Why should I report Windows errors?

Windows XP error reporting message

When a system error occurs, the computer displays a blue screen containing error codes, and all computer operations stop. When an illegal operation or other error occurs in a program (such as Microsoft Office), that causes a program error, and the program stops working.

You can report system and program errors to Microsoft. This reporting system allows Microsoft to track and address operating system, Windows component, and program errors.

You can configure error reporting to send only specified information. For example, if you only want to report system errors, you can specify that reports be generated only for the operating system. The same is true for Windows components, such as Windows Explorer, Paint, or Internet Explorer; and for programs, such as Microsoft Word, installed on your computer.

When an error occurs, a dialog box will be displayed, prompting you to indicate whether or not you want to report the problem. When you choose to report the problem, technical information about the problem is collected and then sent to Microsoft over the Internet.

If a similar problem has been reported by other people, and more information is available, a link to that information will be provided.