How to remove windbg as the post-mortem debugger

Written by chris loza
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A postmortem debugger is where an application dumps its data for analysis when it encounters an error. For Windows computers, the default postmortem debugger tool is the Dr. Watson tool. This is the debugger tool that pops-up a message, which asks you whether you want to send Microsoft a report of the error. The Windows Debugger (WinDbg) is another debugging tool that can be used as a postmortem debugger. It's a more comprehensive tool because it can debug the computer, not just an application, when it crashes.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click "Start" and "Run."

  2. 2

    Type "regedit" without the quotation marks to open the registry editor.

  3. 3

    Expand "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" and go to "Software." Click on "Microsoft, "WindowsNT," "Current Version" and "AeDebug."

  4. 4

    Double-click the registry key "Debugger" on the right-window pane.

  5. 5

    Change the entry to "drwtsn32 -p %ld -e %ld -g" -- including the quotation marks -- to change the postmortem debugger back to its default.

  6. 6

    Click "OK" and close the registry editor.

Tips and warnings

  • Before doing any changes in the registry, it is important to create a backup first. To backup the entire registry, right-click "Computer" in registry editor and click "Export."

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