System and program error reporting overview

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

System and program error reporting overview

Error reporting helps Microsoft® track and address errors. You can configure error reporting to send Microsoft specific error information and to generate reports for operating system errors, Windows® component errors or program errors. An operating system error causes the computer to display a Stop error screen with error codes. A program or component error causes the program or component to stop working.

If you have an Internet connection, you can report these errors directly to Microsoft. You can configure error reporting to respond to program errors in one of two ways: as soon as an error occurs, the error reporting dialog box can prompt any user to send the error to Microsoft, or the next time an administrator logs on, the error reporting dialog box can prompt the administrator to send the error report to Microsoft.

Windows treats operating system errors and unplanned shutdowns differently from the way it does program errors. When operating system errors or unplanned shutdowns occur, Windows writes the error information to a log file. The next time an administrator logs on, the error reporting dialog box prompts them to report the error.

When you send an error report to Microsoft over the Internet, you provide technical information that programming groups at Microsoft use to enhance future versions of the product. This data is used for quality control purposes only and is not used for tracking individual users or installations for any marketing purpose. If information is available to help you solve the problem, Windows displays an Error Reporting dialog box with a link to that information.

Alternatively, if your organization has configured Group Policy, administrators in your information technology (IT) department can use Corporate Error Reporting to collect and report to Microsoft only those errors that they think are important. Administrators configure workstations and servers for Corporate Error Reporting by enabling the Report Errors policy setting and configuring the Corporate upload file path to the local file server where the Corporate Error Reporting tool is installed. When errors occur, they are automatically redirected to this file server. Administrators can then review the error information, identify the important data, and submit it to Microsoft using the Corporate Error Reporting tool. You can download the Corporate Error Reporting tool from the Office XP Resource Kit Web site . For more information about how to enable and configure policy settings using the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in, see Related Topics.

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