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Although I have enabled the creation of minidump files in my system, it appears that either Windows doesn't create them where the Startup and recovery dialog points to (%SystemRoot%\Minidump) or at least I can't find them.

Even the Minidump folder under Windows directory is missing and I had numerous BSODs till now. I've searched all my HDs for mini*.dmp files only to find some old ones in a backup folder from my Vista 32-bit installation, before I install Windows 7 64-bit.

Any thoughts of why this is happening and how to fix it?

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Is there a way to test creation of a minidump? I don't exaclty know how to cause a blue screen safely... – Saxtus Jan 14 '10 at 2:02
sure is. i used to have a utility called crash.exe (or maybe it was crash3.exe, it's been a while). used it for inducing system crashes (and thus dump creation) for testing XP driver code. no idea where it came from, tho. not sure how "safe" it was, but these were test systems and could always be reloaded. – quack quixote Jan 21 '10 at 16:28
i was wrong on the name; it was OSR's bang.exe utility: .. download and run, pops up a big red button that reads "Crash Now!", just press when ready. also allows you to cancel if necessary. – quack quixote Jan 21 '10 at 16:44
@quack: Can I find this or similar program, without generating account to a site? – Saxtus Jan 22 '10 at 16:26
no idea. i went ahead and registered to grab the latest version. – quack quixote Jan 22 '10 at 17:30
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Are you running without a swap file? Apparently, you need a paging file of at least 2MB on the boot volume for a minidump.

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I have it this way, should I change it? – Saxtus Jan 10 '10 at 19:37
No, that looks OK. The system-managed settings have chosen about 4GB for the page file on the C: drive. The cause must be something else. – Ken Jan 10 '10 at 20:16

Try looking in control panel/ troubleshooting then view history or view all and see the list of programs, hardware or other problems that have occurred and then choose a file and click view details. This will give you better detail then just your Minidump file will. Hope this helps.

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Unfortunately history is empty. – Saxtus Jan 22 '10 at 7:44

Have you checked the event logs? There should be an entry for any BSODs and minidump creations in the System events.

[Edit: Checking event logs]
In the event viewer, you're looking for Information entries from Save Dump. Open View -> Filter and select Save Dump in the source drop-down list. (You could also filter on EventID 1001.) Hit OK.

This should leave you with a list of entries sent by the "Save Dump" process during a post-BSOD bootup. Double-click to show the full entry -- the description gives the location of the saved dump.

  • If there are entries but the files don't exist, your dumps are gone. Maybe they were deleted by a system cleaner tool (CCleaner or the like).

  • If there aren't any entries, no dumps were saved.

Make sure you've checked "Write an event to the system log" and selected "Small memory dump" in the Startup and Recovery dialog. You can also change the save location to whatever you like (eg, "C:\dumps").

Original: I'd try using BlueScreenView; it may find existing minidumps automatically. If they don't exist it'll be helpful once you get them going again. Freeware, works under 32- and 64-bit Windows XP/Vista/7/etc.

alt text

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BlueSceenView is the reason I am asking this question in the first place, it can't find anything, although I think that I've checked more thoroughly than it. About event logs, I will check them the next time system will crash. – Saxtus Jan 22 '10 at 7:46
unless you've cleared the event logs since earlier crashes, they should still retain the messages. – quack quixote Jan 22 '10 at 8:31
I haven't, but I don't remember when last blue screen happened and I don't know for what to look within my 55k system log entries... – Saxtus Jan 22 '10 at 16:28
EDIT: Either I don't have any events from Save dump / EventID 1001 or I am doing it wrong... – Saxtus Jan 22 '10 at 19:29
did you check the startup and recovery settings to make sure they're enabled? (My Computer -> right click -> properties -> advanced -> "startup and recovery" settings) – quack quixote Jan 22 '10 at 19:32

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