How To Enable Dr Watson?

Extended crash information can be captured by Microsoft's "Dr Watson" tool. When a system crash occurs, Dr Watson will be started automatically and a temporary log file created. This log file can be used to determine the cause of the crash.

The procedure below explains how to generate a Dr Watson log file:

Firstly, make Dr Watson your default debugging tool by:
  • Selecting Start|Run... from the windows Start menu and type into the text box where it says "Open:"
    drwtsn32.exe -i
    Note: The -i switch tells Dr Watson to install itself as the default debugging tool. If you want to view or change any of the settings (e.g. the default location of the log files), you can omit this switch and Dr Watson will launch its configuration program instead.
  • Click the OK button.
Now, run your application and perform whatever steps are necessary to cause the GPF (or crash) to occur.  When the crash occurs, Dr Watson should start up automatically and generate a log file. Once it has finished, you can locate the log and crash dump files in the following location:

On Windows 2000:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Dr Watson\drwtsn32.log
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Dr Watson\user.dmp

On Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Dr Watson\drwtsn32.log
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Dr Watson\user.dmp