What is a Dump File ?

Recently I was just exploring Windows Vista and I came across an option which asked to create a dump file, being curious I started to explore it in more detail. Today I am going to share with you that what is a dump file.

Dump files are normally created when an application crashes and eventually create an exception code. The dump files suggest at which line or area of memory the program has crashed at. This file could be used for troubleshooting purpose. Even Windows blue screen of death creates a dump file. The extension of a default dump file is .dmp.

what is a Dump File

Normally dump files are used by developers and de-buggers to look at the area of memory or line that caused exception. It is also used by them to research the fix for that specific error or if required to submit it to the company or programmer of the application to help in fixing or debugging the program.

Whenever applications with problems stop unexpectedly, they automatically create the dump. Normally when it happens Windows will ask if you want to send the file to Microsoft who will then distribute it to the original programmers. However sometimes applications with problems don’t stop but just keep going in some faulty or erroneous way, in that case you can manually create the dump file through task manager using following steps:

  • Open Task Manager.
  • Right-click on applicable process.
  • Select Create Dump.
  • A dialog box will appear with the path of the file. Typically it will be in “c:\users\Appdata\Local\Temp\***.DMP.
  • Open Dump file in applicable debugger tool such as WinDBG to troubleshoot your issue. You can simply type Windbg in the Instant Search and choose File|Open Crash Dump.

However please note that this is feasible only in Windows Vista. So this was what a dump file is.



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Ankit is the founder of Geek Revealed. He is tech Geek who loves to sit in front of his square headed girlfriend all day long. :D   You can find Ankit on FaceBook or Google Plus

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