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How to remove windbg as the post-mortem debugger

Updated July 19, 2017

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.

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  1. Click "Start" and "Run."

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

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

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

  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. Click "OK" and close the registry editor.

  7. Warning

    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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About the Author

Chris Loza has published essays and book reviews in major Philippine newspapers since 2005. His work has appeared in the "Philippine Daily Inquirer" and "Philippine Star." Loza also worked as a technical writer for LWS Media. He has a Bachelor of Science in electronics and communications engineering from the Ateneo de Manila University.

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