Dump is an act of copying the raw data from one place (computer memory or any storage device) to another with little or no formatting of readability. Generally, it is considered as copying data from main memory to a display screen or a printer. In most cases it is used in debugging programs and is done in the event of a system failure or as part of maintenance work.

In other words, it is also referred as a process in which the contents of memory are displayed and stored in cases of an application or system crash. Usually the outputs of the dump is in a difficult-to-read form that is in binary, octal, or hexadecimal forms, hence one should be aware of what exactly they are looking for to utilize dump information. In some Windows based computers, dump is also referred as blue screen of death (BSOD) or core dump.

Functionally of Dump

The primary functionality of a Dump is to identify a problem or error with the operating system or any other installed application within the system. It provides the information about the last state of the applications, programs, and system before they were terminated or crashed. This information mainly consists of, program counters, memory locations, state of the program and other related details. All these information will be displayed on-screen and creates a system log file that can be used for viewing / referencing later.

After dump, the computer will be generally inaccessible until it’s rebooted. Mainly, it is caused by memory leak, when the system is out of memory and can no longer continue its operations.

Advantages of Dump

When a program crashed or failed, a memory dump can be used in order to examine the status of the program and analyze the contents of the memory at the time of crash. The software programmers and system admins can look into the buffers (dump) to check out which data items were being working at the time of system failure. In turn helps in diagnosing, identifying and resolving the problem that led to application or system failure

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