How to Troubleshoot Windows Internal Stack Overflow Error Messages

This article lists steps to help you troubleshoot problems with stack overflow errors in Windows


Stacks are reserved memory that programs use to process hardware events. A stack overflow occurs when there is not enough space in memory to run the hardware interrupt routines. To resolve these behaviors, you can modify the “STACKS=” line in the Config.sys file, eliminate terminate-and-stay-resident program (TSRs), and eliminate hardware conflicts.

When Windows delivers an error message that is related to an internal stack overflow, there is not enough space in memory either set aside or available to handle the calls that are made to the computer hardware. There are several things to consider when you troubleshoot this behavior:
The Config.sys startup file may not be properly configured for the Windows installation. Use the following values:
STACKS=64,512 ;(this is the maximum allowed)
If you are using the dual-boot capabilities in Windows, the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files may not contain the correct configuration to run Windows. When you are dual-booting between Windows 3.x and Windows, these files may not have been renamed back to Config.dos and Autoexec.dos.

Examine the Config.sys file to determine if files such as Himem.sys or Emm386.exe are loaded from a folder other than the Windows folder. If so, boot Windows by using the Safe Mode Command Prompt Only option. Rename the Config.sys file to Config.dos and the Autoexec.bat file to Autoexec.dos, and then restart your computer.
Some TSRs may be interfering with Windows. Disable any non-boot device drivers in the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files. If you install from Windows 3.x and you receive a stack overflow error message, check the Win.ini and System.ini files for non-Windows-based programs or drivers that are loading.
There may be an incompatible hardware configuration. Check the port and IRQ settings of the network adapter, sound card, and modem. Make sure that there are no COM2/COM4 or COM1/COM3 conflicts and that no devices are sharing IRQs. Disable or remove conflicting devices.
The computer may need a BIOS upgrade. Check the BIOS version and contact the manufacturer of your computer for information about a BIOS upgrade.
For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
Microsoft Windows 95


2 Responses to “How to Troubleshoot Windows Internal Stack Overflow Error Messages”

  1. apttech Says:

    From a forum in India:

    Kernel stack inpage error?

    Hi Esa

    To determine if a driver is causing the problem I need you to enable driver
    1) Windows Key + R
    2) Type in ‘verifier’ and hit enter
    3) Make sure ‘Create Standard Setting’ is selected and hit next
    4) Click on ‘Select all drivers installed on this computer’ and hit Finish
    5) Reboot

    There is a possibility that your computer will crash on reboot. If this
    occurs hit F8 when rebooting just before the windows logo screen and select
    the safe mode boot option. Follow the same steps above but on step 4 choose
    ‘Select driver names from a list’; hit next; check the box next to any
    driver where the provider is not Microsoft; hit Finish; reboot.

    This will slow the performance of you computer a little while enabled but
    will hopefully catch the driver causing corruption. Next time you crash
    the blue screen will hopefully say something like
    “DRIVER_VERIFIER_DETECTED_VIOLATION”. If this occurs please send the
    corresponding minidump (by default it is at c:\windows\Minidump ) my way.
    If you have any questions or I didn’t explain something well enough don’t
    hesitate to e-mail me (remove “online”) back. Good Luck,

    Joshua Smith
    OpenGL Test Lab

  2. Computer Blog Says:

    My husband would really appreciate this website. We were recently discussing about this. lol

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