How to Configure Windows Server to Generate a Dump File in the Event of a Blue-Screen

How to Configure Windows Server to Generate a Dump File in the Event of a Blue-Screen

This article provides information on configuring Windows Server to generate a dump file in the event of a blue-screen (bugcheck). Dump files are often very useful when troubleshooting blue-screen/bugcheck events on Windows servers.The procedure for configuring a server to generate a dump file varies slightly among versions of Windows Server.

Table of Contents

  1. Windows Server 2003
  2. Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2
  3. Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2003:

  1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and select Properties. (There may also be a My Computer icon on the desktop.)
  2. In the properties window, click the Advanced tab.
  3. In the Startup and Recovery section, click Settings.
  4. In Startup and Recovery Settings, the dump file options are in the Write debugging information section.

A kernel memory dump is typically the most useful type of dump file. Small memory dumps (minidumps) have the advantage of being very small, but they often contain insufficient data to pinpoint the cause of a bugcheck. Complete memory dumps, on the other hand, contain a lot of data but can be extremely large. A kernel dump represents a good balance between the two.

Note: In addition to configuring the type of dump file, you can choose the name of the dump file and the location where it will be stored (C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP by default for a kernel or complete memory dump). You can also choose whether the server should automatically restart after a bugcheck.

The Startup and Recovery Options window in Windows Server 2003 is shown below (Figure 1: (English Only)):

Figure 1: Startup and Recovery Options window in Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2:

  1. Click Start, right-click Computer, and select Properties.
  2. Click the Advanced system settings link on the left side of the System window.
  3. The procedure from this point is identical to the procedure for Windows Server 2003 above, beginning with step 2.

Note: The Complete memory dump option may be missing from the dropdown list in the Startup and Recovery Options window if the server has more than 2GB of RAM installed. To enable the Complete memory dump option, set the following registry value to 0x1 and restart the server:

Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2:

Find a step by step workflow in the article Configuring a Windows Server to produce a memory dump file .
  1. Hover the mouse pointer at the lower-left corner of the screen.
  2. Right-click the Start screen thumbnail that appears and click System.
  3. As in Server 2008 and 2008 R2, click the Advanced system settings link on the left side of the System window, then follow the procedure shown for Server 2003 above.

There is a new option in the dropdown list in Server 2012: Automatic memory dump.
This option generates a kernel dump but allows for a smaller system-managed pagefile than if Kernel memory dump is selected in the dropdown list.
More information about the Automatic memory dump option is given in a TechNet blog entry titled Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012: Automatic Memory Dump.

Now that the server is configured to generate a dump file, it will do so the next time a bugcheck event (blue-screen) occurs. Tools such as WinDbg can be used to analyze the dump file in order to determine the cause of the bugcheck.
For basic instructions for using WinDbg, see Basic Windows Blue-Screen Troubleshooting with WinDbg .

Need more help?
Find additional PowerEdge and PowerVault articles
Watch Part Replacement Videos for Enterprise products

Visit and ask for support in our Communities

Create an online support Request

Article ID: SLN163973

Last Date Modified: 09/27/2016 10:30 AM

Rate this article

Easy to understand
Was this article helpful?
Yes No
Send us feedback
Comments cannot contain these special characters: <>()\
Sorry, our feedback system is currently down. Please try again later.

Thank you for your feedback.