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You’re barking up the wrong tree with Bowser

I spotted some events in a customer’s event logs that said the event source was Bowser and, like many before me, assumed it was a typo that had somehow escaped  Microsoft’s eyes all the way into windows 10.


Of course, that’s not the case, as explained by Larry Osterman years ago on his MSDN blog:

The other day, someone sent an email to an internal mailing list asking about a "typo" in the eventvwr.

It seems they noticed a number of events coming from the "bowser" event source, and they were convinced that it had to be a typo.

Well, it's not :)  The name of the component is bowser, and I wrote it back in NT 3.1...

The bowser is actually the kernel mode portion of the Computer browser service. 
It also handles receiving broadcast mailslot messages and handing them. 
When I originally described the functionality, my boss at the time (who was rather opinionated) said "What a dog!  Why don't we call it the bowser?" 

For various technical reasons we didn't want to call the kernel component browser.sys (because it messed up the debugger to have two components with the same name), so the name bowser just stuck.

Thus was born the name of the "misspelled" system component.  Nowadays the bowser is essentially gone (for instance, I can't find it on my XP SP2 installation), but the name lives on in eventlogs everywhere...

Amazingly, Larry joined Microsoft in August 1984 and is STILL there!

Print | posted on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 9:00 AM |


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