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Readers Questions. 

IF01623 

Q.  Whenever I get an error with my Internet Explorer 6.0, a pop-up appears asking me if I would like to run Dr. Watson Debugger. Is this a legitimate program?

A.  Yes, Dr. Watson is a legitimate program.  However, you probably do not need to run it unless someone tells you to do so.  Dr. Watson will run in the background and monitor many different things that are going on behind the scenes in your computer.  If an application crash is detected, Dr. Watson will place all the information it has gathered into what is called a dump file.  The dump file will be analyzed to see what was going on just before the crash, to see if there is any indication as to the cause of the crash.

Most of the time, this sort of file is only useful to people who have access to the source code for a particular application because the problems it detects are very low level type problems.  For example, Dr. Watson could help someone figure out that an application they have written keeps crashing because it keeps trying to overwrite a piece of memory that is restricted.

If you have a recurring problem with a particular application, then try contacting the person or company that created the application and send them a Dr. Watson dump file along with a description of what you were doing at the time of the problem.  They might be able to send you a patch for the problem, but most of the time, you won't need to worry about Dr. Watson.

Let me know if you need anything else.

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