Windows Application Errors
What is a Windows Application Error?
Before you can begin to understand what a Windows application error is, it is necessary to know a little about what Windows applications actually are, and what part they play in the operating system installed on your PC.
Whichever version of Windows you have running on your PC, the operating system itself is essentially constructed in much the same way as all other Windows versions.
That is, Windows is not one software program. It is, in fact, made up of many, many ‘sub-programs’, each of which undertakes a particular task. It is the totality of all these individual component programs working together that is what you are using every time you fire Windows up.
If you like, you can think of Windows as a pyramid.
There is only one overall operating system, and this is that the peak of the pyramid. Directly below that are the individual component programs that together make up the Windows operating system and enable it to run properly.
At the next level down the pyramid are the applications, which might be viewed as minor or ‘sub’ programs that together make up each individual component program that, in turn, enable Windows to run.
So, each individual application is an integral part of a program which is itself part of the overall Windows operating system.
Thus, from this it follows that if any particular application is damaged or entirely absent from your PC, then the individual components program immediately above it may malfunction and so the overall operating system may very well run badly or not at all as a result.
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Why do Windows application errors occur?
Application errors can occur for many reasons and it is not always going to be possible to isolate any particular event or occurrence that has caused such errors to arise.
For example, one very common cause of Windows application errors is the constant installation and subsequent uninstallation of new programs. When you install a new program on your PC, particularly a program from an independent third party software creator, then you will automatically be installing new applications and their DLL files onto your PC at the same time.
In many cases, these new applications and DLL files will automatically overwrite existing data.
In this scenario, it is quite likely that some programs already on your PC were using the old applications and DLLs, and that they cannot use the new ones that have just been installed. In this case, the program in question will malfunction or possibly not run at all.
If you then uninstall the recently installed program, you risk exacerbating the problem as the applications and the DLL files have now been removed from your machine completely.
Another potential problem is that not all software programs are necessarily compatible with one another. This can mean that the .exe applications and DLL files from competing software programs can sometimes come into conflict with one another.
In this situation, it is possible that your PC may be able to resolve the conflict, but doing so might take some time. Hence, your operating system will slow down to a crawl.
On the other hand, the application conflict may be too serious to be resolved, and therefore your computer is likely to ‘hang’ or even close itself down in response to what it sees as a critical operating system error.
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Tracing and solving Windows application errors
The first step towards tracing Windows application errors is to review any recent changes that you may have made that could have caused the problems.
Principle amongst these changes would be the installation or uninstallation of either software or hardware components.
If it seems that such actions might be the cause of the problem, then you should consider reversing these actions in order to attempt to resolve the situation.
If the changes that you believe might be the cause were very recent, then you could try ‘rolling back’ your operating system to an earlier time, before the changes were made by running the System Restore facility on your PC.
In XP, go to your Control Panel, and then under Performance and Maintenance, choose System. From there, you can see what System Restore points are available to you (by date). Choose one that you feel is appropriate, and restore the system back to that date.
This may very well do the trick for you.
If not, however, then you need to take a closer look at the status of your operating system by running a scan of your PCs’ registry.
This is, incidentally, a wise move at any time, simply because you your registry’s worst enemy as every change that you make on your PC tends to have an adverse affect on the registry.
If you already have a registry scanning program on your PC, then you should use it to try to locate and isolate the potential problem.
If not, you can access an excellent and very thorough free registry scan from SpeedyPC.
In either scenario, this scan is likely to highlight many problems on your PC, including the damaged or missing application that is causing your problems, thereby enabling you to fix whatever it is that is causing your Windows application error.