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Where does Windows 8 store minidumps from user-mode crashes?


Windows Vista and Windows 7 is documented to (by default) store a crash dump in:

%LOCALAPPDATA%\CrashDumps

A fact supported by observational evidence:

enter image description here

But, when an application crashes on Windows 8:

enter image description here

There are no crash dumps in %LOCALAPPDATA%\CrashDumps; there isn't even a CrashDumps folder:

enter image description here

Which leads to the question:

Where does Windows 8 store minidumps from user-mode crashes?

Note: You can ignore everything after the first line; it's just wasted filler.


enter image description here

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i did a dir *.dmp /s, dir *.mdmp /s from the Windows folder, and the root of my user profile folder. –  Ian Boyd Feb 16 '13 at 22:03
    
Have made sure you don't have application specific crash dumps turned on? I had no problem finding them on my system. Of course I also verified the feature was turned on my system. –  Ramhound Feb 16 '13 at 22:39
    
Where did you find them on your system? (i've checked two locations) What which settings for WER crash dumps do you have turned on? (i've checked 3 settings) –  Ian Boyd Feb 17 '13 at 2:35
    
Have you checked the event log? Usually you'll find the path to the dumps there. IIRC Windows packs them up (.dmp + .xml) in a ZIP file, so it could be named differently, too. Try Win+R and then eventvwr and ENTER to check the event log. –  0xC0000022L Feb 17 '13 at 2:42
1  
@IanBoyd: depends on the system settings and I'm not too familiar with W8, yet. I suggest you try to find that file next time while the WER dialog is still open. –  0xC0000022L Feb 17 '13 at 16:46

4 Answers 4

It seems to be very simple:

On my Windows 8.1 machine there was no %LOCALAPPDATA%\CrashDumps and no dumps were generated. I created the following value in the Registry:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\LocalDumps]
DumpFolder=REG_EXPAND_SZ:"C:\Dumps"

(the above syntax is not quite for .reg files, but it must be clear what it is)

and next time I had a crash of my program, the dump was generated in C:\Dumps.

I hope this helps.

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You can search for .dmp files on your computer. But if you don't find any, then keep on reading.

For Store applications, Windows 8 seems to collect the application crash-dumps on the Microsoft servers, where their life-time is quite unknown (my suspicion : 30 days and I picked this number up from here).

For details, see the article Improving apps with Quality reports.

In a nutshell: You access the Quality reports through your app's "app summary page". This page supplies a Download link for a .cab file containing the process dump (!).

I don't have Windows 8, and my above answer seems like pure craziness on Microsoft's part, but this unbelievable fact is what I read into the documentation. I just hope that I am wrong.

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The situation is even more Kafkaien than I could imagine. Is going back to Windows 7 an option? Otherwise, you have no choice but to either buy a Verisign license or give up on application crash-dumps. –  harrymc Feb 24 '13 at 19:04

i observed the following with windows 8.1 professional:

windows error reporting writes to: %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\WER\

however, per default it no longer permanently stores the dumps on the local computer.
you need to explicitly enable the storing of the dumps.

use the group policy editor (gpedit.msc):
Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Error Reporting -> ...

1) enable the policy Configure Report Archive:

  • Archive behaviour = Store all
  • Max number = 100

2) you may also want to enable the policy Do not throttle additional data to send and store dumps for consecutive crashes with similar signature.

the dumps are inside the file Report.cab of the crash specific subfolder.

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You can override the location where the files are stored. run regedit.exe and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\LocalDumps, create a REG_EXPAND_SZ with the name of the folder you like to use (like C:\dumps).

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This is not necessary, since DumpFolder has the default value of %LOCALAPPDATA%\CrashDumps. But evidently this has no effect for the poster on Windows 8. –  harrymc Feb 24 '13 at 10:12
    
from my experience overriding the folder makes sure that dumps are written, which is not the case for the default setting. –  magicandre1981 Feb 24 '13 at 16:40
    
Everything is possible with Windows 8... Hopefully, the poster might be able to give here some feedback. –  harrymc Feb 24 '13 at 16:53
    
@harrymc The registry key exists; the screenshot in the original question shows the of mini dumps. –  Ian Boyd Feb 24 '13 at 20:37
1  
again, change the value to something like C:\dumps. This works for me since the feature was added in Vista Sp1. –  magicandre1981 Feb 25 '13 at 5:55

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