Please note: This article explains how to capture a crash dump from an unrecoverable Windows system freeze that results in a blue screen. If you are searching for Capturing application crash or TDR dump files on Windows, click here.
When your Windows operating system experiences an unrecoverable error, the operating system will usually crash leading to a blue screen similar to the image below:
- A blue screen is usually accompanied by information detailing the crash. System crashes can have several causes including:
- Failing hardware
- Faulty software
- Incorrect system memory timings
Unfortunately blue screen error messages do not provide sufficient information to diagnose the cause of the crash. If you are experiencing repeated system crashes that lead to a blue screen, you may be asked to provide a dmp file to help our engineering team investigate your issue. There are five settings for kernel-mode crash dump files. In most cases you may be asked to provide one of the following:
Minidump - By default, Windows will create a small minidump after a blue screen. The file will be saved in the directory below: C:\Windows\Minidump\######-#####-##.dmp
Look for the minidump file with the most recent modified date.
Complete memory dump (preferred) - The Complete Memory Dump is the largest and contains the most information. For this reason, it is most valuable in helping to find the cause of the crash. While a small memory dump file is also useful to our software engineering team, it does not point to the root cause. A small memory dump can point to the symptom and thus could be used to determine if multiple users feedbacks share the same errors. Much information can be obtained from a complete memory dump file but first you must enable this setting in Windows:
- 1. Right-click over the "This PC" icon on your desktop. Select "Properties" from the context menu.
- 2. The System panel will appear. Click the Advanced system settings link to open the System Properties. Click the Advanced tab if you are in a different tab. Click on the Settings button under the Startup and Recovery section.
- 3. Select Complete memory dump from the Write debugging information drop down menu. Click the OK button to confirm the changes. You may be asked to restart your computer to apply these changes.
After restarting your computer, reproduce the issue once again on your PC. By default, Windows will write a complete memory file to the Windows folder with the name MEMORY.DMP:
How to send send the dump file to an NVIDIA Customer Care agent
Send a support request to the NVIDIA Customer Care team via LIVE CHAT or EMAIL from the support page below: https://www.nvidia.com/object/support.html
A small Minidmp file can be attached directly to your support request incident as the file size is quite small. A Complete memory dump file is quite large in size and therefore will first need to be compressed to reduce the size of the file.
- 1. Right-click over the file you wish to compress
- 2. In the context pop-up menu, select Send to -> Compressed (zipped) folder
- 3. The compressed file will have the same name as file you selected.
Today there are a number of file sharing options available such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.. Choose a file sharing service and upload the compressed dump file. Once the upload is completed, you may share the download link with the NVIDIA Customer Care agent. If you are sharing driver feedback, you may email the link to download the dump file to email@example.com.