Reporting Office 2003 Application Crashes

Microsoft® Office 2003 includes the Application Error Reporting client (Dw20.exe), a tool that collects information automatically whenever an Office application crashes and allows users to send a report directly to Microsoft. Microsoft uses the data to address problems and enhance future versions of the applications.

In large organizations, administrators can redirect error reports to an internal server, analyze the reports for themselves, and filter the data sent to Microsoft. They do this by setting policies for the Corporate Error Reporting tool (Cer.exe), which manages the error-reporting process. A new Microsoft Windows Corporate Error Reporting tool replaces the version of Cer.exe that shipped with Microsoft Office XP. Although the two versions are very similar, the new one works with both the Application Error Reporting client and the Windows Error Reporting client.


 Note    For more information about Corporate Error Reporting or to download the tool, see the Windows Online Crash Analysis Web site.


Installing the Corporate Error Reporting tool

You use the Corporate Error Reporting tool (CER) to configure the CER file server, set the CER reporting options, manage users' error reports, and send error reports to Microsoft for further analysis. Because the CER program can manage remote CER file servers, you can install it on any CER file server or on an administrator's computer.

The computer on which you install and run Corporate Error Reporting must meet the following system requirements:

  • Microsoft Windows® 2000 operating system; Windows XP; or Windows Server™ 2003 Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter, or Web Edition
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack 1 or later with access to the Internet (for error reporting)
  • Windows Installer version 2.0 or later
  • 200 megahertz (Mhz) processor (recommended)
  • 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (recommended)

To install the Corporate Error Reporting program

  1. Double-click the Cer.msi file to start Windows Installer.
  2. Follow the instructions in the Corporate Error Reporting Setup Wizard to complete the installation process.

To start the Corporate Error Reporting tool after installation, click Start, point to Programs, and then click Corporate Error Reporting.

For more information about using the Corporate Error Reporting tool, including creating the file folder tree in which to store error data, see the Corporate Error Reporting Help file (Cerhlp.chm).

Configuring application error reporting

In order for Corporate Error Reporting to collect error data from Office application crashes, the Application Error Reporting client (Dw20.exe) must be configured to report errors to the CER file folder tree instead of directly to Microsoft over the Internet. You can accomplish this by using Group Policy, if you have an Active Directory® directory service infrastructure set up in your organization.


 Note    Corporate Error Reporting policies for the core English version of Office 2003 are included in the Aer_1033.adm policy template file. When you install Office 2003, this template is automatically saved to the %SystemRoot%\Inf folder on your computer, and the policies are available in the Group Policy snap-in.


To redirect Office application error reporting to an internal server

  1. Start the Group Policy snap-in and open the Group Policy object for which you want to set policy.
  2. Right-click Administrative Templates and load the Aer_1033.adm template.
  3. Click Computer Configuration or User Configuration and expand the tree.

Error reporting policies are located under Administrative Templates\Application Error Reporting.

  1. Click Corporate Error Reporting.
  2. In the right pane, double-click Local error reporting file path.
  3. Click Enabled.

Setting this policy enables Corporate Error Reporting, which allows you to send all error reports to a local file server. When you select Disable or Not Configured, error reports are sent to Microsoft, unless error reporting is disabled.

  1. In the Local error reporting file path box, enter the path to the CER File Folder tree, and then click OK.

You can achieve the same results by specifying values in the Windows registry. Dw.exe looks for value entries in the following subkeys, listed in order from highest to lowest precedence:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\PCHealth\ErrorReporting\DW
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\PCHealth\ErrorReporting\DW
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\PCHealth\ErrorReporting\DW
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\PCHealth\ErrorReporting\DW

For example, setting the value entry DWFileTreeRoot to a drive letter or UNC path activates corporate error reporting and redirects it to a local file server.

Additional error reporting policies that you can set for Office applications include the following:

  • Replace Microsoft with your company name

Located in the Corporate Error Reporting folder. Enabling this policy allows you to substitute the name of your company in place of Microsoft in the error reporting dialog box. If you choose Disabled or Not Configured, users are prompted to send error reports to Microsoft. This policy is equivalent to setting the DWReportee value entry to the name of your organization.

  • Hide Don't Send button

Located in the Corporate Error Reporting folder. Enabling this policy hides the Don't Send button in the error reporting dialog box; users see only the Send Error Report button. When this policy is enabled, a user can still click Cancel if prompted to send additional data, such as documents. This policy is equivalent to setting the DWAlwaysReport value entry to 1.

  • Disable error reporting

Located in the General Reporting folder. Enabling this policy disables application error reporting entirely. If you choose Disabled or Not Configured, then users might be prompted to send error reports. This policy is equivalent to setting the DWReportee value entry to 1.

  • Do not upload user documents

Located in the General Reporting folder. Enabling this policy excludes documents and other files from error reports. If you choose Disabled or Not Configured, then users might be prompted to include documents or other files in error reports. This policy is equivalent to setting the DWNoFileCollection value entry to 1.

  • Bypass queue and send all reports

Located in the Queued Reporting folder. Enabling this policy disables error report queuing and ensures that all error reports are sent at the time the error occurs. If you choose Disabled or Not Configured, error reports might be queued. This policy is equivalent to setting the DWBypassQueue value entry to 1.

  • 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.


 Tip   In Windows XP or later, you can view additional information about these and other error reporting policies by opening the policy and then clicking the Explain tab.


For more information about using the Group Policy snap-in to set Group Policy, see Managing Users' Configurations by Policy.

 
 
Applies to:
Deployment Center 2003