Every time your Windows computer crashes, it creates a Memory Dump File. These mini dump files are memory images of that point in time, when your Windows computer had crashed.
This dump file type includes the following information:
- The Stop message and its parameters and other data
- A list of loaded drivers
- The processor context (PRCB) for the processor that stopped
- The process information and kernel context (EPROCESS) for the process that stopped
- The process information and kernel context (ETHREAD) for the thread that stopped
- The Kernel-mode call stack for the thread that stopped.
There are different kinds of dumps possible: Kernel Memory Dump, Small Memory Dump & Complete Memory Dump. Windows 8 adds a new option called Automatic Memory Dump.
You can change Dump settings from Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > System > Advanced system settings > Advanced tab > Startup & Recovery > Settings.
Windows 7 or Windows 8, by default creates and stores 50 mini dump files. These mini dump files are located in the %SystemRoot%\Minidump directory.
If you are a geek who needs to use these dump files to troubleshoot your computer crashes, then having the last 50 dump files may be of use to you!
If not, they will simply end up eating disk space.
You can if you wish, reduce the number of dump files which your Windows creates.
To do so open regedit and navigate to the following key:
Double click MiniDumpsCount and change its value data.
The default in Windows 7 is 32 Hexadecimal or 50 Decimal. Reduce its Decimal value to 10, if you only want the last 10 mini dump files to be saved.
How to read and analyze mini memory dump files Windows creates, may also interest you!