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More Windows Troubleshooting Stories

OK, so lately I’ve been both a little miffed, and more than a little curious, because my Windows 7 problem reporting hasn’t been working properly. The error message information to explain why not is pretty darn cryptic and turned up a big, fat goose egg — precisely nothing, that is — when I attempted to run the problem down. Here’s what I mean:

Interesting to see group policy mentioned on a non-AD Windows client

Interesting to see group policy mentioned on a non-AD Windows client

The diagnostics program helpfully offers the options to change error reporting settings, but they’re all greyed-out because they’re not user accessible. So off I go, haring into gpedit.msc, to see if jacking around with Local Computer Policy will help. Following tips on the Internet apparently related to this problem (‘Windows Error Reporting Doesn’t Work” or “Group Policy error on Windows error reporting”) I try changing settings in Administrative Templates \ Windows Components \ Windows Error Reporting. Nothing helps.

More Internet research tells me that the start-up and troubleshooting management tool, Soluto (which I use and have blogged about here repeatedly), might be at fault. Because a new update to the Soluto software is now available — which makes it smart for me to uninstall the old version before trying out a new one, as I’ve learned to do from previous major revs of their software — I try running the “Check for Solutions” item in System Center \ Maintenance with Soluto installed, and then again, without it installed.

Bingo! That difference also makes the difference between Windows error reporting (and Check for Solutions) working when Soluto is absent, and presenting the Group Policy error screen when Soluto is present. Very interesting! I certainly hope Soluto is aware of this issue and planning to fix it soon–hopefully in their upcoming first commercial release, scheduled for later this year.

[Follow-up note 12/22/2011: Checked a couple of 64-bit Windows 7 machines also running Soluto, but not the latest version: one rev back. No issues with MS problem reporting or solution lookup on any of these machine. Even more interesting! I’m going to update one of these machines and see if the problem is specific to the 32-bit version only, or affects both 32- and 64-bit machines.]

[Second follow-up 12/23/2011: Just installed the latest rev on two of my 64-bit test machines. Prior to the rev, MS Problem reporting and solution lookup worked fine. After the rev, it showed the same group policy error that also appeared on my 32-bit machine as well. Ladies and Gentlemen: we appear to have a genuine culprit!]

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