Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dr Watson Debugger

Tip - Dr. Watson for Windows is a program error debugger that gathers information about your computer when an error (or user-mode fault) occurs with a program.

Details - Dr Watson is a windows tool which automatically creates log and dump files when the application crashes. The Dr Watson error logs are useful for error diagnostics when no other particular log informations are not available. The dmp files available with Dr Watson can be analysed through debugging applications such as WinDbg.

By Default the error dumps of Dr Watson will be available at the path
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Dr Watson\user.dmp

It is not necessary that Dr Watson is the default application that will be started when a application crash occurs. We can ensure the same using the Registry path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AeDebug.

If the default debugger is not Dr Watson and you want to use Dr. Watson instead go to the command prompt and type the command drwtsn32 -i to start Dr. Watson. Typing -i causes the necessary changes to be made to the registry.

Interesting fact - The debugger is named after Doctor Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame, the idea being that it would collect error information following the problem. The original name of this tool was "Sherlock".

References - 

Posted By : Xavier K Joseph

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