CrashDoctor

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CrashDoctor is a program that is designed to recover crashing programs, preventing them from causing damage. It can also optionally provide a debugging functionality for the crashing program.

It is likely that, as you read this, you are thinking “but do these things ever work?”. Despite the five star rating I am giving this program, I really don’t know the answer to this question. However if you are wondering whether you should bother with something like this or if it could be at all useful, consider the following:

  • Crashes, as the author of this software points out, are the result of bad programming, and there’s little that this program (or anything like it) can do about that.
  • There is a single objective of recovering a crashing program: to get to an “unfrozen” state as to be able to save or copy your work that you may have spent a long time on.
  • This program, in other words, does not promise to somehow bring a state of normalcy to a crashing app or overcome problems with that software, just to potentially help you salvage your data (and time and energy).

My less than scientific test:
I ran this software for 5 days, during which time I experienced a total of 8 crashes under 3 different situations, as follows:

  • The first thing I did was run a video encoding software that always crashed when I ran it previously (and which I shall not name for it is still in Beta and the author is aware of the problems). The crash happened as anticipated and, lo and behold, CrashDoctor was able to recover this into an unfrozen state. Of coure, this did not mean that the program became useable, but I was pretty impressed with the result.
  • Next came the inevitable Internet Explorer 6 crashes which have plagued my computer ever since I installed the Stumbleupon plugin. These come sporadically for no reason that I can discern. I experienced 6 of these, and had no luck with them; the browser window eventually terminated, and I had to restart it.
  • Excel crashed while I was running a macro; it froze and I had to terminate it. CrashDoctor unfortunately didn’t kick in.

Well, there you have it. I’m going to keep an eye on this program, as I get the feeling that it is very well built and I am would bet that it will get even better. According to the authors, CrashDoctor is “extremely light-weight and doesn’t slow down the process even when recovering it from the crash”, so I am going to keep using it; it just may save my skin when I really need it.

Version tested: 1.0

Compatibility: WinAll (including 64bit PC’s, make sure to download and run the right version for your machine).

Go to the program home page to download the latest version.