These wonderful Windows protection errors occur when your computer attempts to activate or deactivate a virtual device driver or VxD. These messages indicate there is an issue with a hardware driver. This is usually an inability of the driver to load or unload. Typically the offending Vxd or driver module is noted in the error. In some cases you may not be able to identify the offending module. In this case you can use clean boot troubleshooting from the msconfig utility.
The following lists situations in which you may experience these errors:
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 (CMOS) settings for a built-in peripheral device (such as cache settings, CPU timing and hard disks)
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
Most of the BIOS settings which can cause these types of errors should only be modified by a knowledgeable hardware technician. Changing these settings incorrectly can cause other issues with your hardware. Use your motherboard manufacturers hand book for more information on accessing your BIOS, and you should be able to alleviate this wonderful condition that has been created.
For more detailed information on trouble shooting these errors in Windows 95, 98, or Me please refer to the Microsoft knowledge base article below.
For Windows XP and 2000 you can review your errors by entering into safe mode and using the event viewer to access detailed information pertaining to your particular issue. The event viewer can be accessed by going to the control panel and selecting the administrative utilities icon. These reports should include detailed information on the module or driver causing the issue.
With all my ranting on computer maintenance you would think one might achieve what others call “trouble free” computing…not a chance.
By no means am I saying that you cannot achieve at least a better computing experience, but “trouble free”?
First lets think about this. I have heard and I quote “Computers don’t make mistakes..its the user that makes em!”. Ok I gotta say this and I hope someone is listening. Computers are a great piece of technology, but remember the internal workings such as hardware and software are completely designed by a human animal. So wouldn’t that make them as fallible as the people who design them?
Honestly…computers are only as infallible as the engineer who designs the components or software.
Don’t give up hope though. You can make your experience at least a more pleasant one. Although reaching for an unattainable goal will simply frustrate you. The best tool you can have is knowledge.
Knowledge of your system and software. Use the tools provided by the pc or software manufacturer to help maintain a healthy system. Most hardware and software manufacturers incorporate an extensive knowledge base as well as update services to help you maintain your pc functionality.
Believe me… Any error you have experienced while using resources the manufacturer has already encountered in testing. It’s as
easy as searching a knowledge base or creating a trouble ticket in their support system.
I know…I know: Its alot to read and most of it can be extremely confusing. Just remember when trouble shooting there are a few key things to note in your search: What version of Windows are you using? What is the EXACT error you are experiencing? When is this error occuring? If it occurs in a particular software title then what version is that software title?
You cannot go wrong in your search for an answer to a particular issue if you have this information.
These details will help you point to a specific answer in a knowledgebase. Just as there are many causes to one particular problem there are just as many fixes for that problem. So when you get frustrated while trying to fix an issue…before you take it out on your tech support remember that.
Tech support is troubleshooting, and I assure you they are just as eager to remedy your issue as you are.
SO remember: In your search for “trouble free” computing, functionality may get better, it will never be totally problem free.
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