Monday, August 15, 2005

Windows Error Reporting (Part 1)

When a program crashes in Windows XP, a dialog box is generally displayed asking if you want to send your crash report to Microsoft. This dialog is part of a new feature added to XP called 'Windows Error Reporting' (WER). WER can send detailed reports to Microsoft when a program crashes. Microsoft then uses this information to fix problems, they also report issues they find to vendors about errors found in their products.

In order for a program to use WER it must be specifically written to take advantage of it. Microsoft incorporates this feature in their products and they strongly encourage all developers to do the same.

Some people are worried about privacy and they have every right to be. Nobody wants any company to have more information about them, then they choose to share with that company. WER can accidentally expose private information (such as: part of a document, machine information, or possible passwords), but it doesn't do this by design. Although, if you want to know more about Microsoft's policy for handling this data, check out this Web page.

To configure WER options, do the following:
  • Open the Control Panel
  • Open the System control panel
  • Click on Advanced tab.
  • Press the 'Error Reporting' button

This opens the Error Reporting dialog, from here you can disable or enable this feature all together or only for specific applications.

Note: All reports are transmitted using HTTPS, to prevent someone other then Microsoft from receiving this information.

1 comment:

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