According to techopedia, a memory dump is a process where the contents of memory are displayed and stored in case of an emergency such as system crash. Memory dumps are mainly for software developers; they use the data’s stored in the system to diagnose the problem.
Developers use the dumps to fix the problem that caused the system crash. They are also known as core dump and sometimes BSOD (Blue screen of death).
It primarily identifies the problem of the operating system or any application that has failed. It mainly is the information of the last state of the program or application or operating system. The last state before the program crashes can bring out the problem it had faced.
On the other hand, all the information consists of memory locations, program counters, program state and much more. Memory dump also has on screen log files for viewing and sorting later.
You have to reboot the computer after the memory dump, or else it will be unavailable. Sometimes memory leak can cause memory dumps, and it’s not okay.
You will see memory dumps when you’ll encounter a blue screen of death error. Usually, a BSOD will give you some basic suggestion of where the problems occurred. Those suggestions or information’s are memory dumps.
So, when you reboot the system, you’ll be able to look into that information for further analysis. The memory dumps can contain passwords or any hidden key. So, beware of any potential hackers as they can easily find out your private info’s and hack the system.
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There are mainly five types of memory dumps stored in Windows 10. Each type is different and stores various information of the system crash. Let’s see what they are.
Size: Size of OS kernel
This one is the default option when you install Windows 10 for the first time. The setting is to support the System Managed page file configurations. Though it has been updated to reduce the size all over, it’s mainly for small SSDs.
But the large servers also benefit highly from it. Especially the automatic memory dump gives an output of Kernel memories. But the main difference is that the automatic process reduces the page file making it smaller than the size of the RAM.
You can also check or even edit the system paging file size. So for that just go to the following path, and you’ll be able to change it according to your desire.
Control Panel >> System and Security >> System >> Advanced system settings >> Performance >> Settings >> Advanced >> Change
Read More: Change The Virtual Memory Size
Size: Triple the size of a kernel or automatic dump file
Microsoft did add the Active Memory Dump recently. Though it’s smaller than the complete memory dump, it’s three times bigger than the size of the kernel dump. It happens because it has both the kernel and the user space together.
So, overall the size gets bigger than the kernel dump. The dump files size can be up to 1.5 GB or even more. But you can try to compress it and reduce it to a more acceptable size for transportation.
Size: Installed RAM plus 1MB
This one is the largest dump files that will take your spaces. As it includes the physical memory of the computer, the overall size gets too big. You can assume that the size can be less or equal to the installed RAM.
And with all other systems taking up GBs of the system this can become a serious issue if you are having too much of crashes of programs or systems. So, I would suggest that you would stick to the automatic dump file instead of this one.
Size: size of physical memory owned by kernel-mode components
These dumps are equal to the size of the RAM that gets occupied by the Windows 10 kernel.
It can be up to 700MB in size, but if you want to compress it, then you can bring it down to 150MB. This dump contains the information for analysis. So, it can be helpful for developers.
The automatic dump setting creates a dump file saving only the recent one by default.
Size: At least 64K on x86 and 128k on x64
It is also known as the mini dump. They include memory pages pointed to them by registers by their values at the point of the fault.
They are quite small as they don’t contain any binary or executable files from the time of the system crash. Moreover, these data are vital for the coders or debuggers to find out what happened.
You are wondering about now that why are Memory dump created. Are they essential? Or who uses these files? Well, they are mainly for developers developing a program or a system.
As I said before these files are solely here for giving you the additional information about the crash or system failure that occurred. So, if you are a developer who is working on the hardware drivers, then these pieces of information would come in handy.
As you can easily find out what is causing your system to crash, it becomes easier to solve.
But if you are not a developer then you can still use the information to know why your system is crashing all on a sudden. You just have to send it to a developer, and he will let you know what the problem is.
If any driver is causing the problem you can send them to that driver developers or if it’s with windows than you can send it to Microsoft for further analysis.
Hopefully, the developers will find out what the problem was and can assist you with further procedures.
Though with all its perks, these files seem to take up a lot of space on the disk. So, if you don’t have an issue with the crashes or don’t want these unnecessary files to clog your system, then you can go ahead and delete them.
They will be in the form of a .dmp file and can take a significant portion of resources. And if you have ever experienced a BSOD you will surely have a minimum of 800MB or even more files taking up space on your system.
You can quickly clean memory dump by disk cleanup. Disk cleanup seems to clean the dumps without a fuss. Or you can also use CCleaner to detect and delete those dumps. So, you don’t have to delete them one by one manually.
To sum it all up, Memory dumps can be useful if you are a developer but can be a headache for the average users too. So, if you don’t want unnecessary files on your computer then clean it up. It shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Hasib is a born geek and loves tweaking his computer and gadgets for effectiveness and productivity. At WindowsChimp, he specializes in writing Tutorial guides and discovering new hacks to share.