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Is Microsoft installing spyware?

By jardinier ·
Quite frequently recently when I am online, doing nothing in particular, I will get a message: "There is a problem with this application," inviting me to send a report to Microsoft, with the option of not sending a report.

I do not send a report and there is nothing wrong with the application I am using -- usually it is just Firefox browser.

Today it was Real Player which was not even open. So I am becoming very suspicious of these invitations to send information to Microsoft.

Have any of you experienced this? Do you think (as I do) that Microsoft is either gathering personal information or installing spyware.

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you might have a trojan installed

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to Is Microsoft installing s ...

sounds like a sucker trap type arrangement.

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by enriquehernz In reply to you might have a trojan i ...

Could it be another piece of spyware posing as Microsoft? humm...

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You're getting these error messages as a result of Application Crashes.

by lavinmansukhani In reply to humm...

<i>I do not send a report and there is nothing wrong with the application I am using -- usually it is just Firefox browser.</i><br><br>

   You are most likely experiencing these issues due to faulty third party plugins that you're using with Firefox. All that Microsoft does is it creates a snapshot of the faulting code in memory at the time of the crash (Called a mini dump) and it gives you an option of sending the mini dump to Microsoft's crash analysis server ( which does a postmortem on the mini dump to determine the cause of the crash. In fact, you can also open the mini dump (which it stores in \windows\minidump) by using "Windbg" and analyze the cause of the crash by using the !analyze command.

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Actually it is IE 6 in which these error messages occur

by jardinier In reply to You're getting these erro ...

I may have been mistaken about Firefox because that is my primary browser, but IE 6 gives an error report for no apparent reason and simply closes that particular page without closing down IE 6, even though it says it will close the application.

A tip for anyone who is still using 98 (SE). Do NOT install IE 6 as it causes a lot of problems. If you already have IE 6, DO NOT install critical updates because it was after this that I got problems.

Unfortunately IE 6 cannot be uninstalled. I feel pretty sure that if I used IE 5.5 there would be no problems.

Hmmmm ... no wonder anyone who is at all computer savvy has switched to Firefox or Netscape (or whatever browser Linux uses)

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"(or whatever browser Linux uses)"

by Neon Samurai In reply to Actually it is IE 6 in wh ...

Linux and BSD based OS offer twenty or more browsers though the big names seem to be Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox, Konquerer (I'm unsure what Gnome's native browser is).

You can also use Firefox on your windows machines. Netscape has been out of active production for a long while though I think Mozilla is still actively developed and has a Windows version also. You may also consider trying the Opera browser on win98.

I've a win98se box with all critical updates including IE6 that runs without issue. I've not got flash and all the rest of the whiz-bang bling installed though so it may not be the best install for comparison. I did find win98 needed a clean reinstall from time to time as most Windows installs do if you muck with them regularly.

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I already have Firefox and Netscape

by jardinier In reply to "(or whatever browser Lin ...

And Netscape is by no means dead as I have version 8 on one computer, and there is a version 9 available as I speak (write).

I had all kinds of problems with IE 6 on my two 98 SE machines, in fact it failed to function at all. I would just get an error message: "Buffer overrun."

However I purchased a dandy piece of software "Spring Cleaning" which cleaned up the registry, making IE fully functional again.

The only reason I am bothering with IE 6 is that it displays correctly a particular feature on a matchmaking site which does not display correctly on Firefox.

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I thought Netscape only continued development as Mozilla

by Neon Samurai In reply to I already have Firefox an ...

Good to hear that they are still supporting the original brand name though. Netscape Standalone (v4?) was a standard install for my machine when I was still building websites. It was the last of the Netscape versions that had a stand alone browser only. I really should track down another copy having lost my original in a drive crash.

I remember win98 being a pain for creating registery mess. You might try CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) which I believe still supports win98 and every win32/64 since. It's the first registry cleaner I've trusted since having my machine rotted out a number of times by older cleaners (they always seem to speed up the rate at which my win98 needed to be reinstalled clean).

I've IE7 on my machines now for much the same reason as you. Most sites now display under Firefox but everyone still builds there site to support IE's broken standards. There are a few sites I need IE to view properly and when testing a website it's always best to view it in more than just two or three token browsers. For Apple users, this was much worse until the osX browser developed further. We've pretty much abandoned IE6 on my wife's macbook with there yet being no IE7 for osX or websites that won't display without it.

At work I have a different issue. The standard install still uses IE6 and I'm more frequently finding websites that freeze the browser. Soon after IE7 was released, Cnet started to lock up my IE6. It got to the point where I had a 60% chance of having all browser windows crash each time I followed a link. The tech support response was "we only test the site under IE7" but I've since found better functioning news sites that don't crash the browser constantly. I think my case had to do with the use of flash and there business decision to favor IE7. TR rarely crashes the browser even with the heavy use of Flash.

Anyhow, my win98 security apps are the same as my winXP additions:

CCleaner - cleans temp files and registry errors

Lavasoft Ad-Aware - cleans adware infestations

Spybot Search & Destroy - cleans spyware and finds a little more or little different selection than Ad-Aware

Kepher Bazooka - finds what the rest missed but to be used only by the tech literate that are confortable editing the registry (for when I need a bigger hammer)

AVG Free Antivirus - cause you gotta have AV software in Windows

AVG Free Rootkit - cleans rootkit infestations

Pop-up Stopper Pro - this one you'd have to pay for but it was the pop-up blocker supreme before IE finally included the function natively.

AVG, Adaware, Search&Destroy, CCleaner and Pop-up Stopper will keep you comfy and tuned up. The other's get used when I'm hunting something and the regular tool set didn't find and remove it. With that little toolbox, my win98 ran/runs clean and happy.

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It's Mozilla Firefox, but Netscape is stand-alone

by jardinier In reply to I already have Firefox an ...

As you will see here:

Whenever Firfox does an update, it takes you back to Mozilla after the update is installed.

Re various other matters, Ad-Aware found heaps of stuff that Spybot missed.

Firefox automatically blocks pop-ups and tells you so.

I browse the matchmaking site:

The latest version of Firefox actually has a spell-check facility that works WITHIN RSVP emails which is rather cool.

Another handy tip I have just discovered:

From here you can insert Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia buttons into any browser, but it is so easy with Firefox -- you just drag the link onto the Firefox toolbar and Hey Presto !! -- it is immediately and permanently functional.

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It's just Microsoft, Jules.

by gadgetgirl In reply to Is Microsoft installing s ...

I've had a few of these when Microsoft has encountered problems - both at work and at home.

It can't recognise that the browser you're using isn't IE, so wants to send an error report if FF crashes/hiccups, even though it's not an MS product.

It normally happens when Windoze detects a problem with itself - which is why your Real Player wasn't open, but Windoze wanted to send an error report. It constantly checks itself (!) so can detect things that we mortals are unaware of happening in the background.

Despite their statement that they only collect machine and program info, and not any personal info, I still don't send. I prefer to look at the error myself, and google it. Tend to get more sensible answers that way, anyway.....

Hope this helps


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I stand corrected!

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to It's just Microsoft, Jule ...

Hi GG, this is the poster formerly known as richard_rpu. How are you?

I didn't know that about windoze not knowing the difference between firfox and IE Exploder.

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