Microsoft Application Error Reporting

What is Microsoft Application Error Reporting?

Windows Error Reporting (WER) is a built-in tool for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and up to Windows 7, code-named Watson which is in reference to an earlier debugging tool, Dr. Watson. The main difference between these two tools is that while the venerable Dr Watson dumps the error report on the user’s hard drive, Windows Error Reporting creates a log file of the error or the crash (containing valuable information for the Windows developers such as date, time, what the user was doing while the crash happened, the application that crashed, and so on) and sends the error code through the Internet.

However, such data is understandably sensitive and no such data is sent unless the user expressly authorizes its transfer to the Microsoft servers. Once received, the data is then analyzed and processed both by machine and man, and a solution is sent back to the user if one is available – this usually takes the form of a reference on a Microsoft Knowledge Base article.

There are also some instances that the Windows Error Reporting service itself crashes; this way, no error report is sent. Windows Error Reporting can also be entirely disabled without any immediate effect.

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