What is Drwtsn32.exe

DrWatson Postmortem Debugger - Microsoft® Windows® Operating System - Microsoft Corporation

File description

Drwtsn32.exe with description DrWatson Postmortem Debugger is a process file from company Microsoft Corporation belonging to product Microsoft® Windows® Operating System.
The file is digitally signed from Microsoft Windows Component Publisher - Microsoft Timestamping Service
We do not recommend removing digitally signed files from Microsoft Windows Component Publisher

What is drwtsn32.exe?
This is part of Microsoft's Dr. Watson error reporting utility. This is typically included with Windows but can also be installed by one of a number of Microsoft applications.

This process is not essential to the operation of the system; however, it should not be deleted. Disabling Dr. Watson will prevent application and system errors from being logged and may lead to unexpected system errors.

Dangers of drwtsn32
As this is a legitimate executable that is included with many Microsoft products, it is possible for virus writers and spyware vendors to disguise their malware as the genuine Dr. Watson utility.

Some malicious files may have the same name as this process but be stored somewhere other than in %SystemRoot%\System32. Other malware may use a name that appears similar to that of the legitimate one but with slight differences in spelling or with appended digits. While there are currently no known viruses, Trojans, or adware applications that disguise themselves as this process, you should look out for the presence of this file in an incorrect location or with a slightly different name.

There is typically only one instance of drwtsn32.exe running at a given time on a system. The presence of multiple instances may be an indicator of a malware infection. Furthermore, instances of this process do not usually continue running for extended periods of time. If you see a persistent instance of this process, your system may be infected. Note that even if your virus scanner detects this process as a virus, it may not be. This process exhibits behaviors that match many virus scanners' heuristics indicating a potential virus.

Common problems
  • "drwtsn32.exe - DLL Initialization Failed" when shutting down
    • This is a known problem that can be caused by many different pieces of incompatible software. Uninstall anything that you installed between the last successful shutdown and the shutdown during which this error first occurred.
    • This problem can also occur when one or more system files is damaged. Run "sfc /scannow" to check for damaged or missing system files. Once it has finished, open up the Event Viewer log and look for errors caused by applications. Try to determine if any system files are missing or damaged. If files need to be restored, you will need to restore them from your Windows installation disc.

Automatic startup locations

001 Running Processes
010 Installed services
176 AeDebug\Debugger

Digital signatures found for this file

39 Microsoft Windows Component Publisher - Microsoft Timestamping Service
23 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
12 Microsoft Windows Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Services Signer
7 Microsoft Windows Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
2 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher (Europe) - VeriSign Time Stamping Service
2 Microsoft Windows Component Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Services Signer
2 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher (Europe) - VeriSign Time Stamping Service CA SW1
1 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher - VeriSign Time Stamping Service CA SW1
1 Microsoft Windows 2000 Publisher - NO LIABILITY ACCEPTED, (c)97 VeriSign, Inc.

MD5 security rating in our database

878 files (Not yet rated and not signed)
1 files (Not yet rated and digitally signed)
2 files (Safe and not signed)
98 files (Safe and digitally signed)
Some versions of this filename have not yet been checked for safety.
Warning: Some malware might rename itself to drwtsn32.exe. Always make sure that your file is from a verified publisher.

User ratings for this file

File rating: Average rating of drwtsn32.exe: by 979 files and users.

Application errors

Fix drwtsn32.exe application error:  Run a FREE registry scan

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