Dr. Watson is a software utility included with Microsoft Windows that is used to help detect, decode and log errors that are encountered while windows or windows programs are running.
A user can run Dr. Watson by clicking Start / Run and typing "drwatson" and clicking ok. The Windows NT and 2000 Version of Dr. Watson can be ran by click Start / Run and typing "drwtsn32". When running Dr. Watson you should see either a new task on your toolbar or on your systray indicating that Dr. Watson is running in the background. If errors are frequently occurring run Dr. Watson to help get additional information about the error.
When Dr. Watson encounters an error the error is logged under the file "drwtsn32.log" or "user.dmp" when running Microsoft Windows NT or Windows 2000. When running Microsoft Windows 95, 98 or ME the file is logged with a .WLG file extension and stored under the \Windows\Drwatson folder. For example 10.wlg is an example of a Dr. Watson file.
Tip: If your computer is encountering errors often load Dr. Watson into the startup folder to load the program each time the computer boots.
Dr. Watson basic trouble shooting
How do I disable Dr. Watson in Windows NT?
The following information applies to users who are running Microsoft Windows NT or Windows 2000 and viewing the drwtsn32.log file. Each Dr. Watson error is appended to the end of the drwtsn32.log file. Therefore you may need to scroll to the end of the file to determine the exact error.
Application exception occurred:
Unless the proper symbol is loaded on the computer you will be limited to the above information to determine what is causing the issue. As you can see from the below example the function has no symbols therefore you be unable to determine what function caused the error to occur. Additional information about symbols can be found on Microsoft's DDK page, Microsoft Q141465 or through your system administrator.
function: <nosymbols> 01500878 89d5 mov ebp,edx 0150087a 89de mov esi,ebx 0150087c 890c24 mov [esp],ecx ss:0172eae8=000000af 0150087f 85db test ebx,ebx 01500881 7c15 jl 01503998 01500883 31c0 xor eax,eax 01500885 8a02 mov al,[edx] ds:0000001c=?? 01500887 01d8 add eax,ebx 01500889 8d50ff lea edx,[eax+0xff] ds:00a7d5d2=???????? 0150088c 8b4704 mov eax,[edi+0x4] ds:0279a0a8=???????? FAULT ->0150088f 8b08 mov ecx,[eax] ds:00000000=???????? 01500891 ff511c call dword ptr [ecx+0x1c] ds:00a7d681=???????? 01500894 39c2 cmp edx,eax 01500896 7604 jbe 0150399c 01500898 31c0 xor eax,eax 0150089a eb54 jmp 01508bf0 0150089c 837c241400 cmp dword ptr [esp+0x14],0x0 ss:021ac0bb=???????? 015008a1 7513 jnz 015093b6 015008a3 8b5c2418 mov ebx,[esp+0x18] ss:021ac0bb=???????? 015008a7 89f2 mov edx,esi 015008a9 31c9 xor ecx,ecx 015008ab 89f8 mov eax,edi
*----> Stack Back Trace <----* FramePtr ReturnAd Param#1 Param#2 Param#3 Param#4 Function Name 0172F0B8 C9CAE3C0 8DD7C0C1 F99FC687 CBCCD2F9 D6D2CAC1 !<nosymbols> D1C0C91D 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 <nosymbols>
If a function is found attempt to search for the function through Microsoft's support database or contact the software developer to obtain additional information about why the error is occurring.
Users running other versions of Windows can view the Dr. Watson information by opening the Dr. Watson program and viewing the diagnostics information and suggestions. A snapshot of the system configuration can also be seen by clicking the View option and selecting "Advanced View".
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