4 3>7   25274 81181   6
PC ERRORS                                                                       June/July 2004 - Vol. 8, Issue 3Smart Comp...
ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS                                                             123   General Online Errors             ...
Editorial Staff: Ronald D. Kobler / Rod Scher /                                                                           ...
Error Messages                                                                                                            ...
Error Messages   Many users also see Windows protection or           that imprecise message won’t necessarily help        ...
Error MessagesDon’t Shoot The MessengerError Messages Contain HelpfulTroubleshooting Information      rror messages can se...
Error MessagesBig, Bad & BlueUnderstand One Of The Most-FearedTypes Of Error Messages       he sight makes many computer u...
Error MessagesCoping With PC AnxietyTips & Techniques For Stress-Free Troubleshooting                                     ...
Error Messagesmakes it easier for you to spot problems caused                                                       those ...
Error MessagesA Helpful HandDebuggers Let You Record& Track Error Messages      o err may be human, but to err and trash  ...
Error Messages                                                                           name (also called a sym- support ...
Windows XP (Home & Pro)Windows XP Installation ErrorsDon’t Get Stopped Before You Start                nce upon a time, in...
Windows XP (Home & Pro)Microsoft advises that you remove every unnec-          If you have any of the Echo Audio soundessa...
Windows XP (Home & Pro)   Translation: As the message implies, this                                                       ...
Windows XP (Home & Pro)This is another one of those messagesthat points to a possible problem with your WinXP installation...
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a
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[Ben10 team] 100 pc errors solved, smart computing reference series [mantesh] e book [4.90 mb] - p hob1a

  1. 1. 4 3>7 25274 81181 6
  2. 2. PC ERRORS June/July 2004 - Vol. 8, Issue 3Smart Computing Reference SeriesIn an ideal world, computers would never WINDOWS XPcrash and programs would never run intoproblems. Or at least, if those things did 12 Windows XP Installation Errors Don’t Get Stopped Before You Startoccur, your PC would notify you about anyglitches in a way that let you quickly patch 18 Windows XP Startup & Shutdown Errors Keep Windows Running Smoothlythings up and continue working. Uh, time to wake up. PCs run into problems 26 Windows XP Hardware Errors Keep Windows & Devices In Syncall the time, and they typically respond bysending you a message that is either indeci- 34 Windows XP Software-Related Errors Keep Working Despite Problemspherable or too vague to be of any use. In this issue we translate those arcane com- 42 Windows XP Network & Online Error Messages Get Connected & Stay Connectedputing error messages into plain English, andwe point out potential solutions to the prob-lem. Use this issue as a handy reference forwhenever you encounter PC errors.ERROR MESSAGES4 Error Terror Your PC’s Scary Messages Can Help You Resolve System Conflicts6 Don’t Shoot The Messenger Error Messages Contain Helpful Troubleshooting Information7 Big, Bad & Blue Understand One Of The Most-Feared Types Of Error Messages8 Coping With PC Anxiety Tips & Techniques For Stress-Free Troubleshooting10 A Helpful Hand Debuggers Let You Record & Track Error Messages WINDOWS 98 48 Windows 98 Installation Error Messages Get Windows Up & Running 54 Windows 98 Startup & Shutdown Errors Enter & Exit On Your Terms 60 Windows 98 Hardware Errors Decipher The Undecipherable 66 Windows 98 Software Errors Don’t Get Shut Down 72 Windows 98 Networking & Online Errors Stay Online & Productive
  3. 3. ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS 123 General Online Errors We Demystify The Internet’s Cryptic Errors 129 Revive Your Network Troubleshoot Network & Internet Connection ProblemsWINDOWS 2000 131 Browser Errors What You Can Do When The Surf’s Not Up76 Windows 2000 Installation & Setup Solutions To Get You Off To The Right Start82 Windows 2000 Startup & Shutdown Errors Say Hello & Goodbye With Ease88 Windows 2000 Hardware Errors Learn What’s Behind Those Cryptic Messages94 Windows 2000 Software Errors How To Figure Out What Your OS Is Trying To Tell You100 End Connection Headaches Windows 2000 Networking & Online-Related ErrorsMICROSOFT OFFICE 2003104 Microsoft Office System 2003 Installation & Startup Errors108 Word 2003 Diagnose & Correct Microsoft Word Error Messages112 Excel 2003 Diagnose & Correct Excel Errors116 PowerPoint 2003 Work The Bugs Out Of Your Presentations120 Outlook 2003 Failure To Communicate? We Can Help HARDWARE 137 Memory, CPU, BIOS & Port Headaches Tough Solutions For Tough Issues 141 Drive & Storage Problem Solving Your Data is Gone! Or is it? 144 Troubling Printing & Scanning Documents Check In, But Try These Tips When They Don’t Check Out 146 Sound Solutions To Audio Problems Clearing Up What You Can Hear 148 Video Card & Monitor Errors Some Are More Visible Than Others
  4. 4. Editorial Staff: Ronald D. Kobler / Rod Scher / Kimberly Fitzke / Sally Curran / Samit Gupta Choudhuri / Corey Russman / Christopher Trumble / Calvin Clinchard / Katie Dolan / Jennie Schlueter / Blaine Flamig / RaejeanMISCELLANEOUS Brooks / Rebecca Christensen / Tara Weber / Michael Sweet / Katie Crooks / Shawn Kupfer / Dana Montey / Nate Hoppe / Sheila Allen /150 Speaking BIOS Heather Svoboda / Jennifer Hansen / Trista Kunce / Marty Sems / Chad Denton / Nathan How To Decipher What Your Computer Is Saying Chandler / Kylee Dickey / Josh Gulick / Andrew Leibman / Eric Reed152 The Fatal Exception Error Web Staff: Missy Fletcher / Dorene Krausnick / Deciphering Processor Exception Codes Nick Ray Customer Service: Travis Brock / Alisha Lamb / Brandie Humphrey / Becky Rezabek / Lana Matic Subscription Renewals: Liz Kohout / Connie Beatty / Matt Bolling / Patrick Kean / Charmaine Vondra / Miden Ebert / Kathy DeCoito / Stephanie Contreras / Nicole Buckendahl Art & Design: Lesa Call / Fred Schneider / Carrie Benes / Ginger Riley / Sonja Warner / Leigh Trompke / Aaron Weston / Aaron Clark / Lori Garris / Jason Codr / Andria Schultz / Erin Rodriguez / Lindsay Anker Newsstand: Garth Lienemann / Kelly Richardson / Chris McGreer / Jeff Schnittker Advertising Sales: Grant Ossenkop / Cindy Pieper / Brooke Wolzen / Eric Cobb Marketing: Mark Peery / Marcy Gunn / Heather Mentgen / Amber Coffin Copyright 2004 by Sandhills Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction of material appearing in Smart Computing REFERENCE SERIES: PC Errors is strictly prohib- ited without written permission. Printed in the U.S.A. GST # 123482788RT0001. Smart Computing is published monthly by Sandhills Publishing Company. 131 West Grand Drive, P.O. Box 85380, Lincoln, NE 68501. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Smart Computing, P.O. Box 85380, Lincoln, NE 68501.INDEX Web Services (For questions about our Web site.)155 Error Message Index webhelp@smartcomputing.com (An Alphabetical Listing Of Error Messages In This Issue) (800) 368-8304 Customer Service (For questions about your subscription.) customer.service@smartcomputing.comSPECIAL: For Subscribers Only Smart Computing P.O. Box 85380 Lincoln, NE 68501-5308 Readers who subscribe to any of Sandhills Publishing’s computing publications Hours may read this issue online. Just go to SmartComputing.com, PCToday.com, Mon. - Fri.: 7a.m. to 8p.m. (CST) CEtips.com, or ComputerPowerUser.com and link to articles from the online Sat.: 8a.m. to 4p.m. (CST) table of contents for this issue. As an added bonus, subscribers also have To Place An Order Or Change An Address (800) 733-3809 access to these Web-only articles: FAX: (402) 479-2193 Access 2003 Subscription Renewals (800) 424-7900 Don’t Let Errors Trash Your Database FAX: (402) 479-2193 http://www.smartcomputing.com Publisher 2003 Authorization For Reprints Problem-Free Publishing—Almost (800) 334-7458 FAX: (402) 479-2104 Input Device Errors Editorial Staff What Goes In Should Come Out editor@smartcomputing.com FAX: (402) 479-2104 131 W. Grand Drive Lincoln, NE 68521 Advertising Staff (800) 848-1478 120 W. Harvest Dr. Lincoln, NE 68521 FAX: (402) 479-2193
  5. 5. Error Messages When programmers beat their tight codingError Terror deadlines, they take a step back and try to write clear, concise error messages that help users diagnose and fix problems. But as youYour PC’s Scary Messages Can know, few error messages are really that help- ful. One reason is that programmers just don’tHelp You Resolve System Conflicts have the time (or enthusiasm) for creating top- notch error messages. As a result, their sloppy error messages utilize esoteric English or jum- bled alphanumeric codes that mean nothing to end users. Worse yet, many error messages are composed by people who’ve never developed an application themselves, meaning the writ- ers don’t have an intricate knowledge of the product’s inner workings. Other times, the opposite occurs—an engineer who helped build the program writes the messages, but does so in language that’s of no assistance to end users. Still, unhelpful error messages are better than no error messages at all. Without them, programs would simply freeze, fail, or go berserk with zero explanation. Error mes- sages give us a starting point for taking the first steps toward addressing problems that, if undetected, could damage valuable data. Hardware and OS errors. Your computer’s hardware and OS spawn many of the mes- sages you see, in part because the OS has such an intense job. It must coordinate the activities of all hardware and software and keep tabs on many separate OS functions, too. Program- mers assure hardware and software compati- bility by testing their OS with as many setups as they can, but there are always unknown configurations that cause problems. ou’re probably familiar with the The next time you become livid at a vague When an OS encounters unfamiliar or newlyY sinking sensation you get when a car’s service engine light illuminates. That ominous, vaguely threatening feeling occurs again when yourcomputer displays portentous and vague errormessages. In both cases, drivers/users are leftpondering, and maybe panicking, about the error message, consider the multitude of chal- lenges facing software developers. They not only have to create cutting-edge applications on tight deadlines, but they also have to make sure their product doesn’t conflict with the programs and hardware components that will likely be on their customers’ computers. Developers do their revised hardware and software, conflicts may occur due to incompatibilities, or because more than one product demands the same resources as another. There are a few OS-related errors that happen more often than others, and one is called a fatal exception error. Often called BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) errors because of the blueunexpected problem: What in the world went best to smash the worst of their software’s bugs, screen and white text that appears, fatal excep-wrong? And what do I do next? but then the program’s release date draws near, tion errors are the bane of all computer users, as forcing companies to move forward in a hurry. these errors generally halt all programs and■ Elusive Errors. Error messages aren’t evil Randy Camp, MusicMatch’s vice president of prompt users to restart their PCs. You can readmonkey wrenches that clog the gears of your software and research and development, says in-depth details about BSOD errors in the articlecomputer’s systems—but they are signs that that in these situations, “programmers may for- “The Fatal Exception Error” on page 152, but forsomething isn’t quite right. Pinpointing the get to omit error messages created during the your reference, BSOD errors typically occur dueproblem, even if you have a clearly written debugging process, or they may be overlooked to an incomplete or inefficient third-party pro-error message at your disposal, is not always because of time and money restrictions or high- gram. Often the program in question requestseasy because your computer is so complex, er-priority user-interface items.” As a result, system resources (such as memory) that aren’tincorporating hardware, numerous programs, users may not only come across a vague error available, and if the program becomes unstable,and an OS (operating system) that supposedly message, they might even see messages that the OS puts a stop to the process and requireshelps each of those components play nice. programmers didn’t intend for the public eye. you to restart your computer.4 • PC Errors
  6. 6. Error Messages Many users also see Windows protection or that imprecise message won’t necessarily help depending on the situation, you might be ableSTOP errors, which usually occur at startup. you fix the problem. Other messages may indi- to resolve such errors very quickly. Check outLike fatal exception errors, protection errors cate that system resources aren’t available the following tips to combat common errors.freeze processes and force you to restart your because another program is working, but you New installations. Many errors surfacePC. Protection errors happen for many rea- still might not have a clue on how to resolve soon after you install new hardware or soft-sons, such as driver conflicts, viruses and the conflict. ware because conflicts often occur between theworms, a corrupted Registry, hardware mal- These unclear errors are notorious for their new product and previously installed compo-functions, and more. unhelpfulness, at least to ordinary home users; nents. To put an end to such messages, you You might also encounter GPFs (general nevertheless, many error messages offer more might be able to uninstall the program or hard-protection faults) or any number of illegal oper- help than those of the past. For example, if you ware (and hardware drivers) and then restartation errors. GPFs occur due to a variety of can’t save a file in a specific format, a program your computer to an errorless state.hardware and software problems and often might well explain why. And if an application If you do find that removing a new prod-appear when your processor receives invalid is starved for memory, there’s a good chance uct eliminates errors, you might have to do an error message will give some research to figure out the source of the you an accurate heads up. conflict before you can reinstall the new Things should continue product. Check the manufacturer’s Web site to improve as companies for updated drivers, search support areas for provide a more aggres- known conflicts, and contact technical sup- sive reaction to errors. port for assistance. Sometimes tech support Microsoft lets users send gurus can help you tweak a setting to end error reports via email, software conflicts. hoping to glean informa- Let it finish. Developing new computing tion that will help the habits can also limit the number of error mes- company’s products work sages you see. When you first start up your better in the future. Miller PC, let the hard drive come to a complete stop indicates Corel’s appli- before starting a task; this lets your computer cations offer a similar load all necessary drivers and operating sys- capability and says, “the tem components necessary for efficient and software offers to transmit error-free operation. The same concept works a snapshot of related sys- for your other programs. Let each program tem data via email that start up or shut down completely before youThese days, when a program crashes, Microsoft wants to know about enables programmers and move on to another job.it. When a programming problem shuts down an application, you may testers to get to the root Look it up. You can investigate Windowssee a dialog box like this one, which offers to send data about the error of problems as quickly error messages on Microsoft’s support siteto Microsoft’s software development teams. as possible and ensure (support.microsoft.com). Click Search The the top concerns are ad- Knowledge Base, select your OS, and enterinstructions from an application. Illegal opera- dressed in future updates.” part of the error message in the Search For texttion errors appear because the computer can’t box. You may well find information here tocomplete the instructions it receives, and thus, it ■ What You Can Do. When you see an error help fix recurring PC problems.stops the process and alerts you with an error. message, be sure to make a copy of it. De- Other software errors. Just like OS pro- pending on the circumstances, you may be ■ Just The Beginning. Now you under-grammers, the people who develop third-party able to highlight the error message and its stand a few of the reasons that perplexing andprograms must create software that will work description using your mouse pointer. Then annoying error messages wind up on yourwith a sprawling list of hardware, as well as press CTRL-C to copy the message, open a monitor. You also know that such messagespopular programs from other companies. word processing program, and press CTRL-V often occur because too many components areThat’s a daunting task, in part because each to paste the information into a blank docu- competing for the same system resources.program on the end user’s computer needs to ment. Save the file for future reference. If you Keep reading and you’ll see detailed expla-share the CPU, RAM, and other system can’t copy and paste the message, get out your nations of error messages and the best trou-resources. It’s a failure to anticipate problems trusty pen and notepad and jot down the mes- bleshooting techniques for defeating them (seethat generate errors. “In general, warning and sage in its entirety. the article, “Coping With PC Anxiety” on pageerror messages are used to indicate that a situ- After you copy the error message, try re- 8). You will probably never own an error-freeation has occurred that was not expected,” starting your computer to see if that resolves system, but with the knowledge you absorbsays Russ Miller, director of software develop- any problems you experienced. Often, simply here, you won’t panic at every error messagement for Corel. clearing your PC’s memory with a restart will you encounter, and your computing sessions Sometimes, an error message will offer a set things back to normal with no extra effort will be less stressful and more productive. RSgeneralized explanation that the program isn’t from you. Recurring error messages are morecompatible with a hardware component, but frustrating because of their persistence, but by Nathan Chandler PC Errors • 5
  7. 7. Error MessagesDon’t Shoot The MessengerError Messages Contain HelpfulTroubleshooting Information rror messages can seem overwhelming if we don’t understand program and system failures. Understanding each part of an errorE why they happen or how to prevent them. It helps to remember that an error message does not cause the problem; it is merelythe messenger. Error messages are much less intimidating if you view message can help you decipher the information and eliminate the error. RSthem not as signs of doom but as valuable tools that hold clues to Compiled by Kylee Dickey Title Bar. This part of an error message should be Message Body. This is the part of the error message that is in plain English familiar to most users because you see a title bar and, ideally, tells you what happened, why it may have happened, and how at the top of all windows and dialog boxes. you can correct the problem. Some error message bodies are well written and Usually, the title bar displays the name of the cur- provide many details while others are relatively brief. Read the message body rent program or the title of the open document or carefully, as the message body will often direct you to specific files and actions folder. In an error message, the title bar might that have caused the error or that may eliminate the problem. contain the name of the program that generated the error (such as Internet Explorer), the type of error (such as Windows Protection Error), instruc- tions (such as Restart Windows or Insert Disk), or Response Mechanism. All error messages have some a warning message (such as Warning or Error). type of response mechanism. The most basic response mechanism is a simple OK or Close button that follows the message body. More elaborate response mechanisms might first ask what action you would like to take and then offer a series of buttons, such as Yes, No, and More Info. For example, if the message body indicates that the system may become unstable, the response mechanism might consist of the following three components: • the question “Would you like to proceed anyway?” • a Yes button • a No button A more basic response mechanism might have no text and only a simple Restart button. Details Button. Not all error messages have a Details button. Those that do can provide information specif- ic to your system and the way you were using it prior to and at the time that the error occurred. When you click the Details button, you will usually see strings of computer code. Although this code may mean lit- tle to you, this information can help diagnose the problem if you contact technical support.6 • PC Errors
  8. 8. Error MessagesBig, Bad & BlueUnderstand One Of The Most-FearedTypes Of Error Messages he sight makes many computer users tremble: the BSOD (Blue Various types of errors may cause a BSOD. For example, a bad deviceT Screen Of Death). Chances are that if you’ve used Windows for a while, you have, at one point or another, encountered the BSOD.Even Bill Gates had the misfortune of seeing a BSOD on his computer driver, a hardware conflict, or even an error in the Registry may prompt a BSOD. One of the most common causes of a BSOD is that Windows can’t boot from the hard drive. Corrupted data on a hard drive can causescreen during his Windows 98 presentation at Comdex Spring 1998. a BSOD, as can the installation of incompatible memory modules. The BSOD is one type of Windows error message. Unlike the error The most common type of BSOD is a fatal exception error, an error thatmessage shown in the last article, the BSOD is a full-screen error mes- forces the current application to shut down. This happens when an unex-sage. With its bright blue background and white text, the BSOD is hard pected event, or exception, occurs. If no code exists to handle the exception,to miss. Sometimes it signals that an individual program must shut the program cannot proceed, and Windows will display a fatal exceptiondown. Other times, the BSOD indicates that the error is so grave that the error message. For more information about fatal exception errors, see “Theentire system must shut down. Fatal Exception Error: Deciphering Processor Exception Codes” on page 152. The BSOD exists in Windows 3.1/9x/Me. You will also find some- With so many possible causes, it helps to understand the parts of athing very similar to a BSOD in Windows NT/2000/XP. These more BSOD and its language so you can diagnose the problem. RSrecent OSes have an error message called a STOP message that lookssimilar to and has many of the same elements as a BSOD. Compiled by Kylee Dickey Type Of Error. The first part of a Error Code. This two-character DOS code ranges Memory Address. This string of char- BSOD tells you what type of error from 00 to 0F. It provides further information about acters is the memory address. It tells occurred. In most cases, the error the type of error that occurred. In this example, 0D you the precise location of the error in is a fatal exception error, an error indicates a general protection fault, an error that is the system memory. so great that it requires that the unique and does not meet the definition of any of offending program close. the other fatal exception types. Location Of Error. Here, the BSOD tells you where the error occurred. In this error message, we can see that the problem occurred in a VxD (virtual device driver), a file that manages mem- ory to ensure that programs don’t access the same devices simultaneously. Offending Device Or Program. This is the name of the device, program, or file that prompted the error. In this message, the BSOD tells us that the VFD (virtual floppy disk) caused the error. Response Mechanism. Finally, the BSOD offers at least Message Body. After the technical information, one response mechanism. In this error message, there the BSOD briefly describes, in plain English, are two response mechanisms. First, you can press any what action you should take (or what action will key to exit the offending program but continue work- be taken automatically). In the pictured BSOD, ing. This gives you a chance to save open documents because a fatal exception error occurred, the before you restart your PC. Second, you can press program cannot continue. The BSOD explains CTRL-ALT-DELETE to immediately restart your PC. that the application will shut down. PC Errors • 7
  9. 9. Error MessagesCoping With PC AnxietyTips & Techniques For Stress-Free Troubleshooting probably software-related. You’d want to start troubleshooting other hardware, such as the scanner’s cable and power connections Once you’ve located the source of the problem and determined whether it’s caused by hardware or software, you can begin the troubleshooting process. ■ Troubleshooting Hardware. Let’s be honest, you don’t want to open your computer unless you have to. So before you go reaching for a screwdriver, listen for irregular noises coming from inside your PC. A ratchety “zzzzz” sound may mean a stray wire is touching the fan blades or that the fan motor is low on lubricant. A grinding noise may indi- cate a problem with the hard drive. (If that’s the case, save the drive’s data immediately: The motor or head system, which contains read/write heads that record and retrieve information from within the drive’s case, could be preparing to fail. You have a right to panic.) Try solving hardware problems outside your PC by first making sure the hardware is plugged in and turned on. This may sound obvious, but more than a few people have spent valuable time troubleshooting a PC when all they had to do was just reattach a loose cable or flip a switch. If the power and cable sources check out ooner or later, you’re going to have determine this by tracing your steps. Try to OK, refer to the Device Manager. In WindowsS computer problems. That’s not a warn- ing; it’s a guarantee. Fortunately, how you react to those prob- remember what you were doing before the prob- lem occurred. Take note if you’ve recently installed a new program, saved or deleted an XP, right-click My Computer, select Properties, choose the Hardware tab, and click Device Manager. Navigate to the hardware devicelems is up to you. While some of us remain odd-looking file, or moved your computer to a that is giving you problems. A small yellowcalm, others stress out. Still others scream new location. Don’t disregard anything. circle and an exclamation point or questionand panic much like students in bomb squad If you’re lucky—well, perhaps “lucky” isn’t mark to the left of the device’s name indicatesschool about to fail their first and final exam. the right word—an error message will accom- that Windows has detected a problem. Click Needless to say, such reactions are unhealthy. pany the problem. If so, write it down. This will the exclamation point, and you might be That’s why we want to help you handle your prevent you from later forgetting what went directed through a series of problem-solvingPC problems stress-free. Here are a few trou- wrong. Your notes might also come in handy if steps. If not, right-click the device, uninstall it,bleshooting essentials that might help not only to you need to call a technician. Moreover, error and remove it from Device Manager. Thenget you through your next computer crash, but messages sometimes contain important clues as reboot your computer. Windows will redetecthelp keep your blood pressure down, as well. to whether your problem is hardware- or soft- the hardware, hopefully without the problem. ware-related. Let’s say you’re trying to upload If your computer won’t reboot, try starting it■ Find The Root Of The Problem. The first images from your scanner but keep getting an in Windows’ diagnostics mode, called Safething to do when your PC misbehaves (aside error message saying your computer is unable Mode. In Safe Mode, Windows uses only thefrom sighing, gasping, and moaning) is to locate to connect to the scanning device. Chances are, most vital drivers and components, which lim-the source of the problem. You might be able to your PC didn’t cause the problem. Nor is it its the numbers of tasks you can perform but8 • PC Errors
  10. 10. Error Messagesmakes it easier for you to spot problems caused those applications running in the background,by newly installed drivers. To enter Safe Mode, along with a reading of how much memorystart your computer and begin tapping the F8 each task is using. If too many programs runkey until an Advanced Options menu appears. at once, or your system gets low on memorySelect Safe Mode and press ENTER. resources, you’re likely to notice a slowdown WinXP users can add Safe Mode to their Boot in your computer, perhaps even a BSOD (BlueMenu. Right-click My Computer and select Screen of Death).Properties. Choose the Advanced Tab. Under Items listed under the Processes tab asStartup And Recovery, click Settings. Then, in the LOCAL SERVICE, NETWORK SERVICE, andresulting Startup And Recovery dialog box, click SYSTEM typically can’t be closed, but otherthe Edit button under System Startup. After Use the Device Manager in Windows to check items can be (select the program and click theNotepad opens, copy the last line of text and hardware problems, such as missing drivers and End Process button). You might be able to endpaste it in the next line. Delete the description malfunctioning system devices. slowdowns by closing some of these items.inside the quotes (most likely “Microsoft Win- Just don’t close any applications if you aren’tdows XP Home Edition”) and replace it with Safe sure what they are.Mode. In the same line, change “/fastdetect” to The best way, however, to end freezes,“/safeboot:minimal/sos/bootlog”. Now click File, crashes, slowdowns, and even some glitches isSave, and then exit Notepad. Click OK twice to simply reboot your computer. If you think(once to close the Startup And Recovery dialog you’ve caused a problem by accidentally delet-box and again to close the System Properties dia- ing a necessary file, try recovering if fromlog box). The Safe Mode option will appear the the Recycle Bin or a backup disk. Windowsnext time you boot your computer. Me/XP users have the option of using System Restore. (Click Start, point to All Programs,■Troubleshooting Software. Software Accessories, System Tools, and select Systemglitches occur far more frequently than hard- Restore.) System Restore, although not a back-ware glitches. That’s because software (which up utility, monitors system and program filesincludes the operating system, OS utilities, and and creates restore points at selected intervals.other applications) is responsible for carrying If a user with either of these OSes experiencesout every single task the computer If a program stops responding, try a problem, she can revert the system to a stateperforms. And when you consider that multi- closing it through Windows Task when it worked properly.ple programs may be running at any given Manager (press CTRL-ALT-DELETE). WinXP users also have access to The Lastmoment—either behind the scenes or in your Known Good Configuration feature. This fea-computer’s foreground—it’s no sur- ture will revert your OS to the sameprise that applications occasionally settings in effect the last time yourconflict with one another. computer started successfully. To use Viruses and bugs, however, The Last Known Good Configurationcause most software problems. feature, start your computer, tapViruses are better prevented than the F8 key to enter the Windowsfixed (with antivirus software and Advanced Options menu, select Lastfirewalls), but users have less con- Known Good Configuration (yourtrol over bugs (which are actually most recent settings that worked),coding errors or defects within and press ENTER.the software program). A good soft-ware company will offer updates, ■ Tech Support: The Last Resortor patches, to fix bugs in its prod- During major crises you may haveucts, but often minor bugs can be no choice but to refer to technicaleliminated by the user. support. Try to make this your final If you experience problems im- option. Tech support can be expen-mediately after you’ve installed Windows Me and XP users can restore their computers to an earlier date sive and time consuming, especiallya new program, try simply unin- and time using the System Restore feature. if you seek help through email,stalling or reinstalling the software. which can take days to receive aIf your computer freezes, try pressing the ESC open on your computer. If a program is not response. With patience and a little effort youkey. If the ESC key doesn’t work, try closing working properly, or is “Not Responding,” use can solve most computer problems on yourthe application with the Windows Task man- the End Task button to terminate the program. own . . . without the panicking. RSager. Press CTRL-ALT-DELETE and select Also in the Task Manager, under the Pro-Task Manager. Now choose the Applications cesses tab, you’ll find a list of all the applica- by Eric Melvin Reedtab. Here you’ll see a list of all the programs tions your computer is running, including PC Errors • 9
  11. 11. Error MessagesA Helpful HandDebuggers Let You Record& Track Error Messages o err may be human, but to err and trash Watson sits in theT your PowerPoint presentation is dis- tinctly PC. Sometimes the errors are ran-dom, other times they’re more predictable, but background waiting for errors to occur. When Dr. Wat-sonthey’re always annoying. To make matters detects an error, itworse, the most annoying errors always seem takes a snapshot ofto have the most obfuscated error messages. everything that’sWindows does come with a number of small going on in the systemtools to help you track and, in some cases, and saves the data to asolve application errors. log file. You may be able Perhaps the best known tool is Dr. Watson. to use some of the infor-If you have Windows, chances are you have mation in the log to pin-Dr. Watson installed. The good doctor, how- point where errors areever, has gone through a number of changes occurring, but you’ll find theover the years and works differently depend- log files are most helpfuling on which version of Windows you’re when submitted to technicalusing. A handful of additional tools can pro- support teams.vide extra help in solving errors. Windows In newer versions of Windows,XP, for instance, lets you submit error reports Dr. Watson is constantly running. Windows created shortcut and select Copy. Right-clickto Microsoft each time an error occurs. Other 2000/XP users do not need to start Dr. the Start Menu and select Explore. Double-tools help catch errors that Dr. Watson may Watson manually and will not see any indi- click Programs and Start-up and then selectmiss. We’ll take a look at some error debug- cation that Dr. Watson is running. Paste from the Edit menu.ging tools and show you how you can use On older systems, users will need to start Options. In Win98/Me, right-click the Dr.these tools to help pinpoint problems. Dr. Watson before it can log any errors. In Watson icon in the System Tray and select Windows 98/Me, click Run in the Start Menu Options. You can specify the number of log■ House Calls. As we mentioned above, and type drwatson. You’ll see an icon in the entries to save and set the directory whereDr. Watson is perhaps the most well-known System Tray when Dr. Watson is running. Dr. Watson will store its logs along with adebugging application for Win-dows. Dr. Win98/Me users who are experiencing fre- handful of other options. quent but random errors There are more options available to may want to make a Win2000/XP users. To open the configura- shortcut to Dr. Watson tion window, click Run in the Start Menu and and place it in the Start- type drwtsn32. Once again, you can set the up program group in the number of log entries to save and specify the Start menu. This will directory where Dr. Watson will save its log load Dr. Watson each files. These versions can also create Crash time the system boots. Dump files that developers or support staff To create a shortcut, can load into other debuggers. right-click the Desktop, Win2000/XP users will also notice recent select New from the Dr. Watson entries listed at the bottom of the pop-up menu, and click window. Highlight an error and click View to Shortcut. Type drwatson view the details. in the text field and click Log Files. The location where Dr. Watson Next. Provide a name saves log files by default depends on the ver- for the shortcut (Dr. sion you’re using. Open the configuration Watson works fine, but window using the method described above toWindows 98/Me users will need to make sure Dr. Watson is running it can be anything you locate the directory where Dr. Watson savesbefore an error occurs. You can set a handful of options in older want) and click Finish. its log file. Older versions on Win98/Me sys-versions of Dr. Watson. Right-click the newly tems use a .WLF file extension while newer10 • PC Errors
  12. 12. Error Messages name (also called a sym- support department even if you’ve filed an bol). automatic error report. If the application is a Microsoft application, try ■ Safety Net. In older versions of Windows, searching Microsoft’s unexpected errors can slip through if Dr. online Knowledge Base Watson isn’t running. Older versions of ( s u p p o r t . m i c r o s o f t Windows still catch and record errors in a file .com). It may be useful to called Fault.txt located in the C:Windows include the application directory. name, error code, and Entries in this file are small, especially symbol (if any). If the error compared to the wealth of data provided by is from another applica- Dr. Watson. Nonetheless, they do provide tion, search the support some basic information you might find help- documents from the soft- ful. You’ll find the name of the application ware’s publisher. Other that caused the crash and the name of the Recent errors are listed in the Dr. Watson configuration screen, handy utilities in-clude module that crashed along with a date and but errors will remain in the log file even after you’ve cleared Google (www.google time stamp. A few other technical details are entries from the configuration window. .com) and Google Groups provided, but they’ll mostly be of use to tech- (groups.google.com). nical personnel. Addition reports areversions running Win2000/XP use a .LOG In some instances, you may be able to appended to the end of the file, so you’ll findextension. track down a software conflict between two the most recent errors listed at the bottom of In Win95/98, double-click the Dr. Watson or more applications and find a simple the file.icon and then click Open Log File in the File workaround. Though in most cases, youmenu. Users with Win2000/XP can open probably will have to contact the software’s ■ Limitations. Dr. Watson and other errorrecent logs from the configuration menu as tech support department. Submitting Dr. reporting utilities do have somewhat limiteddescribed above. If you’ve cleared out entries Watson logs may prove helpful. Even if the use. They will not, for instance, help within the configuration window, you can still developer is unable to fix the problem in a major errors involving the OS itself (we’llopen the Drwtsn32.log file in a text editor timely manner, the companysuch as Wordpad (log files may be too large may be able to fix the prob-to open in Notepad). lem in future revisions. Logs can be very long, and most of theinformation is of no use to you unless you’re ■ Error Reporting. Ina programmer. Nonetheless, in some in- WinXP, Windows offers tostances you might be able to find some useful report any errors directly toinformation buried in a Dr. Watson log. Microsoft any time an error Each entry starts listing the date, time, and occurs. This may or mayname of the application that crashed. Names not be helpful depending onprovided are file names rather than generic the situation. Regardless,program names (for instance, Wmplayer.exe due to privacy concerns,instead of Windows Media Player). You’ll error reports are completelyalso find a list of modules and other applica- anonymous, and only ations running at the time of the crash and a handful of Microsoft devel-generic program error code. You can use this opers have access to theseinformation to search the Web for other users error reports. Don’t expect If an error caught you without Dr. Watson running, you can findwho may have had similar problems with a Microsoft to get back to you a little extra information about the error in the Faultlog.txt filespecific application. concerning an error report. in your Windows directory. You can find the exact point where the Microsoft developers, how-problem occurred. You’ll find multiple head- ever, may notice trends iners that read “State Dump For Thread Id submitted reports over time. They can use refrain from making the obvious WinMe jokexxxxx” (where xxxxx changes). You may see this information in the future to fix common here). These applications are best used to catchthe word Fault in front of one or more of errors. errors that occur when specific applicationsindented lines under these headers. Take a Remember, the information you submit in crash. In instances where the entire OS sud-closer look at the beginning of any segment these reports is confidential. If you do contact denly locks up, they may be of little use. RSthat contains a Fault line, and you should see Microsoft’s tech support department directly,a line beginning with Function. In some they will not have access to the report you by Chad Dentoninstances, you may be able to find some submitted. Dr. Watson logs, therefore, areinformation by researching the function still useful when contacting Microsoft’s tech PC Errors • 11
  13. 13. Windows XP (Home & Pro)Windows XP Installation ErrorsDon’t Get Stopped Before You Start nce upon a time, installing a newO version of Windows could turn into a monumental chore fraught with errors and frustration. We even recall the times when Win-dows 95 came on floppy diskettes (about 25 ofthem for a new installation). The Web is full ofhorror stories from Windows users who suf-fered through botched installations and spentcountless hours getting their systems to run. One of WinXP’s many improvements to theWindows experience is ease of installation.The vast majority of the time, a WinXP instal-lation is very easy and chugs efficiently alongwith little or no interference from you. It’salmost as easy as inserting the setup CD intoyour CD-ROM drive and walking away. If set-ting up WinXP is boring, that’s a very goodthing. Go get a cup of coffee, prop your feetup, and relax while Windows does the heavylifting. But don’t relax too much. Sometimesthings can go wrong. When something goes wrong with a WinXPinstallation, the setup process halts and reports This error message is triggered when To clean boot in WinMe, click Start and Runan error message that attempts to describe the you are upgrading your system from and type msconfig in the Open textbox. Clickproblem and, in some cases, what you can do to Windows 98/Me to WinXP. the General tab and then click the Selectivefix it. But like most error messages, installation Translation: Hmmm . . . This one is not Startup checkbox. Under Selective Startup,error messages leave a lot to be desired. If you very descriptive at all. IRQs (interrupt click the checkbox to the left of each item todon’t have access to another computer while request lines) are the communication chan- deselect the item. Then, click the Startup tab,installing WinXP and the installation trips up, it nels via which your hardware devices com- find the *StateMgr entry in the list, and click itscan be a very stressful situation when you have municate with your computer’s CPU. When checkbox to select it. Click OK to accept yourno way of obtaining more information about a a device needs the CPU’s attention, it uses an changes and click Yes when prompted toparticularly cryptic error message. interrupt request to let the CPU know that it restart your computer. Read on to learn more about WinXP instal- has data that requires handling. So it’s rea- To clean boot in Win98, the steps are fairlylation messages; in the next few pages, we’ll sonable to suspect this error message indi- similar. To launch the System Configurationdescribe a few common messages, translate cates a problem with a hardware device or a Utility in Win98, click Start, Programs,what they say into plain English, and then tell device driver. Accessories, System Tools, and Systemyou how to solve the condition that caused the Solution: According to Microsoft, the root Information. Click Tools and then click Systemerror. We hope you will see some common cause of this problem is an incompatible hard- Configuration Utility to launch the application.threads at the heart of many of these error ware device or device driver. To resolve the Click the General tab and deselect every itemmessages. Knowing what can go wrong and problem, restart your computer; if the Setup under Selective Startup by clicking each check-why will give you the knowledge you need to program gives you the option to revert to your box. Click OK to accept your changes and thenprep your system and ensure a smooth, trou- previous OS, take it. When your old OS click Yes when you are prompted to restartble-free upgrade to Microsoft’s best OS. (whether it’s Win98 or WinMe) restarts, unin- your system. stall any antivirus and boot manager software After the computer clean boots, attempt theINSTALLATION ERROR MESSAGES and “clean boot” your computer. A clean boot WinXP installation again. If the error still is a simplified boot sequence that prevents occurs, see the steps below.Error Message: “STOP: 0x0000000A device drivers, startup programs, and other If the WinXP Setup program did not giveirql_not_less_or_equal.” settings from loading at boot time. you the option to revert to your previous OS,12 • PC Errors
  14. 14. Windows XP (Home & Pro)Microsoft advises that you remove every unnec- If you have any of the Echo Audio soundessary piece of hardware from your system. cards we mentioned above, upgrade theirThis includes any hardware device that you audio driver to version 6.0 or higher. Go toabsolutely don’t need to run the computer, from www.echoaudio.com to get the files andUSB (Universal Serial Bus) devices to network instructions for installing them.and sound cards. If the WinXP setup is still If the steps outlined above don’t solveunsuccessful, try flashing your BIOS (Basic the problem, perform a clean boot in Win98Input/Output System) to a new version. or WinMe as we described above and restartConsult with your computer’s manufacturer to the setup process. If Setup still reports thefigure out how to do this. error, unplug all peripherals that are not required to start your computer and restart theError Message: When upgrading setup process. Microsoft even recommends During the installation, Windows XP’s Setup pro-Win98/Me to WinXP, you get one of the that you clean your installation CD-ROM gram prompts you to check Microsoft’s Web sitefollowing messages: before proceeding. for updated installation files. This is a good option “Fatal Error: This issue brings up an important question: to choose and ensures a trouble-free installation. Setup Cannot Continue. Please Should you upgrade to WinXP on top of yourContact Microsoft Technical Support. Win98 or WinMe installation or should you per-(Error: 3E6h)” form a clean upgrade? The short answer is no. or “WINNT32 this program has per- Error Message: “Fatal Error: An errorformed an illegal operation. WINNT32 has been encountered that preventscaused an invalid page fault in module setup from continuing.KERNEL32.DLL” One of the components that Windows Translation: This message indicates that a needs to continue setup could not besoftware application or a device caused the installed.Setup program to crash. The second message Press OK to view the setup log file.”indicates that another application or program Translation: This error message meanstried to access the same area of memory the Setup program is unable to read fromassigned to KERNEL32.DLL, one of the critical your WinXP installation CD.Windows DLL (dynamic-link library) files. Solution: If your WinXP installation CD is To perform a clean boot, choose Selective Solution: If you have any of the following very damaged or scratched, you’ll have to get Startup in the System Configuration Utility’sprograms or hardware devices, a replacement from Microsoft. If you’re in the General tab and uncheck all the checkboxes to• System Restore Remover Pro by Definition United States, call (800) 360-7561 Monday minimize the number of files processed and Software through Friday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific to loaded by Windows at boot time.• Intuit Quickbooks order a new CD. If you’re in Canada, call (800)• Dell Dimension 8100 933-4750 during the same days and hours to• Echo Audio sound card get a replacement. the Setup program from a startup disk com- You may be able to resolve this by copy- mand prompt. Microsoft recommends that you take some ing the setup files from the CD to a folder If you’re simply upgrading an existingactions before continuing. Remove both soft- in your hard drive. If you’re installing Win98/Me installation, click Start and Run,ware programs using Add/Remove Programs. WinXP to a clean hard drive, insert a Win98 type cmd in the Open textbox, and click OK.The System Restore Remover Pro works only or WinMe startup disk in your computer’s At the command prompt, type the samewith WinMe, so you won’t be able to use this floppy drive and reboot the computer. At command as above to copy the files. Whenprogram with WinXP. Intuit’s Quickbooks is the command prompt, type the following the copy process is complete, type c:i386compatible, but Microsoft advises that you command: winnt32.exe to launch the setup process. Theremove the program, complete the setup xcopy [CD Drive Letter]i386*.* reason you use the winnt32.exe file in this situ-process, and then reinstall it once WinXP is up c:i386*.* /s /e ation is that you are running the Setup pro-and running. gram from within Windows. If your Dell Dimension 8100 has a Turtle This command copies all the files in theBeach Santa Cruz sound card installed, browse i386 folder of your WinXP installation CD to a Error Message: When upgrading fromto the C:DELLDRIVERSr33637 folder and new i386 folder in your C: drive. The /s and /e Win98/Me to WinXP, you get the follow-check for two installation files for the sound command switches ensure that you copy all ing message during setup:card’s drivers, both called Setup.exe. These files directories and subdirectories (even empty “Setup has disabled the upgradeare found at C: DELLDRIVERS R33637 ones) to the new location. option, could not load the file D:9xSetup.exe and C:DELLDRIVERS Now, type c:i386winnt.exe to continue i386Win9xupgW95upg.dll. Setup can-R33637NTSetup.exe; rename both programs the setup process. Winnt.exe is the installation not continue, because this version canto Setup.old. file that must be used when you’re running only install as an upgrade.” PC Errors • 13
  15. 15. Windows XP (Home & Pro) Translation: As the message implies, this Translation: Again, this is a symptom thatissue occurs because the Setup program mis- occurs when performing an upgrade to WinXPtakenly assumes the upgrade option is not on top of an existing Windows installation.valid for your software. This occurs in spite of According to Microsoft, the root cause of thisthe fact that you are eligible for an upgrade problem is antivirus software installed withbecause you are obviously installing on top of your previous version of Windows that is run-an existing Windows installation. ning in the background and interfering with Solution: There are two solutions to this the setup process.problem that Microsoft suggests. First, clean Solution: To resolve this issue, exit Setupboot your computer and try to run Setup after and then disable or uninstall any antivirusthe boot process completes. Please refer to the software in your computer. Once the anti-discussion above to find out how to clean boot After Setup checks your system for compatibility virus software is disabled or uninstalled,in Win98 or WinMe. issues, it reports its findings to you. Problem restart Setup. The other solution is to copy the i386 folder areas may be easily fixable by simply updatingfrom the WinXP installation CD to a folder on your hardware’s drivers. Error Message: After restarting youryour hard drive. If you’re already in Windows, computer when an upgrade to WinXP issimply use Windows Explorer to browse to the complete, the following message mayi386 folder in your WinXP installation CD, Error Message: This one is not a mes- appear:right-click the folder, and click Copy. Browse sage but a behavior that occurs when “STOP: 0x000000ED (0xaaaaaaa,to a location on your hard drive, right-click, you upgrade from Win98/Me to 0xbbbbbbb, 0xccccccc) UNMOUNTABLEand click Paste. The copy process might take a WinXP. The WinXP Setup program _BOOT_VOLUME”few minutes because you are transferring a freezes during the “Preparing In- (NOTE: aaaaaaa, bbbbbbb, and ccccccc rep-large amount of data when you do this. stallation” step. resent various hexadecimal numbers.) Most Common Error Message e really can’t pinpoint any problems are serious enough to (www.microsoft.com/hcl) before to the left of the Check System W one setup or installation error message that occurs with derail the WinXP setup process itself. you upgrade. Make a list of your system’s hardware devices and Compatibility option launches another window where you can greater frequency than others. We recommend you take the software applications and look choose to go to Microsoft’s Web The variety of hardware and time to archive your important for them in this list. If a device or site and verify your system’s software configurations out data, reformat your hard drive, application is not listed, go to compatibility yourself or you can there is truly staggering, so and perform your WinXP the manufacturer’s Web site and choose to let Setup automatical- every situation will be different. upgrade on a clean hard drive. see if it has updated drivers or ly verify compatibility. Choosing But there are two common sit- Some people think you can’t do patches that make the device or the automatic compatibility uations that crop up time and this with an upgrade CD, but application compatible with option launches the Microsoft time again behind many of the that is not true at all. If the WinXP. In some rare cases, you Windows Upgrade Advisor, error messages we’ve exam- WinXP Setup program does may have to upgrade to a new which checks your system and ined: upgrading to Windows XP not detect a previous Windows version. Performing this simple compiles the findings into a text on top of an existing installation installation on your hard drive, inventory before you attempt an file that’s automatically saved to and not doing a thorough com- it requests that you insert your upgrade to WinXP may save C:WINDOWSupgrade.txt. patibility check. previous Windows version’s you a lot of time and grief when Please note that while run- installation CD into your CD- you attempt to install WinXP. It’s ning the WinXP Setup program, A Clean Upgrade Path ROM drive. Once the Setup pro- time well spent. the Windows Upgrade Advisor Upgrading on top of your old gram verifies that you have a Another even handier way to may launch a window prompting Windows installation is, at first bona fide WinMe or Win98 check your system’s compati- you to check Microsoft’s Web glance, the easiest road to take, installation CD, the WinXP bility with WinXP before you site for updated setup files. This but this road can turn treacher- installation continues normally. upgrade is to let WinXP’s Setup feature, called Dynamic Update, ous in a hurry. Upgrading on top program do it for you. When ensures that your Setup pro- of an old installation means you Does Your System Have you launch WinXP Setup from gram files are the very latest. instantly transfer all of the prob- What It Takes? within Windows, you have three We recommend that you choose lem files and settings associated If you’re going to upgrade options in the Setup program’s to let Dynamic Update download with your previous Windows OS your system to WinXP, visit initial screen: install WinXP, per- and install the latest WinXP (operating system) to your brand Microsoft’s HCL (Hardware form additional tasks, and check setup files. ■ new OS. In some cases, the Compatibility List) Web site compatibility. Clicking the arrow14 • PC Errors
  16. 16. Windows XP (Home & Pro)This is another one of those messagesthat points to a possible problem with your WinXP installation CD. Translation: If you have a UDMA hard just completed the WinXP installation, If the file system is NTFS, configure yourdrive and motherboard controller but are but when you reboot the computer, you BIOS settings so the computer boots from theusing a standard 40-wire connector cable to discover that WinXP assigned pass- CD drive and insert your WinXP installationconnect the drive to the controller and the words to all user accounts. Because you CD into your CD-ROM drive. Restart theBIOS is configured for UDMA mode, this don’t know the password Windows computer, and at the prompt press any keyerror will be triggered. This is a complex assigned to each account, you can’t log to boot from the CD. Press r at the Welcomeway to say that you’re using the wrong cable in to any of them. To Setup screen to launch the Recoverywith your UDMA drive and controller. Console and then press ENTER when Another possible cause of this error mes- prompted for the administrator pass-sage is a damaged file system. If the second word. At the command prompt, inputreported memory address is 0xC0000032, type setupact.log and press ENTER.the file system is damaged. Make a note of the password associated Solution: To resolve the first cause with each account. Restart the computerbehind this error message, replace your 40- and use the retrieved password to log onwire IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) con- to the user account.nector cable and reset your BIOS settings tothe default options. Error Message: “This program cannot To resolve the second problem triggering be run in DOS Mode.”the error message, reboot your computer This message appears when youusing either a startup disk or the WinXP attempt to execute Setup.exe fromSetup CD-ROM. At the Welcome to Setup Windows generates an upgrade report, saved in a text within a DOS real-mode commandscreen, press r to launch the Recovery file called Upgrade.txt and saved to your C:WINDOWS prompt.Console and type chkdsk /r to begin repair- folder. Translation: The WinXP Setup.exe exe-ing your damaged file system. When the cutable cannot be run from MS-DOS.process completes, type exit to leave the Solution: If you need to run the instal-Recovery Console and press ENTER to restart Translation: The problem here is the lation from within MS-DOS, type [CD-ROMthe computer. If this doesn’t resolve the prob- Setup program did not complete properly. Drive]:i386winnt.exe to start the Setuplem, repeat this process but use the fixboot During the Setup operation, Windows as- program.command instead. signs temporary passwords to each user account; these passwords are stored in a file Error Message: After the WinXP SetupError Message: This is not an error called setupact.log in your Windows instal- program completes the file-copymessage, but a symptom: While you’re lation folder. When the Setup program com- process, the following error messageentering the Product Key during Setup pletes properly, these temporary passwords appears:while upgrading from Win98/Me, Setup are cleared, allowing you to set up your “Setup cannot set the requiredcycles back to the Welcome to Setup own password. But if the Setup program Windows XP configuration information.screen. does not complete properly, the passwords This indicates an internal setup error. Translation: This is another one of those are retained. Contact your system administrator.”messages that points to a possible problem Solution: To resolve this problem, find the Translation: This is WinXP’s way ofwith your WinXP installation CD. setupact.log file and locate an entry that reads reporting a hardware incompatibility issue. Solution: To resolve the problem, copy the “Random password for Username is [pass- Solution: First, update your system BIOScontents of your installation CD-ROM’s i386 word].” to the latest version. Then, determine if anyfolder to a folder on your C: drive (using the Write down the password exactly as it’s hardware in your system is incompatiblexcopy command we discussed earlier) and written and use it to log on to the account. with WinXP. You can verify this by usingrun the Setup program from your hard drive. How you do this depends on whether you the Setup program’s automatic compati-To do this, click Start and Run and type configured your file system as FAT32 or NTFS. bility check or manually by browsing toc:i386winnt32.exe in the Open textbox. If the file system is FAT32, restart your Microsoft’s Hardware Compatibility ListClick OK to execute the command. system using a WinMe or Win98 startup disk. (www.microsoft.com/hcl) Web catalog. At the command prompt, type edit c: Either update the device drivers or removeError Message: Again, this one is not an windowssetupact.log and follow the instruc- the incompatible hardware from your sys-error message, but a symptom. You’ve tions above to locate the password. tem. Then restart the Setup program. PC Errors • 15

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