General discussion

I'm having some weird problems...

I've searched recently on what to do about the dr watsons postmortem debugger program having to end recently. I'm sort of an amatuer with computers.. so if someone, anyone can explain how to take care of this problem in instructions I can understand... , so I can get into my computer and control panel it would be greatly appreciated... thanks

Discussion is locked

Reply to: I'm having some weird problems...
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: I'm having some weird problems...
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
I had that problem

That thing shows up int he taskmanager and then the comp freezes?

Its a virus.

- Collapse -
Can you give more information?

Hi dg,

Can you give more information on the problems you are seeing? Also, give details of your system as in the "Tip" above the message posting window.

Dr Watson is a debugger program but there have been instances of problems with it reported recently. Have you installed any programs shortly before th Dr Watson problem started? If so which ones.

What anti-virus protection do you use? Do you use a firewall?

Give us more so we can try and help you.

Good luck,


- Collapse -
I'll try....

ok.. um I'll try, like I said, I don't know much about all this. I've got an hp, and I've heard they've been having a lot of hard drive problems lately, but once again I don't know... I have Win xp running. I've got ad-aware se professional on there (if that does anything, someone else installed it for me), I've got the windows firewall on, and a little before the dr. watson thing started to happen I did some windows updates, but no other new programs or anything were installed. The only thing that keeps happening is whenever I try to click on the start menu, my computer, my shared folder, or anything of that nature the computer freezes for a moment, and then a window pops up saying that dr watsons postmortem debugger has to be shut down. I tried to look up some stuff online to see if maybe I could figure it out myself, but every thing I've found talks about registry things, and I'm nowhere near skilled enough to try to do it. I was just hoping maybe someone could help me walk me through it in a simple way. if anyone has any suggestions please let me know. Thanks a bunch.

- Collapse -
Some learning to do

Hi deadgurlee

Thanks for posting back. I appreciate you don't know much about all this, and also that you have tried to do some research, but you now need to go further and start learning about "malware", such as viruses, adware, spyware, trojans etc, and how to protect your computer. For instance, you say that you "have Ad-Aware SE Professional installed (if that does anything, someone else installed it for me)", but not knowing how to use it is no better than not having it installed in the first place.

Firstly you need to disable the Dr Watson debugger program. There's no easy method to do this, and so all I can do is provide a link that shows you what registry entries to modify, (change).

The link is here; "How to disable Dr Watson".

but before you go there, you need to read up on the registry, and how to back it up, edit it and restore it from Microsoft's knowledge base article here;

Once you have done that you need to download and install some protective software; eg

A firewall. Windows firewall is better than nothing, but is not the best. I suggest you goto and download and install their free ZoneAlarm firewall. This will help protect your computer from hackers. Once the ZoneAlarm firewall is installed and running, you can turn off the XP firewall.

Try an online scan for malware at and set it to "fix all problems" and run the scan.

Also, you need an antivirus program. I suggest AVG7, a free program from

And an anti-adware program. You already have Lavasoft's Ad-Aware SE Professional, (or is that SE Personal? No matter).

And 2 spyware programs, Spybot Search and Destroy from

and SpywareBlaster from

Make sure your Windows Operating System, (OS), is up to date. To do this, goto Start, and click the ?Windows Update? link. Beware, if you have not been to Windows Update before, there may be a lot of critical and other updates your OS needs to download.

After you have downloaded and installed AVG 7 you need to run the program and allow it to search for updates. This is updates to the virus definition database it uses. Then scan your computer with it, doing a complete scan. You "must" regularly update the virus definitions, at least once a week.

You must then update and scan your computer with "each of the other" programs, ie Ad-aware, Spybot and SpywareBlaster. Again, keep these program definition files uptodate, but it is not needed so often, eg two or three times a month.

This is a lot to learn I know, but you now need to understand that an unprotected computer is not going to last very long in todays internet world.

Good luck


- Collapse -

well.. i still didn't understand the registry things, so I did a system restore, everything seems to be okay now, I'm still installing everything you said to, and scanning everything.I knew programs like these were important, but I had no idea that I needed that many. Its Ad-aware professional, and i do know how to use it Happy .... but anyway, thanks for everything. oh one last thing- before I did the system restore, I ran the AVG 7 and got rid of everything that was on my computer, but when it restarted, nothing had changed except my internet wouldn't work anymore. it was so frustrating, so I tried system restore.. and now I guess things should be okay, I haven't done an AVG7 scan yet and now I'm kind of afraid to. Did I possibly do something wrong last time? Or was my computer just really messed up?

- Collapse -
Hi again

I'm really pleased you got everything back with a System Restore deadgurlee. Good work.

And my apologies for thinking you didn't know how to use Ad-Aware SE Professional.

About the AVG 7 scan. By doing a system restore you may have uninstalled AVG 7. If there is no AVG icon in your system tray, (next to your clock), or if you have an AVG icon on your desktop but when you double click it the program doesn't load and you get an error message, then it has been uninstalled. But that's not too much of a problem. You can re-install it, even if it means downloading the installation file again.

Many of us keep downloaded files like this in a separate folder, ( I call my folder Downloads, Happy ). In fact, my Downloads folder has sub-folders inside for the different types of files I might download, eg Anti-Malware, Games, Utilities, Browsers, Drivers, etc.

This means that if ever I have to use System Restore which might uninstall a program I installed "after" the restore date, or if I uninstall a program myself, I can always re-install it again if I wish.

I don't think you did anything wrong with using AVG. But it is possible that you had some sort of malware, eg a virus that changed your internet settings, and when AVG cleaned it out, your settings were lost.

Don't give up on AVG. When it is running well it is very good ongoing protection against viruses and I've never had any problems with mine.

A suggestion. Decide to run it again, (you may have to re-install it and then update its definitions again, although quite possibly the newer definitions will still be stored on your computer. If so, when you try to update you will be told that there are no newer updates available).

But, before you do run it, create a System Restore point. That way, if the same thing happens you can restore back to that point, and then come back here and explain what has happened and we will try and help you sort it out.

AVG has a useful ability, as do other anti-malware programs, of allowing you to "Quarantine" infections. They store the infections in a quarantine area where you can leave them safely, and if by moving them there something is not right with your computer, you can return them from the quarantine area. In AVG it is called the Virus Vault. I have one infected file in mine at the moment. I haven't finally deleted it because it may be what is called a "False positive", ie, AVG thinks it is a virus, but it may not be. If after a week or so I have no problems on the computer, I will consider deleting it.

You can always use the quarantine area in the same way.

Other anti-malware programs may do it differently. EG SpywareBlaster allows you to take a "System Snapshot" before immunising with any updates. And Spybot calls it Recovery.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.


- Collapse -
I think everythings good now...

thanks for helping me out, everything turned out okay. I actually learned a lot of new things while doing this Happy ... haha anyway, just wanted to say thanks for your time.

- Collapse -
Question about something different....

i don't know if you'll check this discussion again or not... but I have one more question if you have time, it's actually not even about this stuff we've been talking about. i just figured maybe you would know something about it to help me.

- Collapse -
Hello there

Yes I'm here.

I'm pleased everything seems fine now, and I hope you don't have too many problems in the future.

Please ask away, and I will try and help if I can. If its a terchnical question and I can't answer it, I'm sure there will be others here who can help.


- Collapse -
AVG and wireless schtuff

okay... well first one more question about AVG- you mentioned the virus vault, once they're in there and my computer is still running okay is it okay to go ahead and delete them? I guess I don't understand that very well.... then the other question- I've got a new Toshiba laptop and its got wireless internet on it, I was just curious what I would need to buy and how I would need to set it up so I can go ahead and just use my cable modem at home for it. I've read about routers, but some of it confuses me... since you explained everything else to me I thought maybe you could be of some help... thanks!

- Collapse -
AVG's Virus Vault

Hi Deadgurlee,

Yes you're rght about the virus vault. If AVG has quarantined any files, (viruses), and your system has not been affected badly in any way, then you can go back to the virus vault, highlight the file and delete it. I give mine about a week or so before I decide to delete any.

Your next post down asked for any good adware programs, and of course you mean anti-adware programs, to stop adware popping up on your desktop, Happy

The one most often recommended here and the one I use is the one you have already got, Lavasoft's Ad-Aware SE Professional, (although you have gone one better than me, I only have the free version, SE Personal). As long as you keep the adware definitions uptodate, (Ad-Aware should let you know if they are out of date when you start the program), and scan your computer regularly, say 2 or 3 tiimes a month, it should work fine. Ad-Aware has a similar quarantine area to AVG. If it finds anything, let it quarantine it, and you can go back later and delete it.

There may be others around, but as far as I am concerned, that is the best.

Wireless technology is something I don't know about I'm afraid. All I know is that you don't need a cable modem with a wireless internet connection. But I believe that cable internet connections are faster than wireless, and are also easier to protect against hackers.

But for accurate information you may find it better to post a question in the Networking and Wireless forum on this site here;

If you do, be sure to explain what your set up is, ie do you have a PC at home and a laptop? If so do you want them both to be on a cable connection, or both on a wireless connection, or both networked together so they can both see each others files, etc.

Good luck


- Collapse -

alright... thanks again for everything, you really helped a lot Happy

- Collapse -

also- do you know of any other good free adware programs?

- Collapse -
Free programs

Here are a few that will help minimize problems in addition to those mentioned
crap cleaner
a squared

CNET Forums

Forum Info