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In Win7 when I close an unresponsive program using the ctrl-alt-del mechanism, it pops up a dialog box saying "Windows is checking for a solution to this problem" and of course it doesnt know the solution to the random crash.

Is there any way to get rid of that dialog box?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

In Windows 7 you can control this through the Action Centre.

  • Click on the Orb
  • Type Action Center and open it
  • Click on Change Action Center Settings on the Sidebar
  • Click Problem reporting settings
  • Select Never Check for a solution.
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In Vista it's under "Change Settings/Advanced Settings" in the "Problem Reports and Solutions" bit of the control panel. – Phoshi Sep 5 '09 at 21:26
Also...action center is under Control Panel -> System and Security. – Glenn Feb 11 '13 at 2:40

As per Diago's answer, you can completely opt-out of Windows Error Reporting. But also note that you can opt-out for specific programs. If you frequently experience hangs in a few specific applications, it would be preferable to click "Select programs to exclude from reporting" instead of disabling Windows Error Reporting. I would also recommend contacting the vendor's technical support (if possible) and complaining about the hangs. Software shouldn't hang on a regular basis.

Why is opting out for specific programs better than opting out for all programs? Sending Windows Error Reporting (WER) data to Microsoft uploads it to the WinQual database that software vendors (not just Microsoft) can query to find out what crashes in their software are most prevalent. Submitting this information may help software vendors identify the most important crashes in their software and fix them.

Note that this system only works if the vendor actually creates a WinQual account and examines the crash data. In general, there's no easy way to determine whether they actually take advantage of WER data other than asking. But if a vendor takes advantage of WER, submitting WER data about a specific crash increases the chances that it will be fixed in a later version of the application.

Crashes have an associated bucket ID that identifies where the crash occurred. Hangs used to all go into the "HUNGAPP" bucket (as of Windows XP), which ends up being pretty much useless because it doesn't distinguish between different hang reasons for the same application. Windows Vista (and 7) supposedly collect more useful information about hangs. Having looked at the WER data for software that I work on, I still don't think that the information being collected about hangs is as useful as the information collected about crashes. However, disabling WER entirely just because hangs are annoying seems like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

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