Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Diagnose Blue Screen Errors With Minidumps: Part 1

Monday, January 12th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms, System Tune-Up Help

Whether you’re testing out new hardware or diagnosing faulty equipment, blue screens of death (or BSODs, as they’re more commonly known) can often be highly frustrating with their ambiguity. It’s very hard to diagnose what exactly causes a BSOD – it could be a driver, a bad piece of software, or even a hardware fault. From the occasional glitch to a daily occurrence, knowing the cause of a BSOD can give a user the answer to re-stabilize their system. But how does someone figure out what caused a BSOD?

The best way to figure out what is crashing your computer is to tell Windows to leave a ‘minidump’ every time it encounters a BSOD. The minidump contains basic information as to what file on your computer caused the crash. While it sometimes does not give a definite answer as to what is going wrong, it can allow someone to make an educated guess as to what was the cause of the problem. While the BSOD screen itself will sometimes give very basic information as to what caused a crash, a minidump is very useful for showing technicians or for prying into it yourself.

To utilize minidumps, you must first tell Windows to create a minidump after a BSOD occurs. Here’s how you do it.

First of all, click on the Start button, then Control Panel.



If you’re using Windows 8 Metro view, type the word ‘Control Panel’ on your keyboard, then click Control Panel.


Inside the Control Panel, you are using Small Icons or Large Icons, simply click the button that says ‘System’.


If you’re using Category view, click System and Security, and then System.



Within the System window, click the Advanced System Settings Link.


In this new window, make sure that you’re in the tab that reads ‘Advanced’, and click the ‘Settings…’ button under the section that reads ‘Startup and Recovery’.


In this new window, look for the section that reads ‘Write debugging information’ under ‘System Failure’. Click on the drop-down menu in this section and select ‘Small Memory Dump’, then OK out of all the windows.


Now you’re all set! You’ve successfully told Windows to store a minidump on your computer the next time your system crashes.

Now that you’ve done this, what should you expect when you next encounter a BSOD?  We’ll look at that in Part 2 of this article.

~ Simon

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Diagnose Blue Screen Errors With Minidumps: Part 1”

  1. Kevin says:

    Thank you for this article. Very informative and may prove useful someday (but I hope not).
    You can also get to System Properties by using a Run command. For those unfamiliar with this process, simply hold the Windows key and tap the R key. This will bring up the Run dialog box. There, type or copy and paste the following
    Voila, you’re in System Properties. Works in Windows systems from XP through 8.1.

  2. […] In part 1 of this article, we showed you how to set up a minidump folder to save information about the dreaded Windows blue screen of death. Now let’s look at how to use that information. […]

Leave a Reply

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.

Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive