Message: Chief Architect has encountered a problem and needs to close.

Reference Number: KB-02958
Last Modified: September 12, 2016

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors or Home Designer Essentials


I received a Microsoft Windows warning that states:

"Chief Architect has encountered a problem and needs to close." 

One of the files that Technical Support requested that I send in to troubleshoot this error is a dump file from the Chief Architect or Home Designer software. How do I create this information and submit it using the Support Center? 


A dump file for the Chief Architect program will contain important information that can help our Technical Support team determine the cause of this error.

To create a dump file from the application

  1. With the, "Chief Architect has encountered a problem and needs to close" error message still displayed on-screen, press Ctrl, Shift, and Esc at the same time on your keyboard in order to open the Task Manager utility.

    It is extremely important to do the following steps while the error message is still on the screen, if the Chief Architect program has already been closed, you will not be able to generate the necessary dump file.

  2. Click on the Details tab of the Task Manager, then right-click on your Chief Architect software program's name and select Create dump file.

    Note: The Dumping process dialog initially will read, "Please wait while the process is written to the file." This process may take several minutes.

  3. Next, you will see the Dumping process dialog update to show you where the file is located.

    For example, you may see C:\Users\your user name\AppData\Local\Temp\Chief Architect Premier X8.DMP.

  4. Next, press the Windows  key of your keyboard in combination with the letter R at the same time to display the Run dialog.

  5. In the Run dialog, type in %Temp% and click OK.

  6. This will open the dump file’s location.  Next, scroll down to the file (for example, Chief Architect Premier X8.DMP) then right-click that file and select Copy.

    You may find it helpful to sort files by the Name, or Date Modified, to more quickly locate the DMP file if there are many other files at this same location.

  7. Now minimize the Windows Explorer screen so that your desktop is visible, right-click in an empty space without any icons already present, and select Paste. This allows you to easily find the dump file.

  8. Finally, submit a ticket in the Online Support Center with the dump file, as well as both your System Information and the Message Log files.

    See the Related Articles section below for more information on generating these files and attaching them for our Technical Support team.