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Why PCs Are Fragile and What We Can Do About It: A Study of Windows Registry Problems

Archana Ganapathi, Yi-Min Wang, Ni Lao, and Ji-Rong Wen

Abstract

Software configuration problems are a major source of failures in computer systems. In this paper, we present a new framework for categorizing configuration problems, and apply this categorization to actual Windows Registry-related problems obtained from various sources. Although infrequent, Registry-related problems are difficult to diagnose and repair. Consequently, they have been a source of major frustration among PC users. We classify problems based on their manifestation and the scope of impact to gain useful insights into how problems affect users and why PCs are fragile. We then describe techniques to identify and eliminate such Registry failures. We propose health predicate monitoring for detecting known problems, fault injection for improving application robustness, and access protection mechanisms for preventing fragility problems.

Details

Publication typeInproceedings
URLhttp://www.ieee.org/
Pages11
NumberMSR-TR-2004-25
InstitutionMicrosoft Research
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
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