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How to enable the kernel dump (Kernel Memory Dump) feature for Windows instances

Last Updated: Apr 21, 2022

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By default, no kernel dump (Kernel Memory Dump) is enabled for Windows instances. In some special cases, such as blue screen, stuck, downtime, black screen, etc., it is necessary to use Kernel Memory Dump to locate the cause of the problem faster and further carry out targeted treatment. This topic describes how to enable the kernel dump (Kernel Memory Dump) feature for Windows instances.


Take note of the following items:

  • Before you perform high-risk operations such as modifying the specifications or data of an Alibaba Cloud instance, we recommend that you check the disaster recovery and fault tolerance capabilities of the instance to ensure data security.
  • Before you modify the specifications or data of an Alibaba Cloud instance, such as an Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instance or an ApsaraDB RDS instance, we recommend that you create snapshots or enable backups for the instance. For example, you can enable log backups for an ApsaraDB RDS instance.
  • If you have granted specific users the permissions on sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords, or submitted sensitive information in the Alibaba Cloud Management Console, we recommend that you modify the sensitive information at the earliest opportunity.

It can be configured in the following two methods, which are mentioned in Microsoft official KB. We recommend that you use a manual configuration tool to configure the system. To prevent system startup failures and possible data loss due to configuration issues, you must create a snapshot of the system and execute the snapshot.

Note: This article is for reference only when you use Windows instances. The official Microsoft link quoted in this article belongs to Microsoft. Please note the scope of the operating system to which the article is applicable, as well as the problems that may be caused by the iteration of Microsoft Windows products or the failure to update the documentation in a timely manner. Alibaba Cloud officials are not responsible for the content of the Microsoft official link cited.

Method 1: Manually configure

Tip: This parameter applies to all Windows versions.

Manual configuration requires you to have some understanding of the operating system configuration page file and Dump configuration options.

  1. Open virtual memory. Right-click Computer, select Properties, select Advanced, select Settings, and choose Advanced > Change. On the Virtual Memory page, set the following parameters.
    Note: We recommend that you set the size of the paging file to "Memory Size +1MB". Make sure that disk C has enough space to store the page file and the subsequent Dump file.
  2. Enable core memory dump. Right-click Computer, select Properties, select Advanced, and then click Settings.
    Note: If disk C has insufficient space, we recommend that you put the dump files on other disks, such as D:\memory.dmp.
  3. Restarting the system takes effect.

Method 2: Automatic configuration tool

Tip: Applies to later versions of Windows 2008.

You can perform the following steps to enable automatic kernel dump (Kernel Memory Dump) for Windows by using the configuration tool.

  1. Log on to the server and download the tool shown in the attachment.
  2. After decompression, double-click to open the tool and click Auto Config Kernel in the lower-left corner.
    Note: The system automatically configures the page files required to generate Kernel Memory Dump (core memory dump). This is a blue screen configuration option. Dump files are stored in the C:\Windows\memory.dmp path by default.
  3. After you click the Save settings button, the system restart takes effect.
    Note: If the system C disk space is insufficient, you can configure Dump to other data disks, such as D:\memory.dmp.
  4. If the configuration tool does not successfully configure the paging file, the subsequent dump generation fails. Therefore, after the system restarts, check whether the paging file and Dump options are correctly configured. For more information, see Manual configuration in Method 1.

Applicable scope

  • ECS