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HP and Compaq PCs - Resolving General Protection Fault (GPF) Errors
This document applies to HP and Compaq Desktop computers with Windows XP, Me, and 98.
This document explains General Protection Fault error messages, how to eliminate them, and how to reduce the likelihood that they will occur again.
What is a General Protection Fault (GPF) error?
A GPF is a type of Fatal Exception error message that Windows was unable to fully identify. These usually relate to memory violations.
While software is open, it uses memory. Windows compatible software programs need to reserve memory when opened. If programs do not reserve memory in the proper manner, they can potentially overwrite the reserved memory space for other software. A variety of serious problems can occur if memory is allocated wrong. A General Protection Fault or other memory errors occur to prevent these problems from happening.
Step 1: Disabling software that opens with Windows
The following steps prevent all software programs from opening when Windows starts:
For troubleshooting purposes, reduce the amount of software that opens with Windows to try and find out if a software conflict is occurring. Open the Microsoft System Configuration software (Msconfig), remove the selection next to Load Startup Items, click OK, and restart the PC.
For more information, refer to Preventing Programs from Opening When Windows Starts.
If the GPF error continues to occur, go to the next step.
Step 2: Increasing system resources
The system has to work harder as memory and hard drive space is diminished. Use the following HP support document to increase memory and hard drive space:
Step 3: Consulting the software vendor for known issues
If the GPF error occurs with one particular software program, consult the software vendor's Web site for more information. Look for a support site when browsing the company's main page, then look for FAQ, Known Issues, or Support Documentation Web pages.
To find a software vendor, open the software program that is causing the errors and click Help, then About.
note:If the steps in this document failed to resolve your issue, the memory may have failed. If your computer was purchased after 2001, it probably contains a software program called PC Doctor. Use PC Doctor to help verify memory failures before calling support or repairing the computer. Use the HP support document "Using PC Doctor to Verify Hardware Problems" to learn more about testing for memory failures. If you receive an error code after running a test, you need to Contact HP (in English) for further assistance. Write the error code number down so that you can provide it to a support agent.
Microsoft support article A General Protection Fault Error Message when Opening Control Panel (in English)
Microsoft support article General Protection Fault When Installing America Online (in English)
Microsoft support article Explorer Caused a General Protection Fault in Module Mmsystem.dll (in English)
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