Copyright © 1991 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Microsoft, MS-DOS, and the Microsoft logo are registered trademarks and Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
This document was created using Microsoft Word for Windows.
The disk included with this application note contains DrWatson and MSD, two programs that aid Microsoft programmers in debugging Windows. DrWatson is a program that logs information about conditions that exist when an unrecoverable application error (UAE) occurs. MSD (Microsoft Diagnostics) is a program that identifies system configuration information.
This application note explains how to install and use DrWatson and MSD. For Microsoft to most effectively identify and solve system problems, we ask that you use these programs and periodically send us the logs that result. The information in this application note describes what to do when a UAE occurs and how to send Microsoft the information that you gather.
DrWatson is a debugging tool designed to provide software programmers with detailed information on the internal state of Windows when a UAE occurs. DrWatson must be running at the time a UAE occurs to extract the internal information from the system.
As DrWatson uses very little memory and does not affect the performance of Windows, we encourage you to install DrWatson if a UAE has occurred before. After DrWatson is installed, information is collected when a UAE occurs and written to a special file (DRWATSON.LOG) located in the Windows directory.
DrWatson is a diagnostic tool, not a cure for a problem. Having DrWatson will not prevent an error from occurring, but the information in DRWATSON.LOG will help Microsoft developers make the next version of Windows even better.
Microsoft Diagnostics (MSD)
The Microsoft Diagnostics (MSD) program is designed to assist Microsoft customers and Product Support Services (PSS) technicians in solving problems with Microsoft products. MSD identifies system configuration information such as the BIOS, video card type and manufacturer, installed processor(s), I/O port status, operating system version, environment settings, hardware devices attached, and additional software running concurrently with MSD.
MSD should be used in conjunction with DrWatson to provide valuable information on hardware configurations and UAEs. Error reports should include information from both the MSD program and DrWatson. (The section titled "When a UAE Occurs" on page 2 of this application note details the procedure for using MSD with DrWatson.)
Installing DrWatson and MSD
We recommend that you start DrWatson automatically each time you start Windows. This will allow you to collect critical information each time a UAE occurs.
To install MSD and DrWatson and to start DrWatson automatically when you start Windows, do the following:
1. Place the enclosed disk in drive A.
2. From Windows, start File Manager.
3. From the File menu, choose Copy. In the From and To boxes, type the following:
Choose the Copy button. The MSD program is now copied to your root directory (if your root directory is not on drive C, substitute the correct drive letter in the To box).
4. From the File menu, choose Copy. In the From box, type the following:
In the To box, type in the path to your Windows directory (for example: c:\windows). Choose the Copy button. The DrWatson files are now copied to your Windows directory.
5. From the File menu, choose Copy. Make a backup copy of your WIN.INI file. For example, if your Windows directory is called Windows and is on drive C, in the From and To boxes, type the following:
Choose the Copy button.
6. Exit File Manager and open Notepad or any text editor. Open the WIN.INI file, and in the [Windows] section, add DrWatson to the LOAD= line. For example:
7. Save the WIN.INI file and exit the text editor.
8. Exit and then restart Windows.
DrWatson should now appear as an icon on your desktop.
DrWatson adds a file to your Windows directory called DRWATSON.LOG. If a UAE occurs while DrWatson is running, DrWatson captures data regarding the internal operations of Windows. In addition, DrWatson prompts you for details on how the UAE occurred. When you type in your response, please include information on what you were doing or what steps created the UAE. This information is recorded in the DRWATSON.LOG file and will help our software programmers track the problems.
At this time, DrWatson does not detect all system errors, so don't be alarmed if DrWatson does not record information after a particular system error.
Each time a UAE occurs, DrWatson appends new data to DRWATSON.LOG. To prevent this file from growing too large and to aid our processing, please save DRWATSON.LOG as a different file periodically. (For example, if five UAEs occur in one day, save DRWATSON.LOG under a different name before you start Windows again the next day.)
To save the file under a different name, type the following at the command prompt before you start Windows:
rename c:\drwatson.log newname
where newname is any legal MS-DOS filename, such as SEPT06.LOG. If your root directory is not on drive C, substitute the correct drive letter.
When a UAE Occurs
1. When a UAE occurs, the DrWatson dialog box will appear. Type in a description of what you were doing prior to receiving the error. Press enter.
2. Exit Windows if possible. If exiting is not possible, restart your computer.
3. Change to the root directory, and at the command prompt, type msd and press enter to run the MSD program. (For LCD and monochrome screens, type msd /b and press enter.)
4. Press r to choose Generate Report. Select the Generate To File option. When prompted for a filename, type msd.log and press enter. Fill in the information requested.
5. Exit MSD by pressing x.
6. Append the MSD log to the DrWatson log by typing the following at the command prompt:
type path\MSD.LOG >> path\drwatson
where path\drwatson is the path and filename of the DrWatson log. For example, if you named your DrWatson log the default DRWATSON.LOG (in the WINDOWS directory on drive C), type the following:
type c:\msd.log >> c:\windows\drwatson.log
7. After you have logged several UAEs, send us the log by following the instructions listed on page 4 of this application note.
8. After sending us the log, delete the MSD and DrWatson logs (for example, MSD.LOG and DRWATSON.LOG) from your hard disk.
More Information About Using
the Microsoft Diagnostics Program
The MSD program runs with MS-DOS and the DOS compatibility box of OS/2.
MSD presents a Main Menu screen split into two sections. The upper section presents a summary of information that the utility has gathered from your system. For additional information on any category, use the quick key commands, or move the highlight bar (using the arrow keys) to any category and press the enter key. A dialog box appears that presents detailed information for that category. Return to the Main Menu screen by pressing the esc key.
The following is a brief explanation of the categories in the first section of the MSD program:
Displays the BIOS manufacturer, date, version, and type
Displays the processor type and math coprocessor, if installed
Displays a map of memory from 768K to 1 MB and information concerning the configuration of RAM and ROM in your computer system
Shows your video card's manufacturer and model, BIOS version, memory, and current video mode
Detects whether a network is MS-Net or compatible, or Novell
Shows the DOS mouse driver version number, mouse type, and other information concerning the mouse
Dynamically displays game card status for up to two game devices or joysticks
Displays the Microsoft CD-ROM Extensions (MSCDEX.EXE) version number and drive letter
Displays the operating system version number and path from which MSD was run
Dynamically displays the status of installed parallel ports and their port addresses
Dynamically displays the status of active serial ports and their current configurations
Scans all local and logical drives and displays the total and available bytes
Shows the current IRQ (hardware interrupt) status
Displays environment variables
Lists the AUTOEXEC.BAT file
Lists the CONFIG.SYS file
The lower section of the MSD screen includes additional functions you can use with your system, as follows:
Displays the names of programs loaded in RAM at the time MSD was executed, their locations, and their sizes; programs may be loaded into multiple segments of RAM and have multiple entries in the table
Displays software and hardware device drivers installed; these include default devices, such as COM1 or LPT1, and user-installed devices loaded from the CONFIG.SYS file, such as HIMEM.SYS or EMM386.SYS
Prints a page to test the connection between the computer and either a TTY or PostScript-type printer
Prints a "faxable" report to a normal TTY printer or to a file
Views text files by entering the path and filename
Searches selected ROM and RAM areas for search strings such as "Copyright" and "Version"
Displays the MSD version number and copyright information
Sending Information Gathered by
DrWatson and MSD to Microsoft
Electronic format is currently the only way we can accept DrWatson log information. This means we can receive log data by disk, through CompuServe, or through electronic mail. In all cases, we require your company name, address, and the name and phone number of a person we can contact in the event we need additional data.
You can use any of the following methods to send the report results to us:
1. Send a disk containing the DrWatson log(s) to the following mailing address:
Attn: Dr. Watson Program
One Microsoft Way, Building #3
Redmond, WA 98052-6399
2. Send the information in the DrWatson log(s) via email to Watson at Microsoft. Our Internet address is [email protected].
3. Post the data contained in the DrWatson log(s) in the winadv forum, Library 17, in the Microsoft Windows section on CompuServe. In CompuServe, type the following to get to the forum:
After you have sent us the log file(s) by one of the methods described above, delete all of the log files from your hard disk to free up disk space.
Unfortunately, we cannot respond to log contributors, but we will review every DrWatson file and actively work on solving reported problems. We thank you in advance for your efforts. Your help will enable us to keep improving future versions of Windows.