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Windows Me Annoyances by David A. Karp

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Error Messages

There are several things to keep in mind when interpreting any given error message:

  • Just because you see an error message doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong.

  • If you’re looking for a list of all possible Windows Me error messages, you’re out of luck; such a list does not exist. Besides, not all error messages are generated by Windows; many are either generated by or are otherwise the result of third-party applications.

  • Error messages are canned responses to predetermined criteria. The text in an error message doesn’t take into account what you were doing or what you might have been thinking when the error occurred, so it rarely is informative enough by itself to help you prevent future occurrences.

  • Error messages typically occur more often than they need to, bothering the user with a warning or other information that simply isn’t that important.[99]

  • Error messages are typically verbose, yet not terribly helpful. Programmers often write only a few generic, general-purpose messages that are used in many circumstances. And software developers are rarely English majors.

  • If you’re trying to diagnose a problem, the error message that appears may contain rows and rows of numeric code, often hidden behind a Details button. This information is rarely useful. What’s more important here is the conditions under which the error occurred (what events led to the error) and, specifically, any filenames that are mentioned in the message itself.

  • The General Protection Fault message, ...

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