How to find Watson Bucket Number

September 08, 2013

This post is intended for OneNote users who is trying to report a crash (typically over at Microsoft Community Forums). A report explaining the steps that trigger the crash is useful but often not enough to identify the cause and provide a solution. And sometimes it is like "I boot OneNote and it crashes" and with that information we don't have a way to tell what actually happened.

In such cases, there is a bit of information that you can collect from your computer and provide it with your report, that will help us a lot. That is called the "bucket number". This is a number that identifies the crash, which we can use to look at information collected from users that hit the same crash and get a better understanding of the issue.

Typically when an application crashes an error report is sent to Microsoft, unless the user opts out of it. You can check your preferences by clicking Start and typing "Choose how to report problems" and then hitting enter. This will take you to Control Panel > System and Security > Action Center > Problem Reporting Settings. The options there are:

If you are hitting a crash frequently and want to report this, I recommend choosing the second option, and then reproducing the issue, therefore causing the additional report data to be sent to Microsoft, before reporting the problem. This will send data to Microsoft's servers and identify which bucket your crash falls into and your computer will get this information back. You can find it by:

  1. Start > Type View all problem reports, hit enter
  2. Find the OneNote crash
  3. Double click
  4. Find the Bucket ID at the bottom

If you do not send error information to Microsoft, then you won't get a bucket number and it will be near impossible to provide help about the issue. So please add this information along with your crash report.

If you want more information about what information is sent to Microsoft when your report a problem, here is the verbatim copy from Windows help that can be useful:

Info in the problem report can include the name and version of an app that's stopped working, and the date and time that a problem occurred. Problem reports also include diagnostic info to help determine what caused a problem, and whether it's a problem Microsoft has seen before. Sending the problem report gives us the chance to check if a solution is already available, and then we can send the solution to you via Action Center.

If a solution hasn't been created for the problem yet, you might be asked to provide additional info about the problem. Your participation can help Microsoft and its partners create new solutions. Additional details can include files or logs that will help us identify the problem or explain how it has affected your PC. Windows doesn't intentionally collect any personal info, and you can view the details in the problem report before sending it to us.

For more info, go to the Privacy statement for the Microsoft Error Reporting service.

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