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
For additional information, click the article number below
to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Stack Overflow Can Cause Windows to Hang