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Monday, March 17, 2008

Disable Dr. Watson

[HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AeDebug]

Myth - "Disabling Dr. Watson improves performance since it is always running."

Reality - "If a program error occurs, Dr. Watson will start automatically but not before unless you manually start it. Which means disabling Dr. Watson has no effect on system performance. Dr. Watson (Drwtsn32.exe) for Windows is a program error debugger that gathers information about your computer when an error (or user-mode fault) occurs with a program. Technical support groups can use the information that Dr. Watson obtains and logs to diagnose a program error. When an error is detected, Dr. Watson creates a text file (Drwtsn32.log) that can be delivered to support personnel by the method they prefer. You also have the option of creating a crash dump file, which is a binary file that a programmer can load into a debugger. This is valuable information to help troubleshoot a system problem, thus it makes no sense to disable Dr. Watson."

Notes - Programs errors should be addressed and not ignored by making sure you are using the latest non-Beta version of the application that crashed and apply all patches that are available from the developer of the application. This can also be a warning sign something is wrong or misconfigured with your system. Use the Diagnose XP Guide to help troubleshoot the most common causes of system problems.

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