Microsoft Error Send/Don't Send - WTF?

Sometimes my Computer will get hung up and I will close out Explorer and the sign back on. Often when I get these hang-ups I get a pop-up Box that says it knows I had a problem and offers me the chance to **Send ** or Don’t Send and I need to select one.

Where exactly does such a report go? Who looks at it? What on Earth do they do with it? I routinely check Don’t Send – is this a mistake? Why?


The error report gives the developers info to see where the problem occurred and what the state of the program was at that time. If you want better software, it’s cool to send, but it’s no crisis if you don’t.

It goes to MS, who do look at it to see if it was MS software that screwed up. Sometimes when that happens and you send it, you’ll get a box offering more information. Clicking it will open a window saying what software caused the problem, who the company is, and what you can do to prevent it from happening again. (Best case I’ve had was playing a game that crashed. The help page said my video driver was known to have problems, and I should update it).

Incidentally, a few years ago I did helpdesk support for Windows XP. Our trainer was actually in Redmond once and spoke to the head of the department that handles those feedback reports. Apparently he looked shocked when our trainer said he usually clicked “Don’t send”. Those reports are actually looked at in some detail (at least in aggregate format) and help improve MS software.

That surprises me, b/c I sent a letter to Microsoft recently asking a question about something that might have been in their commercials- just a trivia q, no biggie, but it matters to me.

I sent the letter once w/o addressing the department- sent back, OC, they’re a huge firm, how they gonna send it to someone (some places open the letter, see what it’s about and send it where it should go, but not them); so I send it back w/ address to ‘Addressing Department, or whoever could answer a question about advertising.’ I put that on there, really :D. Came back w/ the same stamp, ‘return to sender, not deliverable as addressed, unable to forward.’

It surprises me they even read those messages you send back; what, do they use it to send you ads about the software you should buy to cover up the bugs in the systems Bill put there so you’d have to upgrade each year? Fuckers. :wink:

The error report contains enough data to identify where exactly in their code a crash occurred. They aggregate the error reports and look at where the most frequent crashes are.