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Dr. Watson Post Mortem Debugger


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#1 smiley197108

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:31 AM

I have Windows Xp. My internet explorer has been continually shutting down and mentions "Dr. Watson etc; I would like to know if this is a virus or spyware. Would you be able to help me remove it? I have "DSL" med-high speed modem. I have had to uninstall my entire system in the past because of a virus. In the process, I accidentally deleted my "Device Manager" I don't have a software disc from Dell to re-install. It also pops up that I am missing an "service pack" which part I couldn't tell you?
Also, because of the small memory capacity on my Dell that is 5 years old by the way. My internet service provider: Comcast, included Mcafee security suite that included spyware and virus protection. I couldn't download it because I don't have enough memory. That is why my computer is infected. Yes, I agree it is my own fault I left my computer susceptible to all viruses. I am planning on buying a new memory card. However, I don't know anyone who will be able to install it. It is impossible financially, to afford to bring my computer to a professional computer expert to get it fixed and the present time . I would be greatful to have someone to take the time to help me out. Thank you in Advance. " Microsoft Windows Xp, Version 2002, Service Pack 2" " Intel®, Pentium ® 4 CPU, 1.80 Ghz, 1.79 Ghz, 128 MB of RAM

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 12:27 PM

Dr. Watson for Windows is a program error debugger that gathers information about your computer when an error (or user-mode fault) occurs with a program. Technical support groups can use the information that Dr. Watson obtains and logs to diagnose a program error. When an error is detected, Dr. Watson creates a text file (Drwtsn32.log) that can be delivered to support personnel by the method they prefer. You also have the option of creating a crash dump file, which is a binary file that a programmer can load into a debugger...

Description of the Dr. Watson for Windows

"Memory Dumps in XP".
"Overview of memory dump file options for Windows 2000/XP/2003".

When doing a search on the net for dr watson postmortem debugger error, you will find a lot of complaints with various causes and possible solutions. This does not necessarily mean you are infected with malware.

I accidentally deleted my "Device Manager"...

Even if you have some malware, removing it will not fix this problem or any other system files that you may have deleted.

...I don't have a software disc from Dell to re-install

By policy Microsoft no longer allows OEM manufactures to include the original Windows XP CD-ROM on computers sold with Windows preinstalled. Instead, most computers manufactured and sold by OEM vendors come with a vendor-specific recovery disk or recovery partition for performing a clean factory restore.

A Recovery Disk is a CD-ROM or DVD data disc that contains a complete copy/image of the entire contents of the hard drive that will restore the system to its factory default state at a certain time. Essentially, it will reformat your hard drive, remove all data and restore the computer to the state it was in when you first purchased it. You will lose all data and have to reinstall all programs that you added afterwards. This includes all security updates from Microsoft so you will need to download/install them again.

Some factory restore CDs give you all the options of a full Microsoft Windows CD, but with better instructions and the convenience of having all the right hardware drivers. Others can do nothing except reformat your hard drive and restore it to the condition it was in when you bought the computer. Before using a factory recovery disk make sure you back up all your data, photos, etc to another source such as a CD or external hard drive. If you do a Google Search, you will find links to topics on how to obtain a replacement recovery disk from various vendors.

A Recovery Partition is used by some OEM manufacturers (Dell, HP, IBM, Gateway) instead of a recovery disk to store a complete copy of the hard disk's factory default contents for easy restoration. This consists of a hidden bootable partition containing various system recovery tools, including full recovery of the preinstalled Windows XP partition that will allow you to restore the computer to the state it was in when you first purchased it. The recovery software will then re-hide its own partition after creating a new partition and installing the software to it. You will lose all data and have to reinstall all programs that you added afterwards. Before using a recovery partition make sure you back up all your data, photos, etc to another source such as a CD or external hard drive.

Recovery partitions may only work with a start-up floppy disk or the user may be prompted immediately after the "Out Of Box Experience" (OOBE) to create backup CD-R disks for the software on the hard drive image for future use. Once the CD's are made, the Operating System, Drivers, or Applications can be reinstalled using the files on the hard drive or the backup CDs.

Some built in recovery partitions can be accessed by hitting Ctrl+F11, just F11 or F10 during bios startup. Others like those used by IBM Thinkpads will display a message at bootup instructing you to press F11 to boot from the recovery partition. For more information, see Understanding Partition recovery.

Again, if you do a Google search on recovery partitions, you can find information specifically related to the manufacturer of your machine. If you need additional assistance, you can start a new topic in the Windows XP Home and Professional forum. Each manufacturer's instructions is somewhat different and members with the same type machine as yours could better help with step by step instructions.
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