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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting The System Overall ]

Troubleshooting Run-Time Error Messages

In some cases, you may find that the system will boot up properly and work fine for a while, but may generate a system message while you are performing various tasks. (For errors at boot time, look here). This section discusses errors that occurs while the system is operating, which are sometimes called "runtime errors".

Error messages that crop up while the PC is in operation can be generated by various different sources, including the system BIOS, the operating system, hardware driver routines, or application software. It is usually possible to determine roughly what is causing the error, since application-specific messages usually mention the application that is generating them. However, error messages that crash a specific application can sometimes be caused by hardware or system problems, especially if the problem occurs in many different applications. This can make these hard to diagnose. If you are getting a lot of seemingly random error messages while using different programs, consider looking at the section that troubleshoots general system instability.

You will find in the index frame error messages that are system-related, meaning they are generated by the operating system or system BIOS. Error messages that are specific to an application should be handled by referring to the technical support options (help files, documentation, technical support phone numbers) for the application.

Some notes about the items below:

  • I have listed all the error messages strictly alphabetically, in the hopes that this makes it easier for you to find what you are looking for than having them in categories.
  • I have converted all error messages to mixed case, for consistency. Some PCs use ALL CAPS for their error messages (which is hard on the eyes anyway) and some do not.
  • Some of the error messages can indicate various problems related to the Windows family of operating systems, such as Illegal Operation errors. These are commonly caused by both hardware and software issues. You again may want to look at the section on system instability here.

Next: Troubleshooting System Instability, Reboots and Crashes

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