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Having problem with Dr Watson?


Dr. Watson Debugger is messing up my computer. what can i do about it? thank you

Bill Lloyd


This question was answered on March 4, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Access Violation Occurs in Dr Watson and the Local Stack Area Is Damaged

Article ID : 817828

Last Review : September 17, 2003

Revision : 1.0

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When Dr Watson runs because of any exception, an access violation may occur in Dr Watson, and the local stack area may be damaged


This problem may occur if Dr Watson disassembles code that includes a long symbolic name string An access violation occurs in the DRWTSN32!disasm function


Hotfix Information

A supported hotfix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem that is described in this article Only apply it to systems that are experiencing this specific problem This hotfix may receive additional testing Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, Microsoft recommends that you wait for the next Windows 2000 service pack that contains this hotfix.

To resolve this problem immediately, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the hotfix For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:;[ln];cntactms&FR=1 Note In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.


To install this hotfix, you must have Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 installed.

Restart Requirement

Restart your computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix Replacement Information

This hotfix does not replace any other hotfix.

File Information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC) When you view the file information, it is converted to local time To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel Date Time Version Size File name


01-Apr-2003 23:33 5.0.2195.6699 72,464 Drwtsn32.exe


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article

How to Disable Dr Watson for Windows

Article ID : 188296

Last Review : June 3, 2003

Revision : 2.0

This article was previously published under Q188296

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry

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This article describes how to disable and re-enable the Dr Watson program for Windows


WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

To Disable Dr Watson

1 Click Start, click Run, type regedit.exe in the Open box, and then click OK

2 Locate and click the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ AeDebug

NOTE: Steps three and four are optional, but they necessary if you want to restore the default use of Dr Watson

3 Click the AeDebug key, and then click Export Registry File on the Registry menu

4 Enter a name and location for the saved registry file, and then click Save

5 Delete the AeDebug key

Registry entries for debugger programs are located in the AeDebug key in Windows The Dr Watson program is installed by default in Windows, and is configured to run when an application error occurs (with a data value of 1 for the Auto value) The default values are:

Value Name = Auto

Type = String (REG_SZ)

Data Value = 1 or 0 (Default is 1)

Value Name = Debugger

Type = String (REG_SZ)

Data Value = drwtsn32 -p %ld -e %ld -g

NOTE: This data value (drwtsn32 -p %ld -e %ld -g) is specific to Dr Watson Alternative debuggers will have their own values and parameters

To Enable Dr Watson

1 At a command prompt, type the following line, and then press ENTER:

drwtsn32 -i

2 Double-click the .reg file you created in steps three and four above


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Posted by Eramilde of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 4, 2005