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How to solve Windows 10 crashes in less than a minute

Dirk A.D. Smith | Aug. 2, 2016
This article deals with system crashes, not application crashes or system hangs.

Configuring Windows 10 to generate the right memory dump

Open Control Panel and go to the Startup and Recovery window:

Windows 10 button | Control Panel | System and Security | System | Advanced system settings | Startup and Recovery | Settings | Automatic memory dump

In the final window, Startup and Recovery, select the “Automatic memory dump” option as shown below and check the “Automatically restart” box (both of which are typically set by default in Windows 10).

settings process collage.pub

Install WinDbg (you may not want it but you need it)

System Requirements To setup a PC for WinDbg-based crash analysis, you will need the following:

  • 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 10 Depending on the processor you are running the debugger on, you can use either the 32- or 64-bit debugging tools. Note that it is not important whether the dump file was made on an x86-based or an x64-based platform.
  • WinDbg The Debugging Tools for Windows portion of the Windows SDK for Windows 10 which you can download for free from Microsoft.
  • Hard drive space Approximately 250MB of hard disk space (not including storage space for dump files or for symbol files)
  • Internet Live Internet connection

Download WinDbg Download sdksetup.exe from Microsoft (about 1.2MB) that will launch the installation program from which you will select what components to install. Either go to the Hardware Dev Center page at Microsoft, scroll down to “Get debugging tools” and select “Debugging Tools for Windows 10 (WinDbg)” (item “A” below) or initiate the immediate download (item “B” below).

A)  Microsoft Hardware Dev Center

B)  Automatic download

specify location

Space required Ignore the “Estimated disk space required” until you deselect the unwanted tools. Be sure to deselect all except “Debugging Tools for Windows,” which includes kernel and user-mode debuggers, plus help and tips for using the tools. Unless you will be coding, you won’t need the other modules and you will save a lot of disk space. In this test machine the install went from 2.5GB to about 250MB.

Run sdksetup.exe Install the Software Development Toolkit (SDK) on the system that you will use to analyze memory dump files on and remember that it can be a 32- or 64-bit machine running another version of Windows (it does not need to be running Windows 10).

1. Launch sdksetup.exe

2. Specify the location: The default installation path follows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\ Either accept the default or select the second option and define the path as you need.

3. Accept or reject the Windows Privacy question.

4. Accept the license Agreement.

 

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