their posts and concerns, now I'm enlightened on what BSOD is all about.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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