What's the dealio on the Kernel32.dll error message?

Question

I get a "has caused an error in Kernel32.dll" message a lot. I get it when using the Window Cleanser on my temporary internet file folder. What's up with this kernel thing?

- Lynn

Answer

This question was answered on May 22, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The Kernel32.dll is a 32-bit "dynamic link library" (dll) file that is found in Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me Dynamic link library files, in general, are called upon by your programs to address specific components There are literally hundreds of these files on your system that can be called upon at any time instead of having to be pre-loaded in the system memory.

The Kernel32.dll file handles memory management, input/output operations and interrupts, which are used to address hardware components.

It's an essential core component of Windows that acts as a traffic cop for controlling your primary hardware interface

Unlike most DLL files, Kernel32.dll is loaded into a "protected memory space" when Windows is started up, because it is called upon constantly and so it can not be disturbed by other programs.

When you get a message that an error has occurred in Kernel32.dll, something has attempted to use the protected memory space it occupies The portion of the error that comes before the ".has caused an error." will point to the offending program.

There is a long list of potential causes of this error that include: viruses, low disk space, third-party software that is damaged or incorrectly installed, registry damage, bad memory (RAM), overheating CPU, bad power supply, bad hard disk controller, failing hard disk, damaged swap files, damage to the file allocation table, improper BIOS settings, incorrect hardware drivers or a whole host of file corruption issues.

As you can start to see, the task of tracking down the exact cause can be daunting The two most helpful bits of information for beginning your trek are the program name in the error message that caused the error and if you can recall when the problem began.

You referred to a third-party "Cleanser" that I suspect is the cause, because most of these types of programs try to force Windows into making system changes that it wouldn't normally make .

I am not a big fan of third-party utilities that claim to 'make Windows run better' because they seem to cause more problems than they solve We constantly see customers bringing systems in that "worked just fine until I installed XXX" and often require quite a bit of work to repair

the damage created by these programs

Windows has plenty of utilities that are built-in that do a fine job of maintaining the system, so I would recommend learning what is already there.

Try uninstalling the "Cleanser" program to see if the errors go away If you recently added memory (RAM), you may want to temporarily remove it to see if that has any effect If you recently added a new printer and installed the software that came with it, try uninstalling it or

anything that you can recall that was added since the error began.

Kernel32.dll errors generally mean that you have a serious stability problem because something is attacking the core the Windows operating system, so addressing the problem is important.

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on May 22, 2003