This article explains how to read the blue screen of death minidump files using a minidump viewer or minidump analyzer, or minidump reader. Blue screen of death (BSOD) is the terminology used when a Windows crash occurred with a blue screen. Typically, a blue screen crash occurred when Microsoft Windows encountered a critical error at the kernel level and failed to recover. The general cause of a blue screen crash is a crash in the hardware driver or low-level software running at Windows kernel.
Further, Windows just safely reboot the computer by default to avoid spreading further damages. It is also configurable to avoid automatic computer reboot when blue screen error occurred.
How to read minidump files? | read .dmp files.
As we know, the minidump files are so-called kernel-mode dump files located in the Windows folder. Since the crash details are stored in binary file format, we would need powerful utility software to render the content.
There is an intelligent free tool BlueScreenView available, which scans all minidump (.dmp) files from the specified location and displays the detailed crash information in one table. The tool is available for both 32bit and 64bit computers.
BlueScreenView tool overview:
The front view of the BlueScreenView tool display two panels by default.
- The upper panel display the each crash dump (.dmp) files loaded.
- The lower panel display the device driver loaded during the crash for each selected crash dump (.dmp) in upper panel.
View crash dump details in Properties window:
The property window displays the crash details, which helps quickly locating the suspected crashed driver details with its address and stack details. To see the crash details, double-click on any dump file listed on the upper panel. The crash information is displayed on the property window as listed below.
- The name of the Dump File which stores the crash data, the dump file location Full Path, the Dump File Size and the Dump File Time is the time when dump file created.
- The Crash Time is the time when the crash occurred on the Computer and Processor type and Processor Count .
- The Bug Check String is the crash error string and the associated Bug Check code and also crash Parameters 1 to 4.
- The Caused By Driver is the name of the driver file which is caused blue screen crash and Caused By Address is the file relative memory address.
- The driver File Description and File Version.
- The Product Name and the product Company for which the driver belongs to.
- The Crash Address is the memory address of the driver which is crashed and Stack Address 1 to 3
View actual Blue screen of death screen:
Using this tool, you can also see the actual blue screen that appeared during the BSOD crash. To see this click on the menu -> Options -> Lower Pane Mode -> Blue Screen in XP Style as below.
Once you click on this you can see the blue screen which was appeared when crash occurred.
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