Windows Protection Errors
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Are you getting those Window Protection Errors when you try to boot into Windows? Windows Protection Errors are not General Protection errors, or Page Faults. General Protection errors and program error messages (The big red X and a message stating that such and such program performed an illegal operation and will be shut down) are GPFs, and different than Windows Protection Errors.
When you get a Window Protection Error you have 4 choices on how you are going to handle this problem. First option that Windows tells you is to reinstall Windows. This works about 60% of the time. You can format and lose all your data and then install Windows, this works about 90% of the time. You can take hold of the situation and be determined to fix it on own, this is going to take some work on your part. Or your last choice is to chance the colors or the Windows Protection Error screen from blue to a variety of colors and admire you new found handy work. To change the colors you can download our free BSOD software which offers 16 different colors to change it to, but you must first fix Windows.
I always find reinstalling Windows is the easiest way, but I have come to realize that it is a waste of time most about half of the times I have reinstalled Windows. So with this major task of finding and correcting the Windows Protection Error you need to first turn off your computer and take a break. Get yourself a cup of coffee, relax, don't panic, and above all, don't start crying.
Now that you have stopped panicking and are ready to start finding the cause of your Windows Protection Error, sit down in front of your computer and think about what you did since you last rebooted successfully into Windows.
What is it that you did? It must be something, if you did not do anything then you can throw out your computer because either the motherboard, CPU or RAM died, which I really doubt. If any of them died you would have been having unexplained problems all along. Here is a list of thing that cause a Windows Protection Error stated by Microsoft:
So now that you have remembered what it is you did during your last session of Windows let's fix it. Start your computer and attempt to reboot into Safe Mode and try undoing what you did.
1) You installed new hardware. If it is a physical piece of hardware remove it, reboot and and view what IRQs and DMAs your other hardware is currently using. Then attempt to reset the IRQ for the PCI slot that you want the new hardware to install to. Most BIOS will allow you to select and force an IRQ for a particular PCI slot.
You can move IRQ around in Safe Mode. To move an IRQ, reboot to Safe Mode, using the Device Manager find the hardware that is using the IRQ you want and unselect "Use automatic setting", manaully select an IRQ, close the Device Manager and reopen it, now select "Use automatic setting" and reboot". Windows now should be able to fix the IRQ that is in conflict. In some cases you may need to move a couple of IRQs in order to get a device to work.
If it is not a PCI device but rather a device builted into the motherboard such as an audio device that you enabled, disable it and do the same as above.
2) You installed new software. The installation program that installed the software may have replace a vitial file of Windows with an incorrect version. It may have added a VXD that is trying to load into a memory address that is already used. It is attempting to load a file that is already loaded.
Updated October 20, 2004