Common Error Codes

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  • Common Error Messages and Codes

    • Boot failure and errors

      • Invalid boot disk

      • Inaccessible boot device

      • Missing NTLDR

      • Bad or missing Command interpreter
        Any one of the following reasons could be the cause of this message

        • COMMAND.COM file was deleted or renamed.

        • COMMAND.COM wrong version

        • COMMAND.COM has a damaged header.


        • Use a Startup floppy (must be the same version or later as the system your trying to boot).

        • Type sys c: at the A:\> prompt and press enter.

        • Reboot

    • Startup messages

      • Error in CONFIG.SYS line XX
        Usually caused by a missing/corrupted file or device driver, or typing error.

      • Himem.sys not loaded
        The HIMEM.SYS command line in your config.sys file must appear before any commands that start programs or device drivers that use extended memory. If any of these other programs or devices try to load before HIMEM.SYS is loaded you could receive this error message.

      • Missing or corrupt Himem.sys
        The file may have been deleted from the C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND directory, or there is a line in CONFIG.SYS calling on a different version of HIMEM.SYS.

      • Device/Service has failed to start

    • A device referenced in SYSTEM.INI, WIN.INI, Registry is not found
      The referenced device is no longer installed, or its drivers are missing/corrupted. Try installing then reinstalling the device, or remove the referenced lines from the above files.

    • Event Viewer - Event log is full
      When a log is full, it stops recording new events.
      You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group to free an event log.
      To free an event log when it is full

      • Open Event Viewer, click Start, point to Settings, and click Control Panel. Double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Event Viewer.

      • In the console tree, click the log you want to free.

      • On the Action menu, click Clear all Events.

      You can also free a log and start recording new events by overwriting events. To overwrite events, on the Action menu, click Properties, and then click Overwrite events as needed. This ensures that all new events are written to the log, even when the log is full.
      You can also start logging new events by increasing the maximum log size. To increase the log size, on the Action menu, click Properties, and then increase the Maximum log size.

    • Failure to start GUI
      Explorer.exe could be missing or corrupted

    • Windows Protection Error
      General protection errors
      Is caused when a program tries to access a portion of memory that is has not been allocated by Windows or is already being used by another program or TSR. When this happens the screen turns blue with the GPF error message.
      Run scandisk / defrag
      Remove any TSRs or programs which were running before the GPF.
      Remove and reinstall the program that caused the GPF.
      Disable power management and screen savers
      If you frequently receive GPF errors from different programs you may have to reinstall windows
      Invalid Page Fault
      Is caused when Windows or a program attempts to store or call a segment or block of memory that does not exist. This could happen because of bad memory or the program is incompatible or corrupt
      Illegal Operation
      Is an operation requested, which is not understood by Windows or the CPU. Illegal Operations can be caused by

      • Corrupt files

      • Bad Memory

      • Data that can not be read properly

      • Incorrect Drivers

      • TSRs

      • Bad hard drive sectors

      Invalid page faults
      Are generally caused by program incompatibility, overheating such as the CPU cooling fan not operating or other hardware / software issues

    • User-modified settings cause improper operation at startup

    • Registry corruption

  • Using the correct utilities

    • Dr. Watson
      Windows 98 drwatson.exe
      To start Dr. Watson On the Start menu, click Run, and then type Drwatson. Click OK or Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, and System Tools, and then click System Information. Select the Tools menu and click Dr. Watson
      Dr. Watson collects detailed information about the state of your system at the time of and slightly before an application fault. Dr. Watson intercepts the software faults, identifying the software that faulted and offering a detailed description of the cause. When enabled, this tool automatically logs this information to the disk (\Windows\Drwatson\*.wlg), and can display it on screen. Dr. Watson indicates the program that caused the application fault, the program the fault occurred in, and the memory address at which the fault occurred.
      Windows 2000 drwtsn32.exe
      If a program error occurs, Dr. Watson will start automatically. To start Dr. Watson, click Start, click Run, and then type drwtsn32. To start Dr. Watson from a command prompt, change to the root directory, and then type drwtsn32.
      Dr. Watson for Windows 2000 is a program error debugger. The information obtained and logged by Dr. Watson is to diagnose a program error for a computer running Windows 2000. A text file (Drwtsn32.log) is created whenever an error is detected. You also have the option of creating a crash dump file, which is a binary file that a programmer can load into a debugger.

    • Boot Disk

    • Event Viewer

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