Common Windows error messages

Common Windows error messages


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INFO: What Is a Memory Leak? (Q318263)

This article discusses what memory leaks are and lists some possible causes of memory leaks. Additionally, this article discusses the perceived memory leak and how it can be misinterpreted as a true memory leak.
Memory leaks can cause an application to run out of resources and can cause an application to crash. It is important to track down memory leaks. The problem of memory leaks has plagued developers in C and C++ for years. In Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, a comprehensive garbage collection package and managed memory can stop memory leaks, but, under some circumstances, a program may appear to be leaking memory.
A memory leak occurs when memory is allocated in a program and is never returned to the operating system, even though the program does not use the memory any longer. The following are the four basic types of memory leaks: In a manually managed memory environment: Memory is dynamically allocated and referenced by a pointer. The pointer is erased before the memory is freed. After the pointer is erased, the memory can no longer be accessed and therefore cannot be freed.
In a dynamically managed memory environment: Memory is disposed of but never collected, because a reference to the object is still active. Because a reference to the object is still active, the garbage collector never collects that memory. This can occur with a reference that is set by the system or the program.
In a dynamically managed memory environment: The garbage collector can collect and free the memory but never returns it to the operating system. This occurs when the garbage collector cannot move the objects that are still in use to one portion of the memory and free the rest.
In any memory environment: Poor memory management can result when many large objects are declared and never permitted to leave scope. As a result, memory is used and never freed.
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Detecting and Isolating Memory Leaks

The ability to dynamically allocate and deallocate memory is one of the strongest features of C/C++ programming, but the greatest strength can also be the greatest weakness. This is certainly true of C/C++ applications, where memory-handling problems are among the most common bugs.
One of the most subtle and hard-to-detect bugs is the memory leak the failure to properly deallocate memory that was previously allocated. A small memory leak that occurs only once may not be noticed, but programs that leak large amounts of memory, or leak progressively, may display symptoms ranging from poor (and gradually decreasing) performance to running out of memory completely. Worse, a leaking program may use up so much memory that it causes another program to fail, leaving the user with no clue to where the problem truly lies. In addition, even harmless memory leaks may be symptomatic of other problems.
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Definition of Invalid Page Fault Error Messages

An invalid page fault may occur when parameters are passed between programs and the Windows operating system. An invalid parameter may cause a program to run invalid instructions, which results in an invalid page fault. Invalid instruction can occur in any of the following situations:
  • If the virtual memory becomes unstable due to a shortage of physical memory (RAM)
  • If the virtual memory becomes unstable due to a shortage of free disk space
  • If the virtual memory area is damaged by a program
  • If a program attempts to access data that is being modified by another running program
Check out the Microsoft knowledge base article Q286180 Invalid Page Fault Errors Occur in Windows.

Definition of General Protection Fault Error Messages

A general protection fault (GP fault) often indicates that there is a problem with software or you need to update a device driver that you have installed on your computer. If you cannot find a Microsoft Knowledge Base article to address your specific issue, the Dr. Watson tool can help you identify the cause of the error message.
Dr. Watson is a diagnostic tool that takes a snapshot of your computer whenever a fault occurs. Dr. Watson intercepts software faults, identifies the software that faulted, and offers a detailed description of the cause. Dr. Watson can often diagnose the issue and offer a suggested course of action.
After you receive a GP fault, run the Dr. Watson tool so that you can "catch" the error the next time that it occurs. To start Dr. Watson, Click Start, click Run, type "drwatson" (without the quotation marks), and then click OK.
When you enable Dr. Watson, an icon is displayed on your taskbar.
If a program fault occurs, Dr. Watson generates a snapshot of the software environment. Click the Details button in the error message to view the information that is gathered by Dr. Watson.
To generate a log file, double-click the Dr. Watson icon on the taskbar. Dr. Watson gathers information about the operating system, and then a Dr. Watson dialog box is displayed.
These two articles Q82710 Causes of General Protection Faults and Troubleshooting Tips and Q275481 How to Troubleshoot Program Faults with Dr. Watson may offer some help and insight.

Definition of Fatal Exception 0E Error Messages

Fatal exception error messages are codes that are returned by a program in the following situations:
  • If access to an illegal instruction has been encountered
  • If invalid data or code has been accessed
  • If the privilege level of an operation is invalid
When any of these situations occur, the processor returns an exception to the operating system, which in turn is handled as a fatal exception error message. In many situations, the exception is non-recoverable and you must either shut down or restart the computer, depending on the severity of the error.
A Fatal Exception 0E is a Page Fault interrupt and typically occurs when the operating system tries to access virtual memory on a demand-paged basis and that "page" is missing or damaged.
This article Q150314 What are Fatal Exception Errors will give further insight.

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Definition of Windows Protection Error Messages

Windows Protection error message occur when your computer attempts to load or unload a virtual device driver (VxD). This error message is a way to let you know that there is a problem with the device driver. In many cases, the VxD that did not load or unload is mentioned in the error message. In other cases, you may not be able to determine the VxD that caused the behavior; however, you should be able to find the cause of the error message if you use clean boot troubleshooting.
Windows Protection error messages can occur in any of the following situations:
  • If a real-mode driver and a protected-mode driver are in conflict
  • If the registry is damaged
  • If either the Win.com file or the Command.com file are infected with a virus, or if either of the files are damaged
  • If a protected-mode driver is loaded from the System.ini file and the driver is already initialized
  • If there is a physical input/output (I/O) address conflict or a random access memory (RAM) address conflict
  • If there are incorrect complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) settings for a built-in peripheral device (such as cache settings, CPU timing, hard disks, and so on)
  • If the Plug and Play feature of the basic input/output system (BIOS) on the computer is not working correctly
  • If the computer contains a malfunctioning cache or malfunctioning memory
  • If the motherboard on the computer is not working properly
  • If you installed Microsoft Office 97 and you are using the Novell Client 32 software
For help on troubleshooting these errors, check this article at Microsoft.com Q149962 How to Troubleshoot Windows Protection Error Messages.

Definition of Kernel32.dll Error Messages

The Kernel32.dll file is a 32-bit dynamic link library file that is found in Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millenium Edition (Me). The Kernel32.dll file handles memory management, input/output operations, and interrupts. When you start Windows, Kernel32.dll is loaded into a protected memory space so that other programs do not take over that memory space.
On occasion, you may receive an invalid page fault (IPF) error message. This error message occurs when a program tries to access the Kernel32.dll protected memory space. Occasionally, the error message is caused by one particular program, and other times the error message is provoked by multiple files and programs.
If the problem results from running one program, the program needs to be replaced. If the problem occurs when you access multiple files and programs, the damage is likely caused by damaged hardware.
You may want to clean boot the computer to help you identify the particular third-party memory-resident software. Note that programs that are not memory-resident can also cause IPF error messages.
The following conditions can cause Kernel32.dll error messages:
  • Damaged swap file
  • File allocation damage
  • Damaged password list
  • Damaged or incorrect version of the Kernel32.dll file
  • Damaged registry
  • Hardware, hot CPU, over clocking, broken power supply, RF noise, ground bounce, or bad hard disk controller
  • BIOS settings for Wait states, RAM timing, or other BIOS settings
  • Third-party software that is damaged or incorrectly installed
  • .dll files that are saved to the desktop
  • Non-existent or broken Temp folder
  • A control panel (.cpl) file is damaged
  • Incorrect or damaged hardware driver
  • Incorrectly installed printer drivers or HP Jetadmin drivers
  • Damaged Java Machine
  • Damaged .log files
  • Damaged entries in the History folder
  • Incompatible or damaged dynamic link library files
  • Viruses
  • Damaged or incorrect Msinfo32.exe file
  • Low disk space
  • Other problems that depend on the Kernel file
For more information on invalid page fault errors visit Q286180 Invalid Page Fault Errors Occur in Windows.

Definition of Fatal Exception 0D Error Messages

Fatal exception error messages are codes that are returned by a program in the following situations:
  • If access to an illegal instruction has been encountered
  • If invalid data or code is accessed
  • If the privilege level of an operation is invalid
When any of these situations occur, the processor returns an exception to the operating system, which in turn is handled as a fatal exception error message. In many situations, the exception is non-recoverable and you must either restart or shut down the computer, depending on the severity of the error.
A Fatal Exception 0D is an error message that is most commonly found, but not limited to, out dated or damaged video display adapter drivers and out dated multimedia software; however, this error message has also been know to occur when the Hsflop.pdr file is missing or damaged. If you are looking for updated drivers, view this Microsoft Web site for additional assistance.
For more info on fatal exception errors checkout Q150314 What are Fatal Exception Errors.

Missing or Damaged Files

Not sure if the dynamic link library (.dll) file is a Microsoft file that you can extract? View the Microsoft DLL Help Database to see if the file is Microsoft file. Then you can look at the details of the file and see if it is an operating system file or if it belongs to another Microsoft product. If you find that the file you are looking for is a Microsoft file, then you know which product installation disk you need in order to extract the file. For example, if the file you are looking for is Outllib.dll, you will not find that file on your operating system installation disk because it is a Microsoft Outlook file.
If you cannot find the file you are looking for by using this database, the file probably belongs to another program that you are using. Manufacturers use many naming conventions to name their files and sometimes it is difficult to find the manufacturer of the file you are looking for. The first thing to do to try to identify where the file comes from is to look for the file on your computer. If the reason you are receiving the error message is because the file is damaged it is still probably on your computer. If the reason you are receiving the error message is because the file has been removed from your computer, this method will not work. The only way to know for sure is to search for the file name:
  • For Windows 98, go to Start, point to Find, and then click Find Files or Folders. Type the name of the file you are looking for and then press Go.
  • For Windows Me, go to Start, point to Search, and then click For Files or Folders. Type the name of the file you are looking for and then press Search Now. NOTE: Make sure that the correct hard disk is selected in the Look in box.
After the file is displayed in the search results window, right-click the file name, and click Properties. If the file has a Version tab, click the Version tab, and then look at the Company Name. The file that is broken or damaged belongs to a program made by this company.
If the file is not found, or if the file is found but it does not specify a company name, try the questions below:
  • Is there a program on your computer that when you try to start it, it will not run? This may be the source of the issue. If an important file is missing or damaged, programs will not run.
  • Do you get an error message when you use a specific program? Maybe the core files of the program allow you to run the program, but as you are using the program one of the dependent files for a function you are trying to use is busted or damaged. The file that shows up in your error message might belong to that program.
  • Did you recently install or remove a program or utility? If you try to install a program and it only partially installs, you may be receiving error messages because the program is looking for files that did not get installed. Another possibility could be that you removed a program, but some of the files for that program remain on your computer, some times this can cause problems as well.
Once you determine the origin of the file, contact the manufacturer of the file to determine how to resolve the issue.

Windows 98 and Windows Me Error Message Resource Center

The Windows 98 and Windows ME error message resource center, here lists links to hundreds of knowledge base articles on invalid page faults, windows protection errors, general protection fault, fatal exception OE, fatal exception OD and kernel32.dll errors.

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