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Getting 'dumping physical memory' message

I often get a blue screen message on a machine, with an error message "dumping physical memory." Is it a hardware or software problem? How do I deal with it?
This is a very broad and general category of problem with Windows that typically indicates some serious issue with either a piece of hardware or a driver for same. The first step with a "blue screen of death" is to write down the exact error code, including all of the additional information reported back by the computer, and then consult with your administrator or local desktop guru about its meaning. The fact that you are getting this at all indicates a problem that demands immediate attention by an expert.

A short list of some of the most common STOP errors (as these types of messages are more conventionally known) can be found here.

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