Calling Dr. Watson

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CALLING DR. WATSON! CALLING DR. WATSON! STAT! All Windows versions have a utility called Dr. Watson. It captures a snapshot of your system when a program crashes. The idea is that someone could look at the data and figure out what's wrong. You usually have to tell the good Doc to get to work, though.

In Windows 98 and ME, click Start>>Programs>>Accessories>>System Tools>>System Information. On the Tools menu, click Dr. Watson. That will put an icon in your taskbar. Dr. Watson generates lots of information about your system, much of it incomprehensible to mere mortals. But technicians may well find it interesting. To look at it, double click the icon and, on the View menu, click Advanced View. You will find several tabs. Most contain loads of information. If a program crashes, the Details tab will have all the gory details. Otherwise, that tab will be missing.

Dr. Watson hangs out in Windows XP, too. He's just harder to find. Click Start>>Run. Enter Drwtsn32.exe in the box and click OK. There's no need to start Dr. Watson manually in XP. He jumps to work automatically when an error occurs.