Did Windows ever find solutions for programs that crashed?

Raymond Chen

When a program crashes, Windows display a message that says, in part, “Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.” Did it ever find solutions?

There was a database of problems with known solutions, so if you were lucky, you would be notified that a solution was available. (I suspect that most of them were of the form “Upgrade to the latest version of the program, which has a fix.”) Mind you, the space of possible problems is much larger than the space of problems with known solutions, so the odds of a match are pretty slim.

One of my colleagues worked on speech recognition, and they were studying a weird crash that they eventually figured out was caused by a certain model of CPU not supporting some instructions that their code required. The solution for that problem was, unfortunately, something along the lines of “Sorry, get a better PC.”

What’s happening is that the failure is being uploaded to the Watson back-end, and that can lead to product fixes. So you might say that the notification is the one from Windows Update saying that an update is available.