Updated: 02/04/2024 by Computer Hope
Computer error

An error describes any issue that arises unexpectedly that cause a computer to not function properly. Computers can encounter either software errors or hardware errors.

How to fix a computer error

As shown in the next section, there are several types of errors that each have hundreds of variations. To fix a computer error, you must first identify the type of error and the source.

For example, with a blue screen error message in Windows, a file name, the type of error, and the memory location may be given. This information is used in a search engine to find a fix for the error. If no error message is displayed, search for the symptom you are experiencing. For example, if the computer is turning off without any warning, it is likely a hardware problem and not a computer error.

Software errors are the most common types of errors on a computer and are often fixed with software updates or patches.

Hardware errors are any defects with hardware inside the computer or connected to the computer. Although some hardware issues can be fixed with firmware updates, most of these errors are resolved by replacing the defective hardware.

Computer error messages

Below is a listing of the different errors and error messages a computer may encounter. Clicking any of the links below gives you additional information about that error.

Abort, Ignore, Retry, Fail
Access denied
Blue Screen of Death (BSoD)
Buffer overflow
Critical error
Destination host unreachable
Disk boot failure
Drop in
Drop out
Fatal exception
File not found
General Protection Fault
Guru Meditation
Hard error
Hardware conflict
Human error
Illegal command
Illegal operation
Inherent error

Intermittent error
Machine error
Overflow error
Page fault
Parse error
Propagated error
Read error
Recoverable error
Runtime error
Sad Mac
Silicon failure
Soft error
Stack overflow
Syntax error
System error
Time out
Unrecoverable error
User error
Write error

What is a generic error message?

A generic error message is an error message with no details about the type, what happened, or where it happened. For example, an error message that says "Error" is generic. However, an error message that says "Error: bad syntax on line 259 of the file" is not a generic error message because it describes the type of error and the line containing the error.

What is the difference between an error and bug?

An error is a message shown to the user, whereas a bug is a problem in the code that caused the error. See our bug page for a full explanation and history of computer bugs.

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