In computing, a core dump, memory dump, or storage dump consists of the recorded state of the working memory of a computer program at a specific time, generally when the program has terminated abnormally (crashed). In practice, other key pieces of program state are usually dumped at the same time, including the processor registers, which may include the program counter and stack pointer, memory management information, and other processor and operating system flags and information. Core dumps are often used to assist in diagnosing and debugging errors in computer programs.
On many operating systems, a fatal error in a program automatically triggers a core dump; by extension the phrase "to dump core" has come to mean, in many cases, any fatal error, regardless of whether a record of the program memory results.
The term "core dump", "memory dump", or just "dump" has become jargon to indicate any storing of a large amount of raw data for further examination.