How To Dump

How to dump user process [101]

There are many ways to dump the user process. I introduce here some commonly used methods of how to dump a process.

A. Using CDB

CDB is console based general purpose debugging tool and it's also good tool to dump a process. When dumping a process, we normally want to be "non-invasive" which means we don't want to ruin the process and just take a snapshot of the process. This can be done by specifying -pv option. If the process name is unique, you can use -pn option with exe file name. But if there are several processes having the same process name, typically we check process PID of interest and use -p option. The -c option below is actual debugger command that the CDB is going to run. The .dump command below dumps the process to specified file.
C> cdb -pv –pn myApp.exe -c ".dump /ma /u c:\tmp\myApp.dmp;q"   
  C> cdb -pv –p 500 -c ".dump /ma c:\tmp\myApp.dmp;q"   


ADPLUS is the tool that Microsoft CSS often uses to take a dump. There are 2 dump modes in this tool - one for hang and the other for crash dump.

HANG : to capture hang dump, you run ADPLUS with -hang option after hang occurred. It will take a dump and leave the process intact (meaning non-invasive dump). Need to specify -p with PID and -o with output folder.

C:\Debuggers> adplus -hang -p 433 -o c:\Test (PID=433)

Logs and memory dumps will be placed in c:\Test\20100127_111336_Hang_Mode

CRASH : the other ADPLUS mode is crash mode, which takes a dump when the process is crashed. Since we never know when the crash occurs, the ADPLUS command - of course - shoud be run before the crash occurs. If you're using remote connection (mstsc.exe) , you should use /console. Crash mode is very handy since adplus will wait until the crash occurs.

C:\Debuggers> adplus -crash -pn App.exe -o c:\test

Logs and memory dumps will be placed in c:\test\20100127_111828_Crash_Mode

Note: adplus was originally written in VBScript but they wrote exe version in recent version. By the way, adplus internally uses CDB to capture dump.

C. Using Task Manager

Since Vista OS, Task Manager (taskmgr.exe) has new context menu called "Create Dump File." In order to create a dump for the specific process, you select a process and rightclick and then choose 'Create Dump File" menu. Here is an example of Windows 7 Task Manager. After dumping is done, it shows the dumpe file location in the message box.
Create Dump File From Task Manager

If the process is 64bit, use 64bit Task Manager located on C:\Windows\System32\taskmgr.exe and for 32bit process, use 32bit Task Manager located on C:\Windows\SysWOW64\taskmgr.exe.