Iceberg1370


Hello everyone,

I was wondering if there was a way to automatically configure Windows to send generic or specific WER data to MSFT

From a bunch of testing and research I did today (more details below), along with this post - http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx PostID=1925302&SiteID=1, I am guessing the answer might be no, short of doing the following Sad

-Implementing own crash handler or calling WER API

-Having reports go to Corporate Error Reporting (CER) or with Vista ( AEM (Agentless Event Management) part of 'Operation Manager 2007').

I understand the privacy issues with WER data, however, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me at the moment why you would restrict this, if in the end, it's a conscience decision made by the Administrator.

As a vendor shipping both binaries on the client side (our software would be one of many) as well as server side (our software would be the only non MSFT software on the box), we would like to recommend settings such that it allows easy collection of our vendor WER data w/ little user intervention (again, conscience policy decision made by end-user).

This is important as there are huge misunderstandings and mistrust of what sending data to Microsoft actually entails. A huge percentage of users, and especially numerous IT folks, hate the dialogue, think it's annoying, almost always hit no, and don't understand that sending non MSFT data can help their vendor fix issues. Googling always seems to bring up articles for disabling it, second only to Vista's UAC Smile

This a huge education issue that ultimately, I think MSFT is responsible for, as it's poorly explained, and it seems Winqual knowledge is not very common. To prove my point, just think of the extremely rare times that submitting a report as ever gotten you something useful, even for MSFT software! That is changing a little with Vista, but it's a long road ahead, and I think MSFT could educate developers, IT folk, and end-users.

In looking at, researching, and testing the WER settings (registry and group policy) across XP, 2003, Vista, I could not get crash data to automatically be sent to Microsoft. This is despite the Group Policy saying the following:

<Snippet from Group Policy Editor - Display Error Notification>

When Display Error Notification is not enabled, the user will not be given the choice of whether to report the error. If the Configure Error Reporting setting is enabled, the error will be automatically reported, but the user will not be notified that an error has occurred.

Disabling this setting is useful for server machines that do not have interactive users.

</Snippet from Group Policy Editor - Display Error Notification>

This seems to be exactly what I want, but in testing, I never saw the TCP packets being sent to MSFT automatically. This did seem to put files when 'Configure Error Reporting' was enabled along with a Corporate upload file patch (CER), which seems to unfortunately confirm the post above.

I guess by "automatically reported", they mean an event log and drwtsn entry, not submitted to Winqual

Also, in reading about Microsoft Error Reporting (.NET or Office), it seems there is a setting to do this.

"Send all queued reports silently

Located in the Queued Reporting folder. Enabling this policy sends all queued error reports without prompting the user. If you also set the Local error reporting file path policy, reports are sent to a local file server. This policy is equivalent to setting the DWAllQueuesHeadless value entry to 1."

Overall, I am hoping for a mechanism to automatically submit reports to MSFT by having the Admin change settings to do so.

Resources:

XP WER Settings - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490841.aspx

2003 WER Settings - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windowsserver2003/technologies/security/ws03mngd/23_s3wer.mspx

Microsoft Error Reportig - http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb219076.aspx#MicrosoftErrorReporting_UsingMicrosoftErrorReportingonWindowsVista

Office 2003 Reporting - http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/ork2003/HA011402421033.aspx

Thanks, Ivan




Re: Automatic Sending of WER data

Claus Brod


Actually, on the Windows Vista systems I've seen so far, the default "Problem Reports" settings caused the crash data to be sent automatically, without asking the user.

More precisely, Vista contacts the Watson servers to see if the crashing app is properly registered and "mapped". (Registration and mapping is performed through the Winqual portal.) Only if that is the case, the actual crash data will be produced and sent over the wire.

The default on XP is to ask the user before sending, but you'll also have to register and map your app if you want the crash data to be collected and to appear on the Winqual portal.

Claus

http://www.clausbrod.de/Blog








Re: Automatic Sending of WER data

Iceberg1370

Good observation Claus.

However, I think there might be a small distinction It seems Vista checks for solutions automatically (by probably submitting bucket id, summary crash data), but doesn't send .dmp data w/o permission. Like you said, it seems this only happens once an app has been mapped, and likely only once crash data is requested via Winqual.

Then I think (but haven't fully tested) that the privacy stuff would kick in and request permission to send.

This Channel9 video for Vista WER seems to allude to this - http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx postid=252788.

On the previous note I made, has anyone coded their own crash handler and integrated with WER such that reports could be automatically submitted once a user chooses that option

I am thinking of a combination of the custom crash dialogue used with Microsoft Office & the Firefox Talkback client. The Firefox Talkback client automatically queues & submits reports to Mozilla once it's enabled.

I would really be slick to code something similar to the Office crash handler, but with an option to automatically submit reports if the user chose to do so.

On another note, I don't really see a lot our small or midsize (but maybe the large) customers going through the trouble of installing CER (which requires Assurance contracts and is deprecated) or MOM for Vista just to send one vendor more crash data.

This is why having an automatic method (user-option) to submit data would be very handy.

Admittedly, Vista does seem to be better with automatically checking for solutions and it seems you can probably multi-select crashes to submit (submit .dmps ). However, a nice enhancement would be to "trust" certain vendors or programs when they crash and not prompt the user each and every time.

Ivan






Re: Automatic Sending of WER data

Jason Hardester - MSFT

Hi Ivan,

There is an opt-in model for Windows Vista, and this can be set by an Administrator when creating a corporate image but there is no opt-in policy file that I am aware of to roll out this setting post first launch of the OS.

The takeaway I have in reading your post is that you want to bypass user interaction and auto-send reports to Microsoft. The ability to opt-in at a global level to automatically send reports to Microsoft is only available in Windows Vista and higher. In windows XP and Server 2003, you are left to make decisions for each report unless you implement a CER solution.

So, to recap; in Windows Vista the application does not have to do anything special ...if the user selects the opt-in model to automatically send reports to Microsoft at first run of the OS, then the reports will either be queued until there is network connectivity or they will be sent right away. Users can review their problem reports and solutions using the WERCON.exe utility for events that happened in the past.

Kind regards,

-Jason