How to fix a general protection fault

Note: It is not uncommong to randomly experience a General Protection Fault (GPF), you should not need to troubleshoot GPF errors unless they are occuring frequently.

Remove all TSRs

Disable or unload any TSRs or programs currently running before running the program causing the GPF.

Delete all program temporary files

Delete all temporary files that may still be residing on the hard drive from currently or previously running programs.

Run ScanDisk and Defrag

Run Scandisk and run Defrag on the hard drive as it could be possible your hard drive may have an issue causing the swap file or data files to become corrupt or invalid.

Verify your computer has more than 200 MB available

If your computer is running low on hard drive space, your Windows Swap File will be unable to increase in size when needed, causing programs to be swapped between memory and the hard drive more frequently. When this occurs it is more likely that a GPF can occur.

Recently installed software or hardware

If you have recently installed new software or hardware uninstall or reinstall that software or hardware to verify it is not causing your issue.

Disable external cache

If your CPU utilizes external cache disable it temporarily to verify if it is causing your GPF error messages. If available, you will be able to disable your external cache through CMOS Setup.

If this resolves your issue it is recommended that you contact the manufacturer of your computer, motherboard manufacturer, or CPU manufacturer for additional recommendations.

Tip: In some cases a BIOS update designed for this problem can also resolve cache related issues.

Disable Power Management and screen savers

If you are receiving GPFs when away from the computer or during durations when your computer is inactive, disable Power Management and screen savers to ensure that they are not causing your issue.

Operating System issue

It is possible for Windows or an overwritten Windows related file to cause a General Protection fault.  Most commonly the General Protection Fault with Explorer and KRNL386.EXE. Reinstall Windows to resolve the issue.

Bad memory or other bad hardware

If you have followed all of the above recommendations and continue to experience GPFs it's possible hardware inside your computer may also be bad. Often bad memory is the primary cause for random GPFs.

Additional information

  • See the GPF definition for further information about this term and related links.