The Norman Transcript


July 7, 2013

Strange computer error messages



“General Protection Fault!” A GPF error is, again, often caused by lousy programming, indicating conflicts between programs and Windows. Sometimes, you won’t even see an error message; your computer will simply fail to respond, and you’ll be forced to reboot, or, it may even spontaneously reboot by itself. Computer gamers experience GPFs more frequently than “normal” computer users, as they are usually pushing the hardware performance of their machines to the limit. GPFs can sometimes be fixed by updating programs or device drivers.

There are hundreds of different Windows error messages that can be encountered. However, don’t panic; the message is a tool to help find a solution. Write down what the error message says, and then, see if the error can be reproduced. Does it always occur when you attempt the same computer chores, or is it completely random? Problems are easier to solve after you have gathered all of your clues together.

“Type 10 error line 1111 trap error.” While I’ve only mentioned Microsoft Windows error messages so far, this one is specific to an Apple Macintosh computer. Yes, Macs have problems, too, so if your Mac tosses up an error message, be sure to write down what it says.

Some programmers from Microsoft must also belong to the Comedy of Errors Department, as some Windows error messages are so stupefying and unhelpful that they seem to be designed to do nothing but make your head hurt. The following message, generated by the Outlook Express email program, is a good example: “There was an error opening this message. An error has occurred.” Ouch. Sorry, I can’t help you with that one.

Dave Moore has been performing computer consulting, repairs, security and networking in Oklahoma since 1984. He also teaches computer safety workshops for public and private organizations. He can be reached at 405-919-9901 or

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