First published on TECHNET on Apr 09, 2009


Description: Dr. Watson is a tool built into previous versions of Windows that assists in the capturing of debugging information in the event of an application crash. Windows Vista and newer operating systems use Windows Error Reporting in lieu of Dr. Watson.

Scoping the Issue: Dr. Watson is a relatively simply application with few options. To execute Dr. Watson, type 'drwtsn32.exe' from the Run line in Windows. The Drwtsn32.exe interface includes option for the location of the dump file, the log file and various dump file data collection options.

If Dr. Watson does not open, it is possible that one of it's files has become corrupt or missing. If Dr. Watson runs, but does not capture dumps, you may have a different debugger registered, or Dr. Watson is not set as the default system debugger.

Data Gathering: In all instances, collecting either MPS Reports with the General, Internet and Networking, Business Networks and Server Components diagnostics, or a Performance-oriented MSDT manifest must be done.

Troubleshooting / Resolution: To set Dr. Watson as the default system debugger, type 'drwtsn32.exe -i' from the Run line in Windows. If Dr. Watson still does not capture dumps, or if you have specific questions about the various Dr. Watson options, a case may be opened with Microsoft product support for assistance.

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