XP puts up that annoying BSOD (blue screen
of death) and the computer is either restarted or you have to turn it
off and back on. Bet you get the following message from time to time:
"The system has recovered from a serious error" message from time to
time with two buttons: "Send Error Report" and "Don't Send" regarding
sending the report to Microsoft. The error message appears when an
application runs into a problem it can't handle. When this happens, XP
stops the app and the error report prompt appears so you can send the
error report to Microsoft if you're connected to the Internet.
In the case of hardware or a driver
(software managing hardware) attempts something that could cause
problems, XP puts up that annoying BSOD (blue screen of death) and the
computer is either restarted or you have to turn it off and back on.
System error reports go to the Microsoft Online Crash Analysis Web site,
aka MOCA. Go figure - the Web site drops the 'M' in the URL.
When one of them error report windows
pops up and you decide to let it send a report to Microsoft, be sure
you're connected to the Internet before hitting the "Send Error Report"
button. Behind the scenes, XP creates a short message describing the
error and provides additional information such as operating system
version, failure type, language, cause of the problem, etc. to help
Microsoft resolve the problem. The message is encrypted.
In the error report window, there is a
link "click here" for seeing what the data report contains. After you
send the report, you'll get a message from MOCA with the steps on how to
solve the problem and other information depending on the problem. Such
information could be links to downloading updated drivers and how to
prevent the problem from happening again.
What about when getting errors from a
non-Microsoft application or hardware? MOCA reports these errors to the
company behind the application or device, so it can be helpful to send
these forward. So those of you who never send non-Microsoft-related
errors might want to reconsider.
You can also use MOCA to track errors
when you get BSODed. This Microsoft Knowledgebase article shows how to
use error reporting.
Many people don't use the reporting at
all because of privacy concerns. We've heard plenty of jokes about how
Microsoft knows everything about everyone who has a computer. You can
read Microsoft's error privacy information to get exact details on what
Microsoft learns about your computer when getting such reports.
Error reporting is not just for
Microsoft, but pays off for you since it can help reduce the problems
with your computer when you get the error resolution messages back from
MOCA. You can turn off error reporting, but I don't recommend it.
Some saud they've never received
resolutions to their problems when submitting an error report. I don't
know if this happened or not, but it may not be obvious that Microsoft
is providing a possible solution.
I got an error after writing this
report and submitted it to Microsoft. After it finished, the following
window appeared. Click on "more information" to get details about the
problem and a possible solution. When I clicked on it, it takes me to
the Microsoft Online Analysis Web page and provides the following
Clicking on "Word Quits..." takes me to
a knowledgebase article for details. Some problems probably have
multiple possible solutions and there would be a bulleted list of other
Maybe instead of "more information," it
would be better for the link to say, "More information and possible
resolution." "More information" might lead people to believe it's tech
speak about the problem and people don't have time or interest to read
that, so they close the box instead of clicking on it to see what is
really behind the link. I've been guilty of that before.