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One Dev Question with Raymond Chen - Error Reporting in Windows

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The 'One Dev Question with Raymond Chen' video series is part of the One Dev Minute channel.  In this series, longtime Microsoft developer and semi-official Windows historian Raymond Chen covers a series of questions about Microsoft Windows development, team culture, and/or history.  If you have additional questions for Raymond, please add your questions in the comments section below.  You can also find out more development details about Windows and its history on Raymond's blog.

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  • Good to know the answer to this question but... in all my years as a sysadmin I've never had this process result in any useful information. From my perspective, it's completely useless. Perhaps it should say, "thanks for reporting this issue to Microsoft" rather than providing the false hope that an answer might be found and provided to the user.

  • Mischa ZehnderMischa Zehnder

    Thanks for explaining this. I've to say, that I love the possibility to get crash data too. That's why I love(d) the new API of WER in Windows 7. It allowed you to launch your own debugger in case of a crash and generate reports for your company. That was a great feature... but someone broke it in Windows 8... and it's still not working in 8.1 and 10. And nobody cares ... and I can reproduce it with just one page of code. Anyway ... maybe in the future we'll get the capabilities back, that today (again) only Microsoft has.

  • UserUser

    Why does Windows slow down over time?

  • A very entertaining and interesting look at what WER is doing, thank you totally enjoyed it!

  • old but goldold but gold

    The WER dialog should actually link to this video, it explains everything in a super simple language better than anything else!

  • StephenStephen

    This is a classic example of a feature designed by developers for developers, NOT for users.

    As a user, I will **NEVER** care about this at all! **EVER!**. Just kill the program and restart.

    Like the first commenter posted, never in my entire history of using Windows (since 3.0) have I ever had a "solution" come back - not once! Thus waiting ANY LENGTH OF TIME for a "we're sorry, there isn't a solution" is MORE FRUSTRATING than the fact the app crashed in the first place!

    (Please read that last line over and over until it sinks in!)

    I build software too, and I too have error tracking involved. Simply capture the error data that you need (w/o taking anything of a privacy concern), and IMMEDIATELY let the user continue on... ideally with a message that you noted the error/crash, have informed the vendor so that the developers can look into fixing it. Done!, Finito!, That's it! DO NOT BLOCK the user from working. This is a #Usability 101 issue!

  • David WrightDavid Wright

    How about this question. Has that "Check for solutions" thing ever actually *found* a solution? Because I've never known it to be useful and thus I never use it anymore. Perhaps that dialog needs a little work. Knowing now that when it does come up, clicking the "Check for solutions" button, while not providing *me* with a useful solution, might provide *you* with useful data, I'll be considerably more willing to actually use it. Obviously, it's not likely to help me, but if it helps the devs then that counts, too. From the dialog itself, it is not clear that this is what occurs. Another sentence would make things much clearer.

  • It found a solution for me twice in windows 7, it was to download and install a hotfix, and to download a new printer driver for an HP printer. 

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