When you get a fatal error, you’re often prompted to send the information to Microsoft. Then what?
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This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.info.
After a program crashes in Microsoft Windows, you’re often given the
opportunity to send information about the crash back to Microsoft. The question
is should you, and what should you expect if you do?
Should you is easy: sure, go ahead. There’s no harm in doing so. In fact
some Microsoft team members have blogged about how useful the information is to
Now, I know that there are paranoid folks out there who think this is some
component of a Microsoft tracking conspiracy, but I sure don’t believe that.
Microsoft’s just not that organized, trust me. But if that’s the way you feel
… well, then don’t send. It’s really not that big a deal.
The real issue is what to expect next.
I’ll tell you this: don’t expect a quick fix.
I’d expect at least a couple of things to be needed before Microsoft acts on
error reports. First, the problem needs to be in Microsoft’s software. Many
crashes are caused by software that Microsoft doesn’t own. Microsoft may make
the information available to the other manufacturer, but whether they accept it
or act on it is anyone’s guess.
Second, it needs to be a real and very common problem. And by very
common, I’d expect that millions of people would have to experience the exact
same issue before Microsoft would prioritize it high enough to act on in
anything you and I would consider to be a short time.
So why report it at all? As I said – prioritization. The more people that
report a problem, the higher it will hopefully go on Microsoft’s list of things
to fix. When? Good question. Unless it’s in that “millions of reports” category
I wouldn’t expect something to get fixed until the next service pack – if it’s
serious – and perhaps the next version of Windows if not.
Many people seem to have the expectation that reporting a problem will
result in an immediate, or near immediate solution. Especially if they
repeatedly experience the problem and report it each time.
It just doesn’t work that way.
Report the problem – hopefully you’ll be helping make the next service pack
or version better. But after you’ve reported it, keep looking for your own fix
and your own way around it, because if there’s going to be a fix from Microsoft
you probably won’t see that fix any time soon.
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Till next time, I’m Leo Notenboom, for askleo.info.