Crash Dump Analysis Patterns (Part 46)

Similar to No Process Dumps pattern there is corresponding No System Dumps pattern where the system bluescreens either on demand or because of a bug check condition but no kernel or complete dumps are saved. In such cases I would advise to check free space on a drive where memory dumps are supposed to be saved. This is because crash dumps are saved to a page file first and then copied to a separate file during boot time, by default to memory.dmp file. Please see related Microsoft links in my old post. In case you have enough free space but not enough page file space you might get an instance of Truncated Dump or Corrupt Dump pattern.   

Yesterday I experienced No System Dump pattern on Windows Server 2003 SP2 running on VMWare workstation when I was trying to get a complete memory dump using SystemDump. I set up page file correctly as sizeof(PhysicalMemory) + 100Mb but I didn’t check free space on drive C: and no dump was saved, not even kernel minidump. System event log entry was blank too. 

- Dmitry Vostokov @ DumpAnalysis.org -

3 Responses to “Crash Dump Analysis Patterns (Part 46)”

  1. Dmitry Vostokov Says:

    In some cases of severe corruption or system malfunction the system doesn’t have any chance to execute system code to save a dump and display a blue screen. To check this case it is recommended to disable “Automatically Restart” option in Control Panel. I once experimented with a driver by calling a user space code from kernel mode and from it tried to call a GDI32 function. The system rebooted instantly without BSOD screen.

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