Troubleshooting Windows Protection Error

What is Windows Protection Error?

In comparison to Windows XP, Windows Protection Error is more common in Windows 95, 98, and ME operating systems. You usually receive the error—While initializing device <device_name> Windows Protection Error—during the system startup or shutdown process. The system usually asks you to restart the system after displaying the message.

Troubleshooting Windows Protection Error

A Windows Protection Error may occur due to:

  • Damaged system registry.
  • Virus infection or damage to the or files.
  • Problems with the cache or the memory system.
  • Conflicts in an input/output (I/O) address, RAM, or IRQ.
  • Conflicts between real-mode (16-bit) driver and protected mode (32-bit) driver.
  • Malfunction in the motherboard.
  • Problem while loading virtual device drivers (VXD).

Let’s discuss some of the remedial methods that you can use to repair Windows Protection Error.

Resolving windows protection error caused immediately after you install a hardware or software

If the error occurs after you have installed a hardware on your system, then reboot the system in Safe Mode—Press F8 during system startup and select the appropriate option. Next, uninstall the device driver and shutdown the system. Detach the hardware and restart the system. If the problem disappears then the problem might be with the device driver or with the hardware itself. Try to go to the manufacturer’s web site and download a new driver, if available. If installing the new driver does not fix the problem then you might need to get your hardware device checked.

If the problem occurs after you install a new software then go to Safe mode and uninstall the software. Also, run an antivirus scan to check the system for viruses and remove them.

Resolving windows protection error caused by drivers and startup software

To check if the error is due to a driver or a startup program you need to use the System Configuration Utility and perform a clean boot. To open this utility, run the msconfig file. Next, on the ‘General’ tab, select the ‘Selective Startup’ option. Clear all but one of the options listed under it and restart your computer. Repeat the steps for all the options until the error is displayed.

The last option selected is the cause behind the problem and you need to take remedial steps to rectify the identified problem source.

Resolving windows protection error caused by a damaged registry

Windows 98 and Windows ME come with inbuilt System Registry Checker tool. In case the registry is corrupt, the tool automatically scans the registry and alerts you about the error. You can also use this tool to repair registry errors and also restore the registry from a recent backup. You may also use a reliable third-party registry cleaner tool to scan the registry and eliminate any erroneous entries from it.

Windows Protection Error occurs due to a damaged registry, virus infection, driver and address conflicts, problems with cache or memory, or problems while loading virtual device drivers. To resolve these problems, you have to first find the source of the problem and eliminate it. If the problem is due to hardware, you may need an updated driver and to check the hardware itself for faults. Problems due to software may be resolved after you uninstall the software. You may also need to run an antivirus scan to remove any virus that might be causing the errors. If you are unable to diagnose the cause of the problem, then you may need to perform a clean boot to identify it. Finally, if the error is occurring due to a damaged registry, you may need to use Registry Checker or a third-party registry cleaner utility to scan and repair the registry.