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BSOD and MEMORY.DMP file


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#1 Steve80

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:28 PM

After an application (Acronis Disk Director) triggered a BSOD with "Page_fault_in_nonpaged_area", the operating system slowly counted from 1 to 100 as it dumped its memory before rebooting itself. All then seemed normal, but Windows complains that it is running out of space.

I found the culprit file MEMORY.DMP in the Windows folder - all 2.3 GB of it.

I am running WIN XP Pro, SE3

My questions : what purpose does this huge file serve? Can it be safely deleted now after the computer has recovered by itself?

Many thanks,
Steve

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:42 PM

FWIW: http://kb.acronis.com/content/17639

2GB isn't a lot of hard drive space these days...as for disposition, I would just delete said file myself and uninstall/reinstall Disk Director.

How large is C: partition...how much free space on C: right now?

What were you doing when DD crashed?

Please...Publish a Snapshot using Speccy - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic323892.html/page__p__1797792#entry1797792 .

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 13 May 2012 - 05:53 AM.


#3 cryptodan

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 03:20 PM

We need to know more about your BSODs...

Download BlueScreenView (in Zip file)

No installation required.

Unzip downloaded file and double click on BlueScreenView.exe file to run the program and When scanning is done, go to Edit > Select All.

Then go to File > Save Selected Items, and save the report as BSOD.txt.

Open BSOD.txt in Notepad, copy all content, and paste it into your next reply.

Compliments of Broni

#4 Steve80

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:50 PM

FWIW: http://kb.acronis.com/content/17639

SGB isn't a lot of hard drive space these days...as for disposition, I would just delete said file myself and uninstall/reinstall Disk Director.

How large is C: partition...how much free space on C: right now?

What were you doing when DD crashed?

Please...Publish a Snapshot using Speccy - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic323892.html/page__p__1797792#entry1797792 .

Louis


I have 2 x 250GB drives, and the C: partition is 16GB - masses when I first installed WinXP, but now it is nearly all used up by the phantom Free Space Gobbler. Programs and data are in separate partitions.

C: drive free space is now about 2GB - I have deleted the MEMORY.DMP file with no apparent harm, and also all Temp files and old restore points, etc.

When Disk Director crashed, I was trying to increase the C: partition size - there is plenty of adjacent free space on D: and E:, about 14GB on each.

So far I have not uninstalled Disk Director because there is no uninstall button in Control Panel -> "Add or Remove programs" nor uninstall file in DD's folder. I have a utility called BFI (standing for "Brute Force Uninstaller") but I am leary about using it : it seems pretty aggressive.

Speccy is a fun program - thank you for introducing me to it! Here is its output :

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/q2Zbf57LUrwM7c7zkStzjAO

For Broni, I have BlueScreenView, but since I deleted MEMORY.DMP before I saw your post, there is now nothing to see.

Steve

Edited by Steve80, 12 May 2012 - 08:28 PM.


#5 FlannelBack

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:31 PM

For future BSOD(s) occurrences you might want to pull up the "System Properties", Start > Control Panel > System or use the [Windows] + [Pause/Break] key combination. Then configure the settings according to the pic bellow:

Posted ImageUploaded with ImageShack.us

Any further BSOD events with this configuration will create a 64KB minidump file with the pertinent information intact for use with BlueScreenView instead of a large(Complete) memory dump file. It will also allow you to write down any Stop error codes on the BSOD screen before a system restart.

Edited by FlannelBack, 12 May 2012 - 11:23 PM.


#6 cryptodan

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:58 AM

I have a quick question, and that is why is your hard drive partitioned the way it is? Your hard drives should be all one partition. There really is nothing to gain by partitioning out a Windows installation. Due to the registry and all.

#7 hamluis

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:01 AM

<<C: partition is 16GB>>

FWIW:

Too small, IMO, unless user installs programs on an entirely different partition.

I now use 30GB as my Windows partition size for XP, installing programs on same partition...but I don't have anything in My Docs, My Pics, etc. Those files take up room and there really is no need to store videos, graphics, music, documents...on the Windows partition.

I also don't use indexing, System Restore, or the hibernation feature...all of which can unnecessarily consume partition space.

Louis

#8 Steve80

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 11:56 AM

For FlannelBack : Thank you. Hamluis pointed me to http://kb.acronis.com/content/17639 (above) and I followed that, selecting "Small memory dump". You recommended "Kernel memory dump". Which is better - or are they mostly the same 64Kb files?

For Cryptodan : I did my partitioning in 2007 when I first bought the computer and was slightly overcome by the sheer size of the disks - and the novelty to me of XP. I wouldn't quite do it that way again. I use separate partitions for data and programs, the latter being for those that didn't need installing and therefore not dependent on the Registry. However as the Freespace Gobbler chewed through my C: drive, I have moved a number of Registry dependent programs out that will indeed have to be re-installed in the event of formatting the C: drive for a Windows clean install. The second HDD is largely copies or backups of the first.

For Hamluis : <<I now use 30GB>> Yes, I have learned my lesson, and was indeed trying to do just that with Acronis - which is where this sorry saga began. I have asked Acronis whether their Disk Director is unable to expand a Primary partition (nothing on this in their Help or FAQs), thus causing application crashes and then the BSOD, but so far they have not replied.

I don't have anything in the C:\My Documents folder, and all its directories are empty. No Hibernation or Indexing, and Restore points are down to two. Documents and Settings has consumed nearly 2GB, with some 2000 folders according to "Properties".The Freespace Gobbler has also worked on the Registry (despite the efforts of Ccleaner) and it now contains a mass of apparent duplicates in the form of "Name" and "Name1" in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and the HKLM hives. NTUSER.DAT has grown from 4Mb in 2007 to more than 14Mb now - but I rarely install and later remove applications out of curiosity.

So I agree : 30GB is necessary for the Primary partition if one doesn't want to do a clean Windows install every so often !

Thank you guys, for your help and advice.
Steve

#9 cryptodan

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:25 PM

In all honesty, I would wipe both drives and partition the entire drive with 1 partition equating to that of the entire drive as NTFS install Windows XP on one drive use that for everything then use the second drive as back up. Your partitioning scheme could be causing issues with Acronis Disk Doctor, thus causing the crashes and instability.

Even 30Gigs for Windows XP is far to small for the tasks. As far as Registry Cleaners go and programs that claim to enhance the performance here is our stance:


Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

• Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

• Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

• Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

• Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

• The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.

#10 Steve80

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:18 PM

OK - Thanks !

#11 FlannelBack

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:33 AM

Sorry Steve, I should have followed the link Louis provided before posting those instructions. Seems all I've done is caused some confusion. At any rate, which is better, a small or kernel memory dump? The article, Overview of memory dump file options from Microsoft explains the difference better than I can.

In that article it explains that a kernel memory dump is usually between 150MB and 2GB. Those surely exist but I've never seen one. Of the various XP machines I've worked on with varying amounts of ram, all of the kernel memory dumps have been exactly 65536B or 64KB. Compared to many of the folks here though, I've not worked on that many.

FWIW, have to agree with Louis and Dan, your real problem is the small Windows partition size. In my case, on this machine, I've two internals, the boot drive(80GB) is dedicated to Windows and any other applications that run on boot, firewall, anti-virus, anti-malware etc. Any other programs like web browsers, graphics apps, office suites and the like are installed on the second drive(500GB). Regular backups are made to externals and the periodic backups to optical. Far from the perfect setup but Windows has 80GB to play with.




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