Divide error

Note: This document also applies to the error messages "Divide by Zero", "Divide by 0" or "Divide Overflow" error messages.

The divide error messages are caused when the computer or software attempts run a process that attempts to perform a mathematical division by zero, which is an illegal operation. This error message could also be caused by a computer or software limitation or conflict with computer memory.

Hardware or software incompatibility

This issue can occur if software is being run on a computer that has hardware that is incompatible with the software. For example, this issue may occur with restore software designed for a specific computer and is being run on another computer or on the correct computer that has added hardware within it.

Ensure that all software installed on the computer is up to date and fully compatible with the system.

Error with autoexec.bat or config.sys

Users who are running Microsoft Windows 3.x can temporarily remark or remove any additional lines that may not be required in the autoexec.bat and config.sys.

Users who are running Microsoft Windows 95 or Windows 98, it is recommended that they temporarily rename the autoexec.bat and config.sys to ensure that these files are not causing the issue. To do this, follow the instructions below:

  1. Click Start, Shutdown, and Restart the computer in an MS-DOS mode.
  2. Once at the MS-DOS mode, type:

    cd\ <press enter>
    ren autoexec.bat autoexec.ch <press enter>
    ren config.sys config.ch <press enter>
  3. Once the files have been renamed, reboot the computer.

Additional help and information with the autoexec.bat and config.sys can be found on our autoexec.bat and config.sys page.

Note: if you are unable to get to an MS-DOS prompt or to Windows to rename or edit the files, boot the computer to an MS-DOS mode only.

Driver issue

If you are encountering a divide error while using Windows, make sure you are running the latest drivers and software for all component hardware devices. Verify the video card, sound card, network card and modem drivers on the computer.

You can find a listing of computer drivers on our driver page.

Software issue

If the divide error happens while in a game or program and the above recommendations does not resolve your issue, verify all software patches and upgrades have been obtained and applied.

Also, verify no other program is running in the background that could be causing your problem by End Tasking all background programs and TSRs.

External cache or 2nd level cache

If you are encountering the divide error in an older software program or game it can be caused by compatibility issues with External cache or 2nd level cache. Temporarily disabling this feature in CMOS Setup may resolve your issue.

Improper calculation

If you are performing a calculation in any program and experience a divide error, ensure that the calculation being performed is possible. Some programs are not capable of verifying the accuracy of a calculation and may perform an illegal instruction.

However, many programs, such as Microsoft Excel, will generate a #DIV!0 error indicating the formula or calculation is invalid, or you are attempting to divide by zero.

Operating system issue

If you continue to experience a divide errors and have followed all of the above recommendations, make sure it is not a problem with the operating system by reinstalling the operating system.

Hardware issue

Finally, if none of the above recommendations resolve or help to determine the cause of your issue the computer may have a hardware issue. When a divide error is encountered because of hardware it is caused by an issue with the computer processor (CPU).

Additional information

  • See our divide definition for further information and related links on this term.