Monday, February 09, 2004

Windows Crash Reporter

It seems to be a little-known fact that the Windows crash reporter feature
is actually useful. When I first upgraded from Windows 98 to XP, stability
took a step backwards - I started getting blue screens every day or two.
Windows always came back up with a message that said "Windows has recovered
from a serious error. Would you like to send an error report to Microsoft?"
I, naturally, clicked "No". Eventually, I got fed up with this error, and
since I had tried upgrading and downgrading drivers and everything else I
could think of, I concluded that it must be Microsoft's fault, and there
was an infinitesimal chance that sending the error report would get the bug
fixed in a future service pack. After I clicked "Send", I was taken to a web
page that said "We have identified the cause of this error as PC Alert 3 [a
temperature monitoring application that came with my motherboard]. Click here
to download PC Alert 4, which fixes this bug". Now that's how
troubleshooting should work. Microsoft really should re-word the "send an
error report" message to indicate that your error report won't just get tossed
in a pile with all the others and ignored.