How to save a Windows crash dump file after a game/application crash or TDR

Updated 01/27/2022 08:04 PM
How to save a Windows crash dump file after a game/application crash or TDR

Please note: This article explains how to collect crash data from an application crash or TDR. If you are searching for information on how to collect crash data from an unrecoverable Windows system freeze that results in a blue screen of death/system reboot, please visit:
 
A user may encounter a situation where a game or application may become unresponsive or freeze.  In such an event where Windows detects response problems from the graphics card, the operating system will make an attempt at a recovery.  This process is known as timeout detection and recovery (TDR). During a TDR, Windows will attempt to reset the graphics driver which can cause an application or game to crash in the process. If you see your monitor flicker briefly followed by a TDR error message "Display driver stopped responding and has recovered" on your taskbar, this means that the Windows operating system succesfully recovered.
 
 
Microsoft Windows will record a log or "dump" file at the time of recovery.  Windows dump files can be used to help identify the cause of the issue. By default, Windows will save a small memory dump file which does not provide enough information that can be used by our software team.  An NVIDIA Customer Care support agent may ask you to share a complete memory dump file from your PC to troubleshoot the problem.  If requested, please follow steps below to change Windows system settings to record a complete memory dump file:
 
1. Download the file "fulldump.reg " from the Attachments section below.  
 
2. Double-click on the file "fulldump.reg" to change your default Windows system settings to save complete memory dump file.  
 
3. Reproduce the TDR or application crash again.  
 
4. Once you have successfully reproduced an application/game crash, press the Windows key on your keyboard and the letter "R" at the same time to bring up the Run command.
 
5. Type the following in the Open field:
%LOCALAPPDATA%\CrashDumps
 
6. Press OK button 
 
7. It should open up the default folder where Windows saves your crash dump file.  Look for dump file from the time of your crash.  If you found the dump file corresponding to your crash, move on to step "8".  If you are unable to find any dump files matching the time of the crash, this means Windows was not able to create a crash dump file which will require disabling timeout recovery.  Please skip to the section "Changing TDR Level" for additional instructions.    
 
8. A complete memory dump file will be quite large in size.  You will need to upload the file to a file sharing site such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive and then share the URL to download the file with the NVIDIA Customer Care agent.  You may reduce the file size by compressing or zipping up the file before uploading it to a file sharing site. 
 
9. If you are sharing driver feedback, you may email the link to download the dump file to driverfeedback@nvidia.com.
 
10. To restore your Windows system settings, download "minidump.reg" from the Attachments section and then proceed to open the file.  Once you have restored your system settings, you have reached the end of this process.  
 
Changing TDR Level
The following steps should only be used if Windows was unable to save a crash dump file in step 7 above after an application/game crashes.  To proceed, you will need to disable timeout recovery in Windows.  When you change this setting, Windows will bug check on detected timeout instead of resetting the graphics card.  As a result, Windows will freeze for about 30 seconds to 1 minute followed by a reboot when there is a delayed response from the graphics card.  Please follow the steps below to change the TDRLevel in Windows and save a complete memory dump file from a Windows bug check.  For more information on changing the Windows TDR level, click here.  
 
1. Download the file "TDRLevel1.reg" from the Attachments section below.  
 
2. Double-click on the file "TDRLevel1.reg" to apply the Windows system settings changes.  
 
3. Reproduce the application/game issue again.  If you applied the registry key "TDRLevel1.reg", the application/game will freeze instead of crashing to the desktop.  This freeze typically lasts about 30 seconds to a minute followed by a system reboot. During this time, Windows is writing memory information to a crash dump file.  If your PC has a large amount of system memory, the application/game may freeze for longer than a minute as it will take Windows a longer time to write the information to your hard drive.  
 
4. After a brief period, Windows will bug check and reboot your PC.  
 
5. Once you are back in Windows, open Windows File Explorer and navigate to the directory below:
c:\Windows
 
6. Look for the file "memory.dmp" with a modified date corresponding to the time Windows rebooted. The file will be quite large in size.  You will need to upload the file to a file sharing site such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive and then share the URL to download the file with the NVIDIA Customer Care agent.  You may reduce the file size by compressing or zipping up the file before uploading it to a file sharing site. 
 
7. If you are sharing driver feedback, you may email the link to download the dump file to driverfeedback@nvidia.com.  
 
8. To restore your system settings, please download the file "TDRLevelRemove.reg" from the attachments section below.  
 
9. Double-click on the file to apply the default Windows system settings.  Once you have completed this process, you are finished.  
 

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