How to fix a general protection fault
Note: It is not uncommon to randomly experience a General Protection Fault (GPF), you should not need to troubleshoot GPF errors unless they are occurring 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
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. This situation can cause programs to be swapped between memory and the hard drive more frequently, which can lead to more GPFs.
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
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 the computer is inactive for extended periods, disable Power Management and screen savers to ensure that they are not causing your issue.
Operating System issue
Windows related files can cause a General Protection fault. For example, a General Protection Fault with Explorer and KRNL386.EXE. Reinstall Windows to resolve the issue with Windows related files.
Bad memory or other bad hardware
If you have followed all of the above recommendations and continue to experience GPFs there may be bad or failing hardware inside your computer. Often bad memory is the primary cause for random GPFs.
- See the GPF definition for further information about this term and related links.