As a lot of us encounter freezes or crashes, I am wondering how do I manually initiate a computer to freeze in order to create a memory dump to view and diagnose any issues that may be involved with the crash?

I am looking on how to force the computer to crash instead of waiting for the computer to do it itself.

  • 1
    Forcing it to crash won't help diagnose the problem, since in order to do so you'd have to already know what was making it crash in the first place, and you could just fix it instead.
    – Ken White
    Jan 14, 2011 at 16:20
  • @KenWhite: This is not true. Can you tell me what application, driver or device hangs my computer if I'm looking at the desktop? No! You will need a dump which you can analyze to do so... Mar 16, 2011 at 23:38

3 Answers 3


Your question is slightly unclear -- do you want to make it generate the dump when it crashes, or do you want to generate a dump when it isn't crashing and try to diagnose it from that? If the latter, that's probably not a particularly good way of going about it.

Enabling crash dumps

You can enable crash dumps by going to

My Computer > Properties > Startup and Recovery > Settings

and then select either a minidump or a kernel memory dump under Write debugging information. This should write a minidump when a crash is caught.

Initiating a manual crash

Required set-up

If you're asking how to crash manually and get a minidump written, you can do the following:

  1. Open regedit.

  2. Locate the following key if you have a USB keyboard:


    Or the following key if you have a PS/2 keyboard:


    In the Edit menu, click Add Value and add the following registry entry:

    • Name: CrashOnCtrlScroll
    • Data Type: REG_DWORD
    • Value: 1
  3. Exit the registry editor, then reboot.

Crashing the (hung) system

After the reboot, you can trigger a crash by pressing the SCROLL keyboard key twice while you hold the right CTRL key, as long as you have Windows set to write a dump when doing this, it will write it to %SYSTEMROOT%\Minidump.

The hotkey in short form is CTRL+SCR LK+SCR LK.

  • what about Laptop ??
    – AminM
    Sep 4, 2015 at 11:51
  • It works on a laptop. Sep 14, 2015 at 23:17

Dumping a a process when it hangs or crashes

I would use ProcDump to create a dump of the proccess that is crashed:

ProcDump is a command-line utility whose primary purpose is monitoring an application for CPU spikes and generating crash dumps during a spike that an administrator or developer can use to determine the cause of the spike. ProcDump also includes hung window monitoring (using the same definition of a window hang that Windows and Task Manager use), unhandled exception monitoring and can generate dumps based on the values of system performance counters. It also can serve as a general process dump utility that you can embed in other scripts.


You need to tell the computer to make a crash dump when it blue screens in

My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced -> Start and Recovery.

Analyzing the dump

I use these procedures to analyze the dump.

  • Dead link 404 not found
    – Le Droid
    Jun 3, 2021 at 18:34

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