Windows 7 / Getting Started

Understanding the Error Reporting Cycle

The error reporting cycle for WER begins when a report is generated on a user's system and completes when a response is returned to the user. Overall, five primary steps are involved in this process: reporting, categorization, investigation, resolution, and response. The following sections explain what is involved in each of these steps.


The first step is the creation and submission of the report. This can be triggered by a number of events, including an application crash, application freeze, or stop error (blue screen). Beginning with Windows Vista, applications can also be designed to define their own custom event types, allowing them to initiate the reporting process when any type of problem occurs.


After the back-end servers at Microsoft receive the report, it is categorized by problem type. Categorization may be possible with only the event parameters (text descriptors of the event), or it may require additional data (dumps). The end result of categorization is that the event reported by the customer becomes a Watson Bucket ID. This allows the developers investigating the events to determine the most frequently reported problems and focus on the most common issues.


After the problem is categorized, development teams may view the report data via the Watson portal. The Watson portal provides the data necessary to understand high-level trends and aggregate data, such as the top errors reported against an application. It also provides a mechanism to investigate the low-level data that was reported to debug the root cause of the problem.


After a developer has determined the root cause of a problem, ideally a fix, workaround, or new version will be created that can be made available to the customer.


The final step is to close the loop with the customer that reported the problem by responding to his report with information he can use to mitigate the issue. A customer may receive a response in two ways:

  • If the issue is understood at the time an error report is submitted, the customer will see a response in the form of a dialog box immediately after the categorization step.
  • If the issue is not understood at the time an error report is submitted but is resolved some time after the report, the customer can query for updated knowledge of the problem at a later time.

Note Resolutions found later are populated in Action Center.

[Previous] [Contents] [Next]

In this tutorial:

  1. Windows 7 Desktop Maintenance
  2. Performance Monitoring
  3. Improvements to Performance Monitoring in Windows 7
  4. Using Performance Monitor
  5. Real-Time Performance Monitoring
  6. Performance Monitor Logging
  7. Creating a Data Collector Set
  8. Configuring a Data Collector Set
  9. Using Data Manager to View Performance Data
  10. Starting and Stopping Data Logging
  11. Viewing Performance Data
  12. Comparing Performance Monitor Logs
  13. Performance Monitor User Rights
  14. Remote Data Collection
  15. Using Windows PowerShell for Performance Monitoring
  16. Resource Monitor
  17. Overview Tab
  18. CPU Tab
  19. Memory Tab
  20. Disk Tab
  21. Network Tab
  22. Reliability Monitor
  23. How Reliability Monitor Works
  24. Windows Performance Tools Kit
  25. Event Monitoring
  26. Understanding the Windows Event Architecture
  27. Channels
  28. Improvements to Event Monitoring in Windows 7
  29. Using Event Viewer
  30. Understanding Views
  31. Viewing Event Logs
  32. Saving Event Logs
  33. Configuring Event Subscriptions
  34. Considerations for Workgroup Environments
  35. Creating a New Subscription
  36. Using the Windows Events Command-Line Utility for Event Monitoring
  37. Using Windows PowerShell for Event Monitoring
  38. Using Task Scheduler
  39. Improvements to Task Scheduler in Windows 7
  40. Understanding Tasks
  41. Understanding the Task Scheduler Architecture
  42. Understanding Task Scheduler Security
  43. Credentials Management
  44. Securing Running Tasks
  45. Understanding AT and Task Scheduler v1.0 Compatibility Modes
  46. Understanding the Task Scheduler Snap-in
  47. Understanding Default Tasks
  48. Creating Tasks
  49. Defining Triggers
  50. At Startup Trigger
  51. On Connection To AND Disconnect From User Session Triggers
  52. On Workstation Lock AND Unlock Triggers
  53. Defining Actions
  54. Defining Conditions
  55. Defining Settings
  56. Managing Tasks
  57. Viewing History
  58. Using SchTasks.exe for Creating and Managing Tasks
  59. Task Scheduler Events
  60. Troubleshooting Task Scheduler
  61. Tasks Won't Run If the Service Is Not Started
  62. The Task Will Run Only When a Certain User Is Logged On
  63. The Task Action Failed to Execute
  64. Interpreting Result and Return Codes
  65. Understanding the Windows System Assessment Tool
  66. Understanding WinSAT Assessment Tests
  67. Examining the WinSAT Features Assessment
  68. Running WinSAT from the Command Line
  69. Understanding WinSAT Command Exit Values
  70. Running WinSAT Using Performance Information and Tools
  71. System Capabilities Section
  72. OEM Upsell And Help Section
  73. Understanding Windows Error Reporting
  74. Overview of Windows Error Reporting
  75. How WER Works
  76. Store Management System
  77. ReportArchive Folder
  78. WER Service
  79. Understanding the Error Reporting Cycle
  80. Understanding WER Data
  81. Configuring WER Using Group Policy
  82. Configuring WER Using the Action Center