How to create a user-mode process dump file in Windows Vista and in Windows 7

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Article ID: 931673 - View products that this article applies to.
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INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to create a user-mode process dump file (.dmp file) in Windows Vista. The Windows Error Report feature in Windows Vista and in Windows 7 generates mini-dump files and heap dump files. The Windows Error Report feature does not generate user-mode process dump files.

MORE INFORMATION

How to create a user-mode process dump file

To create a user-mode process dump file in Windows Vista, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Use Task Manager

Windows Vista
To use Windows Task Manager to create a user-mode process dump file in Windows Vista, follow these steps:
  1. Start Task Manager. To do this, use one of the following methods:
    • Right-click an empty area of the task bar, and then click Task Manager.
    • Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC.
  2. Click the Processes tab.
  3. Right-click the name of the process that you want, and then click Create Dump File.

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     User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type your password or click Continue.

    A dump file for the process is created in the following folder:
    Drive:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Temp
  4. When you receive a message that states that the dump file was successfully created, click OK.
Windows 7
To use Windows Task Manager to create a user-mode process dump file in Windows 7, follow these steps:
  1. Start Task Manager. To do this, use one of the following methods:
    • Right-click an empty area of the task bar, and then click Start Task Manager.
    • Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC.
  2. Click the Processes tab.
  3. Right-click the name of the process that you want, and then click Create Dump File.

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
     User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type your password or click Continue.

    A dump file for the process is created in the following folder:
    Drive:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Temp
  4. When you receive a message that states that the dump file was successfully created, click OK.

Method 2: Use the ADPlus tool

You can use the ADPlus tool to create a user-mode process dump file. The ADPlus tool is included in "Debugging Tools for Windows." For more information about "Debugging Tools for Windows" and about how to download it, visit the following Microsoft Web site.
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/default.mspx
For more information about how to use the ADPlus tool, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
286350 How to use ADPlus to troubleshoot "hangs" and "crashes"

How to determine the approximate size of a user-mode process dump file that will be created

You can use Performance Monitor to determine the approximate size of a user-mode process dump file that will be created. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
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    Start button
    , type perfmon in the Start Search box, and then click perfmon.exe in the Programs list.

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     User Account Control permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type your password or click Continue.
  2. Expand Monitoring Tools, and then click Performance Monitor.
  3. Right-click an empty area of the display pane, and then click Add Counter.
  4. Under Available counters in the Add Counters dialog box, click the down arrow next to the Process performance object, and then click the Virtual Bytes counter.
  5. Under Instances of selected object, click the name of the process, click Add, and then click OK.
The value that appears is the approximate size of the dump file. When you create a user-mode process dump file, make sure that sufficient free space is available on the hard disk where the dump file will be stored.

REFERENCES

To collect user-mode dumps

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

This feature is not enabled by default. Enabling the feature requires administrator privileges. To save these user mode memory dumps locally using Windows Error Reporting, create the following Registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\LocalDumps
Value Name = DumpType
Data type: REG_DWORD
Value Data = 1

Data Values Descriptions:
0 = Create a custom dump
1 = Mini dump
2 = Full dump

Windows Error Reporting in Windows Vista generates the following information:
  • A report manifest file (Report.wer)
Once enabled, the report can be found at %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\WER. Reports can be viewed using the wercon.exe tool. The following error information is sent to the Windows Error Reporting Server:
  • Operating system version information (.version.txt)
  • Application information (.appcompat.txt)
  • A heap dump file (.hdmp)
  • A mini-dump file (.mdmp)

For more Information on custom dump types click the link below:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb787181(VS.85).aspx


Dump files are stored in the default location %LOCALAPPDATA%\CrashDumps

For more information about collecting user-mode dumps, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb787181(VS.85).aspx


Properties

Article ID: 931673 - Last Review: April 6, 2010 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Starter
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
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