How to Enable Kernel Memory Dumps Windows XP, Vista, and Win 7

For debugging kernel driver crashes, it is often convenient to generate kernel memory dumps for later analysis. In newer operating systems, the size of the default "small memory dump" can vary in relation to how much memory and/or how much disk space the system contains. If you are asked to provide a kernel memory dump, follow these steps.

To enable kernel memory dumps:
  1. Log in as a system administrator.
  2. Open the System Properties Panel by by pressing and holding the Windows key WinKey, then press "Break"

  3. Select the "Advanced" tab:

    Win XP example:

    Win 7 example:
    win7-advanced system-settings
  4. On the Advanced System Properties page, select the "Settings" button under "Startup and Recovery." The image below is for Win 7:

  5. You'll see the Startup and Recovery page. Change the circled prompt to the setting "Kernel Memory Dump."

  6. Click OK.
  7. If you see the following alert, please note the drive letter (C: in this example) and the size (200M in this example), and follow the procedure on changing the paging file size on that drive.

  8. Restart the system.

    After a crash, the dump files will appear in your system root directory.
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