What is a Fatal Exception Error?

A fatal exception error is generated when a program receives an invalid or unknown exception. Generally speaking, an exception is an unexpected condition that may occur on your computer. A fatal exception is the condition that cannot be handled and prevents the program from running.

Fatal exception errors occur when:

  • An illegal software instruction is accessed.
  • Data or code being accessed is invalid.
  • An operation occurs at invalid privilege level.

When a fatal exception error occurs, an error message in the following format may be displayed on your screen:

A fatal exception <XY> has occurred at xxxx:xxxxxxxx

Here, XY ranges from 00 to 0F and represents the actual processor exception.

Causes of Fatal Exception Errors

The following are some of the common causes of fatal exception errors:

  • Incompatible programs.
  • Buggy programs and device drivers.
  • Problems with system hardware, such as bad RAM or motherboard.

Common Resolution Steps

The following are some of the methods that you can use to resolve fatal exception errors:

Check System Memory for Bad RAM Chips

Bad RAM chips are one of the major causes of fatal exception errors. Therefore, if you have recently added a new chip, you may remove it to see if the error goes away. You may also use a good PC diagnostics tool to run tests on the RAM chips and detect any problems with them.

Remove All Unwanted Temporary Files

To scan and clean up all temporary files from your computer, you may use the Disk Cleanup tool that comes built-in with your Windows XP computer.

Defrag and Repair your Hard Disk

Stop errors may occur due to the existence of fragmented data on the hard disk that can also lead to physical hard disk problems. To prevent and repair this, you may use the Windows Disk Defragmenter tool to analyze and consolidate the fragmented data on the disk.

Change CMOS Settings to Disable External Cache

To prevent fatal exception errors due to external cache, you may disable it by disabling it in your computer’s CMOS Settings.

Note: You may enter CMOS setup during the system startup by pressing Del or F10-or as specified on your computer startup screen.

Prevent System Overheating

Check that all fans-For instance, SMPS and CPU fans-are working properly. If space is available, you may install an additional case fan to prevent the system from overheating.

You may also clean the hardware components to remove any dust and other deposits accumulated on them.

Ensure that Enough Free Disk Space Is Available

A filled up hard disk may cause General Protection Fault errors on the system because certain Windows components, such as the Windows Swap file will not be able to obtain enough space on the disk when required.

To prevent this situation, you must clean your hard disk regularly. To do this, you may:

  • Scan the hard disk and remove all old files and folders you do not use.
  • Use the Disk Clean up tool to compress old files, delete unwanted files, and remove outdated system restore points.
  • Uninstall all unwanted programs using the Windows Add Or Remove Programs utility or an efficient third-party program uninstaller, such as Perfect Uninstaller.
  • Use a reliable registry cleaner tool, such as RegServe to clean and compress the Windows registry.
  • Use antimalware programs, such as STOPzilla Antivirus and Spyware Cease to thoroughly scan your system and remove all malicious data from it.

Check Any Newly Installed Software or Hardware

If you have recently installed a new software or hardware on your computer, it is quite likely to be behind the errors. You may remove this hardware/software to see if the error goes away. If it does, ensure that the hardware/software you are trying install is not buggy or incompatible with your system.