A Windows minidump is a small file that is saved to your computer each time the computer stops unexpectedly, for example when you get a BSoD. These file is stored in the C:\Windows\minidump or C:\Winnt\minidump directory depending on your version of Windows and have file name such as "Mini030409-01.dmp". In this example, 03 is the month, 04 the day, 09 the year, and -01 the number of the dump file.
How to view the Windows minidump
The Windows minidump files can be read using the dumpchk utility, included with Windows 2000 and the Windows XP support tools. Additional information about this command can be found on our dumpchk command page.
What does a Windows minidump look like?
Customizing the Microsoft Windows minidump settings
To customize how Windows handles and creates the minidump, follow the steps below.
- Click Start, Settings, Control Panel, and open the System icon.
- In the System Properties window click the Advanced tab.
- Click the Settings button under Startup and Recovery.
- Within this window you can change where this file is saved and how big of dump you want. Changing the size of this dump can be helpful if you're encountering a frequent error and the small dump is not giving you all the information you need.