Windows® XP Dump Files
What is the significance of dump files in Windows® XP
The creation of a dump file in Windows® XP is a critical step in resolving a system crash. The memory dump gives the user a clear picture of what the system had at the time of crash. A user could completely rely on the memory dump for any information on crash. You could also use other ways to get the information on crash, but they might provide you with incorrect or incomplete information. Windows® XP creates three types of memory dump files; small or mini dump, Kernel dump, complete or full dump. Small or mini dump is a tiny 64K byte file. It does not include any binary files at the time of the system crash. XP produces a mini dump file by default, one for each crash event. For an XP system with 512 M bytes of RAM, Kernel dump consists of 60M bytes. In most cases this is Information from dump files could be classified into three. They are as follows:
- From complete files
- From kernel files
- From small or mini files
From complete files
A complete memory dump can record all the contents of system memory when your system stops suddenly. A complete memory dump contains data from processes that were running when the memory dump was collected. If you pick the complete memory dump option, you must have a paging file on the boot volume that is adequate to hold all the physical RAM plus 1 megabyte (MB).
From kernel files
kernel memory dump consists only of the kernel memory. This accelerates the process of recording information in a log when your system stops without warning. This dump file does not contain unallocated memory or any memory that is allocated to user-mode programs. For most purposes, this dump file is the most practical. It is considerably smaller than the complete memory dump file, but it skips only those parts of memory that are unlikely to have been involved in the problem.
A small memory dump records the smallest set of valuable information that might help to identify why your computer stopped unexpectedly. This option needs a paging file of at least 2 MB on the boot volume and specifies that Windows® 2000 and later create a new file every time your computer stops unexpectedly. A history of these files is stored in a folder. This type is helpful when the space is limited.