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Diagnose Blue Screen Errors With Minidumps: Part 2

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms, File & Disk Management

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.

First of all, when the BSOD actually occurs, Windows will tell you that it is currently saving information about the crash, and will count up in a percentage. When this percentage hits 100%, you can then restart the PC.

When your computer is up and running once more, go to your minidump folder. If you did not change the location in the above steps, this should be within your C:\Windows folder, called ‘minidump’.


You should find the file in here, in a .dmp format. If you can’t seem to open it, don’t fret! You’ll need to download Debugging Tools for Windows in order to crack open the .dmp file and see the report. Once you have done, you’ll see a window that looks something like this:


This will tell you what file probably caused the crash, as well as any extra details about the crash.

Unfortunately, this file may be very hard to read if you’re not an expert with computers. If the minidump file is too complicated for you to read, you can download a free piece of software called WhoCrashed, which will analyze all the minidumps on your PC and display a more readable report of what might have killed your computer. This is especially useful if your PC is undergoing a chronic case of BSODs, and you need to compare and contrast all of the minidumps to see what is happening.


With this knowledge, hopefully Blue Screens of Death will be much less guesswork to fix!

~ Simon

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