Memory Dump

Memory dump is a process that records the state of the memory of a computer program during a specific event like when the program has terminated abnormally (crashed), during system crash etc. When a program abends, a memory dump can be considered to testify the status of the program at the time of the crash. The programmers look into the buffers in order to look which data items were being worked on when it failed. Switches, flags, counters and variables are also inspected. Debuggers such as gdb and adb can load the dump file and display the information it has about the condition of the running program. This information contains the contents of the call stack, other program data and contents of registers. It is even associated with the program code i.e. both object code and source code.

Memory dump assists in recognizing an error or problem within the OS or any installed application within the computer. Typically it provides info regarding the last condition of the programs, system and applications before they were crashed. At times this information even includes program counters, program state, other related details and memory locations. All the details will be displayed on-screen and even creates a system log file for referencing later. Soon after memory dump, the PC is normally inaccessible until it is rebooted. Usually, memory dump takes place due to memory leak, when the PC is out of memory and is no longer proceed with its operations.

Uses of Memory dumps

  • Assists i Off-site analysis
  • Palys a vital role in Batch-processing systems
  • Off-line debugging of the OS
  • For capturing data freed during dynamic memory allocation
  • To find out error from direct examination

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