“Don’t just bring me a problem…” Get solutions too through Windows Problem Reports and Solutions

Rats. I hate it when an app crashes on my PC, especially when it’s caused by an issue with Windows Vista and one of its bundled Microsoft apps. In this case, a mainstream staple of my online use, Windows Photo Gallery.

But with Vista, I don’t lose any of the data (in this case, my scans or new imported photos) and thus the time associated with working on them: the window closed, asked if I would like to report the problem (I did) and if I would like to see if there was a solution (I would). 

I’m reminded of a discussion with a certain exec in which I heard very clearly (directed at a person who hadn’t done their homework and completed the equation): “don’t just bring me a problem, bring possible solutions, too.” (Although a tad more colourful. 😉

Fulfilling that equation for me today is Windows Problem Reports and Solutions: it popped open a window that detailed an available fix for the issue, saying that “there is a solution.”

Music to my ears.

Performance and Reliability Pack (KB938979)

Follow these steps to solve the problem with Windows Vista

This problem was caused by Windows Vista. Windows Vista was created by Microsoft Corporation.

A solution is available that will solve this problem.


Solution: An update is available that improves the performance and reliability of Windows Vista

The update addresses some reported issues and should “improve performance and responsiveness in various scenarios” as well as “the reliability of Windows Vista.”

I believe that this addresses a “memory management issue” (aka memory leak) in switching between Windows Photo Gallery and another application. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base KB 932988


Also, I have the option in Windows Problem Reports and Solutions to rate this response and “Provide Feedback.”

I did.

Now my next step is to track down where in our group the feedback from Windows Error Reporting goes and what they did with the info… more on that next week.

BTW, a note on Knowledge Base articles… 

There was also a note “About Microsoft Knowledge Base articles” (aka “KBs”). If you’ve ever read a KB (and as you’re surfing on MSDN, I’ll guess that you have) you know that KB articles are often written for, as it is warned, “a technical professional audience.”

No kidding.

“These articles might contain specialized terms and descriptions, as well as lengthy procedures. Depending on your level of familiarity with computers and technical terminology, you might be more comfortable consulting with a professional computer technician to help you solve this problem.”

I know that our incredible team in Customer Support is working on ways to make the information in these articles more accessible, particularly articles that are geared towards consumers and less-tech types (customers who are not devs, IT Pros, sysadmins). I found that the above articles are fairly easy to understand and implement, so kudos to the teams working hard to make support for computers, software and systems more accessible.

Tags: Customer service, customer feedback

7 replies on ““Don’t just bring me a problem…” Get solutions too through Windows Problem Reports and Solutions”

Here’s an example of my typical experience with "Windows Problem Reports and Solutions".

My Lenovo at work crashes (fairly regularly) with a STOP error (BSOD). This typically happens when using SQL Management Studio.

The machine reboots, and asks if I want to send details about the crash to Microsoft. I do, and it sends me to the "solution" page.

The page tells me "Problem caused by a device driver". It NEVER tells me **WHICH** one – it obviously knows, because the information about the crash is relayed on to driver manufacturers.

I can’t solve the problem or complain to my PC manufacturer myself, because I don’t know which driver caused the problem.

I give the feedback page a rating of "1" with a cranky message, because in this case purposefully not being helpful is even worse than not showing me anything in the first place!

"But with Vista, I don’t lose any of the data"

Yes you do if you use IE. Try writing a comment on your own blog (don’t hit submit yet), then make IE crash for test purposes. Now it should offer the submit bug report dialog and restart IE automatically – it restarts to your home page! It should have brought back the pages you were browsing and your unfinished comment.

There may be security implications in enabling such feature and if so it should probably be restricted to work on non-TLS (encrypted) sites only by default.

Good point on the risk of losing data in forms, such as with IE. That’s true. I find that >90% of the tabs I have open in IE are often reference pages, not forms.

I agree that it would be good for IE to bring back all pages being browsed… and if it you allow it, IE would also return the field data from a cache of the data, if enabled.

A better example is with Word, IMO, where I do have new data in the document (or in my case, multiple open docs). I’ve had good success reopening the last version of my docs in the couple of times I have run into an issue with Word 2007 that caused the app to close.

Comments are closed.