If you want to know the Windows dump file location and how to read them, stay with us throughout this article. Windows dump files are not that well known.
Most people don’t even know what it is and there is a chance you have never come across them.
However, they still play an important role in the overall Windows ecosystem. So, what are Win dump files?
Well, when your system crashes and shows an infamous blue screen, it creates memory dump files. These files store the copy of your computer’s memory at the time of the crash.
The dump files can be vital to help diagnose and identify the problem that led to the crash. But they are not understandable by the average user.
Rather, they are designed for developers. They can make sense of the data and improve the system so that such crashes don’t happen frequently.
There are mainly four types of dump files – complete memory dump, small memory dump, kernel memory dump, and automatic memory dump.
Table of Contents
- Windows dump file location and how to read them
- Wrap Up
Windows dump file location and how to read them
Windows 10 dump file location
When your Windows system crashes, it stores all of the information in a single file. If your system drive is C:, then the dump file will be located in C:\Windows\memory.dmp.
If you’re looking for the small memory dump files, then you will find them located in C:\Window\Minidump.dmp. These are the default locations for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 10 operating systems.
How to read dump file
There are many ways to read a Windows dump file. You can use third-party software that makes things quite easy.
Instead, you could use Microsoft’s WinDbg Preview app. It is by far the best and simplest software in this regard.
Below are the steps you can follow to first install this app and then use it for reading Windows dump files:
- First, click on the search bar at the bottom-left corner of your screen, and type “Microsoft Store”;
- Click on the top result “Microsoft Store”. This will take you to Microsoft’s official app store;
- On the top-right corner of the screen, there is a search icon. Click on it and type “WinDbg Preview”. Then hit “Enter”;
- On the search results page, you will see the icon for the WinDgb app. Click it;
- Now, you will be taken to the app’s page where you can find all the relevant information about it. There you can check out the overview, system requirements, reviews, and so on. On this page, you need to click on the “Get” blue button;
- This will initiate the download and installation process;
- Next, click on the “Launch” button;
- The WinDbg Preview app will finally be opened and you can now use it to read the Windows dump file. In the app, click on the “File” button;
- This will open up a new window. Under the title “Start debugging”, you will see a list of options. Select “Open dump file”;
- A small browser window will open where you can locate your Windows dump file. Go to the above-mentioned location, “C:\Windows\memory.dmp” to find the file and select it;
- The software will now start the process of opening this file. It might take quite some time depending on how large the file is and if the software needs to download additional modules to open it. When the app is working to open the file, you will see the word “Busy”. As soon as it’s done, the word will disappear.
- Next, if you want to analyze the file, you can run a command to do so. Type “!analyze -v” without the quotes in the text field and then hit Enter”;
- Again, this step can take some time depending on the amount of processing required by the computer. When the analysis is complete though, you will be able to read its contents in plain text.
How to delete Win dump files
Windows dump files can take a huge amount of space on your computer. So, it’s better if you delete them if you don’t need those files anymore.
The best way to do it is by using the Disk Clean-up utility.
If you want to know how to delete Windows dump files, here are the steps you can take:
- Press the “Windows + R” keys simultaneously. This will launch the “Run” prompt;
- Then, type “cleanmgr” without the quotes in the text field;
- Now, press “Ctrl + Shift + Enter” keys to open the Disk Clean-up utility as administrator;
- If prompted, click the “Ok” button, in the “Drive selection” window. Make sure that the C: drive is selected;
- A new window will open up with a list of options. Find the “System error memory dump files” option and click the check box. Then click on “Ok”. The dump files will then be deleted.
Now you know what is a dump file. They are essentially the crash report files that are generated by the computer in the event of a crash. In most cases, it happens after the infamous blue screen of death (BSOD). These dump files are usually meant for developers.
However, you can open these files even if you’re not a developer.
Microsoft makes a great little app known as WinDbd Review that you can use for this purpose.
If you want to delete the files, you can use the Disk Clean-up utility that comes standard with Windows.
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