How to stop .Net’s Dr Watson running in Server 2008



My "dual-core" VM has one core being
totally wasted by a constantly running
Dr Watson process (provided by the
.Net Runtime), and I can't figure out
how to stop if from running.

When it runs in conjunction with the
timed sharepoint search service (once every 10min), they
both consume 2 cores worth of CPU
causing denial of service to the IIS
processes that service the users of
the box, therefore making Sharepoint
entirely unusuable.


dw20.exe starts up all the time, and it runs constantly at 100% of one core.

  • Dedicated Sharepoint (web front end and index server) VMware VM.
  • Windows Server 2008,
  • Msinfo32 output:

I have the identical problem to this fellow: How do you shut Dr. Watson reporting off on Windows Server 2008?, but following the link provided and turning off Windows Error Reporting does not stop it from running.

The process is an executable called dw20.exe, and it lives in: C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727

I have tried renaming or deleting this file, via several methods (logged in as Admin), but cannot seem to do it. Save taking the box down, and mounting the filesystem under linux and renaming it, I can't think now of a way to stop it running. I've tried Unlocker 1.8.9, Killbox, command line (right-click, run as Administrator).

Can you think of how I can stop this process DOSing my Sharepoint box, keeping the current architecture? (I realise by setting up another Sharepoint machine to do the indexing, this would stop the index service using a core…)

I suppose I could try renaming the executable by booting the server into the recovery console, or mounting the windows filesystem under a linux livecd, but then I'd worry about the process that trying to execute it in the first place – hopefully that won't go crazy when it can't find it…

Best Answer

The dw20.exe is the Windows Error Reporting tool. According to this article it is collecting information every time an Office application stops working.

In that article are a number of registry keys you can change to disable dw20.exe.

It might also be worth trying to figure out what process is crashing.