The reporting service can collect information about problems that interrupt you while you work and information about errors that occur behind the scenes. It’s important to diagnose errors that occur behind the scenes because these problems, if left unsolved, might cause additional problems such as performance or program failures.
Reports contain information that is most useful for diagnosing and solving the problem that has occurred, such as:
Where the problem happened in the software or hardware.
The type or severity of the problem.
Files that help describe the problem. These failures are typically system or report-generated files about software behavior before or after the problem occurred.
Basic software and hardware information. This information can include operating system version and language, device models and manufacturers, or memory and hard disk size.
Possible software performance and compatibility problems.
Information such as your IP address, operating system version, browser version, and regional and language settings are also collected because you’re connecting to an online service (web service) to send error reports. However, this information is used only to generate aggregate statistics. It is not used to identify you or contact you.
Reports might unintentionally contain personal information, but this information is not used to identify you or contact you. For example, a report that contains a snapshot of memory might include your name, part of a document you were working on, or data that you recently submitted to a website. If you host virtual machines using a Windows operating system, reports generated by the Windows operating system for the MER service might include information about virtual machines. If you’re concerned that a report might contain personal or confidential information, you should not send the report.
After you send a report, you might be asked to complete a survey about the error you experienced. If you choose to provide your phone number or email address in response to the survey, your report will be personally identifiable. Microsoft might contact you to request additional information to help solve the problem you reported.
Starting with the Windows 7 operating system, MER generates a globally unique identifier (GUID) that is stored on your computer and sent with reports to uniquely identify your computer. The GUID is a randomly generated number; it does not contain any personal information and is not used to identify you. We use the GUID to distinguish how widespread the feedback we receive is and how to prioritize it. For example, the GUID allows Microsoft to distinguish between one customer experiencing a problem one hundred times and one hundred customers experiencing the same problem once.