How to force a Kernel memory dump/Complete memory dump from a keyboard on a Windows 10 PC

Updated 09/29/2021 01:40 PM

Kernel memory dump/Complete memory dump from a keyboard on a Windows 10 PC


To configure a PC to allow manually forcing either a Kernel memory dump or Complete memory dump from a keyboard, some changes must first be made to the Windows registry.

  1. 1. First, Back up the registry manually as described in the Microsoft FAQ below: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/322756/how-to-back-up-and-restore-the-registry-in-windows

  2. 2. Determine the type of dump file to be collected. If you are working with an NVIDIA Customer Care representative, the support agent will instruct you on the type of dump file needed to investigate your issue.

    • Kernel memory dump (eg. monitor flicker/black screen/missing resolutions/etc.) - Download the file "force-kernel-dump.reg" from the Attachments section at the bottom of this page
    • Complete memory dump (eg. apps/game crashes that do not leave a dump file) - Download the file "force-full-dump.reg" from the Attachments section at the bottom of this page
  3. 3. Import the registry file from step 2 into Windows by double-clicking on it and accepting when prompted for confirmation.

  4. 4. You must reboot your PC for these changes to take effect.

  5. 5. Please note: The next step will initiate a manual crash. If you are working on a project/game/etc., you will lose any unsaved progress.

  6. 6. Reproduce the issue. As soon as you encounter the issue, you can use your keyboard to initiate a crash dump by holding down the right-most CTRL (Control) key and then press the SCROLL LOCK key twice. This will initiate a crash and reboot of your PC.

  7. 7. Once you are back in Windows, the memory dump file should be generated in the %SystemRoot%\memory.dmp directory (for most users in the folder c:\windows\memory.dmp)

  8. 8. The memory.dmp file will be quite larger (depending on the amount of system ram on your PC). We recommend compressing it to reduce the file size. Right-click over the memory.dmp file and in the context pop-up menu, select Send to -> Compresed (zipped folder).

  9. 9. Upload the compressed zip file to a file sharing service such as Google Drive, Micrososoft OneDrive, etc.. Then share the URL to download the file with an NVIDIA representative.

  10. 10. To restore your PC crash dump settings, import the backup registry file you created in step 1. If you did not back up your registry, you can restore your crash dump settings to the Windows 10 default values by importing the registry file default-dump.reg from the Attachments section at the bottom of this page.

You may learn more about Forcing a System Crash from the Keyboard and Overview of memory dump file options for Windows from Microsoft.

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