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DrVista (DrWatson on Vista)

Document number: dwfaq 2
Copyright (c) 2009 1stWorks Corporation. All rights reserved.

This article gives instructions for installing the DrVista utilty on Windows Vista in order to produce DrWatson reports when a program crashes. DrWatson reports provide diagnostic tools for Windows 98 and prior versions of Windows, and even though Microsoft no longer supplies them with Vista, they can still be useful to developers for diagnosing software problems.

Note: this utilty replaces the default diagnostic reporting produced by Vista. If you are installing DrVista specifically to provide information for 1stWorks Corporation Support, you may want to uninstal DrVista once the problem is diagnosed and resolved.

Install DrVista

To install DrVista (Dr. Watson on Vista) and set it to be your default diagnostic report tool, click the link below. It installs Dr. Watson on your Vista computer. Use as requested by 1stWorks Support.

DrVista Diagnostic Tool

UnInstall DrVista

To uninstall DrVista, click Windows Start, then All Programs, then 1stWorks Corporation, then DrWatson, then Uninstall Dr. Watson, then Automatic, then OK.

This restores your previous diagnostic reporting tool as the default.

Configure DrWatson Reports

To configure DrWatson as the 1stWorks engineers prefer:

1. Click Windows Start, then All Programs, then 1stWorks Corporation, then DrWatson, then Dr. Watson. This opens the Dr. Watson for Windows window.

Dr. Watson Configuration window

2. Change the settings to match those in the table below, and click OK.:

Log File path: This gives the location of the log file, drwtsn32.log.
Crash dump: This gives the location of the dump file, user.dmp, which we don't need.
Number of Instructions Set to 16.
Number of Errors to Save Set to 16.
Dump Symbol Table: Check these.
Dump All Threat Contents:
Append to existing log file: Uncheck.
Visual and Sound Notification: Check Visual Notification. Sound Notification is optional.
Create crash dump file: Uncheck this.

The Dr. Watson Reports

When an application crashes, you see a Windows message such as this: application program has caused a problem and needs to close. If you are prompted to accept or send an error report, check Yes or OK. Usually -- but not always -- a Dr. Watson log is generated.

Please send the report to us:
  1. Click Windows Start, then All Programs, then 1stWorks Corporation, then DrVista, then View Dr. Watson Logs. The report is named drwtsn32.log, and should have today's date.

  2. Send the drwtsn32.log as an email attachment to [email protected]. (Preferably, zip it up before sending.) You may be able to search for drwtsn32.log, then right-click and select Send to to start the email with the attachment.

  3. Include a description of what you were doing with the program when it crashed.

  4. After sending the email, rename or delete drwtsn32.log, so that the log files do not grow excessively large. [Editor's note: we recommend that you rename them and keep them for a week or so as backup before deleting them.]