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Question

I've been getting intermittant blue screens on my system and I've been told that these go into some kind of mini dump files that will contain the codes and help me figure out what is causing the BSODs.   What do I need to do?

Answer

 

How to configure Windows to create MiniDump files on BSOD

 

See related article on Mini dumps with alternate instructions and screenshots.

 

BlueScreenView utility allows you to watch the blue screen crashes  occurred in your system by reading and analyzing the MiniDump files created on every crash by the operating system. The MiniDump files are usually created under C:\WINDOWS\Minidump, unless the path was modified in the system failure settings of Windows.

In most systems, Windows is already configured to create these MiniDump files as the default system failure configuration.

However, if from some reason MiniDump files are not created in your system during a blue screen crash, you should follow the instructions below in order to configure Windows to create them.

For Windows XP:

  1. Right-click on the  'My Computer' icon and choose 'Properties'. Alternatively, you can also go to Control Panel and open the 'System' applet.
  2. In the opened window, click the 'Advanced' tab and then inside the 'Startup And Recovery' frame, click the 'Settings' button.
  3. In the opened 'Startup And Recovery' window,  there is 'Write Debugging Information' section. You should set the combo-box in this section to 'Small memory dump', and then click 'ok' to confirm the change.

 

For Windows 7:

  1. Go to the Control Panel, choose 'System And Security', and then click 'System', and then click the 'Advanced System Settings' link.
  2. In the opened window, click the 'Advanced' tab and then inside the 'Startup And Recovery' frame, click the 'Settings' button.
  3. In the opened 'Startup And Recovery' window,  there is 'Write Debugging Information' section. You should set the combo-box in this section to 'Small memory dump', and then click 'ok' to confirm the change.

You can also make this MiniDump change in the Registry, by setting the following value:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl]
"CrashDumpEnabled"=dword:00000003

However, be aware that this Registry change affects the system only after reboot.

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