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How to Create and Use XP Critical Error DUMP files by bcastner
Posted: 27 Oct 06


First step, you need to enable XP to create DUMP files when a system error or BSOD error occurs.  Microsoft explains the settings required here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314103


Second step is to download and install, to their default locations, the XP Symbol package and the XP Debugging tools:

Symbols:  http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/DevTools/Debugging/symbolpkg.mspx

Debugging Tools - Current Release:


Third step (highly recommended): Download MS-MVP and creator of WindowsBBS site Arie Slob's little debug wrapper application DebugWiz:  http://windowsbbs.com/debugwiz.zip

Unzip and move to \Windows\System32

Now the next time a critical error or BSOD occurs, a DUMP file will be created.

A critical program error occurs: The DUMP file will be found in \Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Dr Watson\user.dmp
For BSOD errors the DUMP file will be found at C:\WINDOWS\Minidump\MEMORY.DMP  (mini-model setting)  or be found for large model settings at C:\MEMORY.DMP

What to do when a DUMP file is created:

Start, Run, CMD

Browse using the tool to your dump file.
Click 'Generate Log'

Your debugging log can be found and opened in Notepad at the location C:\debuglog.txt


Help and training resources:

Debugging Tool Documentation:

My thanks to Arie and the other good folks at WindowsBBS:  http://www.windowsbbs.com/

Back to Microsoft: Windows FAQ Index
Back to Microsoft: Windows Forum

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