RealTime IT News

UI Reporting Bug Causes Windows 7 Crashes

Despite receiving high marks for having few flaws in the public beta test of Windows 7 so far, some testers have run into a thorny problem with a bug reporting tool that causes the system to crash randomly.

The good news is that several savvy bloggers, as well as Microsoft itself, have come up with workarounds to fix the problem.

Reports initially surfaced on the All About Microsoft blog on Monday. Blogger Mary Jo Foley reported that other bloggers had already identified the problem and come up with a workaround for the glitch, which is caused by a buggy reporting mechanism in Windows 7 called the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) client.

Random system crashes result when some testers try to use Windows Update or to install software using the MSI installer – originally called the Microsoft Installer but later renamed the Windows Installer.

The purpose of the CEIP client is to provide Microsoft with quality assurance data used to help spot and fix design errors in the user's experience. As such, the CEIP client can provide useful information to Microsoft developers.

"An issue related to the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP also known as SQM) [or Software Quality Management] client in the Windows 7 Beta is causing crashes of [Internet] Explorer, MSI-based installers and other applications," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to InternetNews.com.

Microsoft's official workaround uses a script to change the PC's registry settings for CEIP.

"This script will stop crashes related to CEIP and removes those changes (registry keys) to prevent further CEIP related crashes," the e-mail continued. "New machines installing Windows 7 Beta will not experience this problem."

One blogger, Chris Holmes, posted a screen shot of Microsoft's workaround.

"CEIP is one of Microsoft’s biggest avenues for feedback in betas especially [so] you may want to turn it back on. Although turning it back on may cause the issue to come back periodically," Holmes said in his post.

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