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Article ID: 149083 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 2.0

This article was previously published under Q149083
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

Symptoms

When you use a computer that is running Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition (Me), you may receive one of the following error message:
There are no spare stack pages. It may be necessary to increase the setting of 'MinSPs' in System.ini to prevent possible stack faults. There are currently nnn SPs allocated.
Terminating thread due to stack overflow problem. A vxd consumed too much stack space. Increase setting of MinSPs in System.ini or remove recently installed vxd's. There are currently nnn SPs allocated. Hit any key to proceed.

Cause

This behavior can occur when Windows encounters an internal overflow of the stacks that are used by 32-bit Windows-based device drivers. Please note that this is not related to the "Stacks=" line in the Config.sys file, which is used for 16-bit MS-DOS-based device drivers.

Stack overflow conditions are indicative of errors in the device driver. Device drivers are allocated 4 kilobytes (KB), or one page, of space to be used as a stack. If the device driver uses more than 4 KB of memory, a stack overflow condition occurs.

Windows sets aside a number of extra memory pages, or spare stack pages, to be used temporarily so that your computer does not stop responding (hang) due to a stack overflow condition. When the stack overflow condition has passed, Windows reclaims the temporary page. The default number of spare stack pages is two.

If Windows detects that it has run out of spare stack pages, you receive the error message that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section of this article. Windows continues to operate correctly unless a device driver encounters a stack overflow condition when there are no free spare stack pages.

Resolution

To resolve this behavior, add the following line to the [386Enh] section of the System.ini file, and then restart your computer:
MinSPs=4
If the behavior continues to occur, increase the number of spare stack pages in increments of 4 (for example, 8, 12, 16).

NOTE: Each spare stack page requires 4 KB of memory.

To edit the System.ini file for Windows 95, 98 and 98se:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type sysedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Click System.ini on the Window menu.
  3. In the [386Enh] section, type the following line:
    MinSPs=4
  4. On the File menu, click Exit, and then click Yes to save the changes.
  5. Restart your computer.
To edit the System.ini file for Windows Me:

  1. Click Start, click Search, For files or folders.
  2. In the "Search for files or folders named" box type "System.ini" (without the quotation marks) and make sure that the "Look in" drop-down box lists "Local Hard Drive (C:). Click on the Search Now button.
  3. When the search results appear in the pane on the right side, be sure to double-click on the System.ini file that is listed "In Folder" C:\Windows. This should open the System.ini file up inside of Notepad.
  4. In the [386Enh] section, add or edit the following line as applicible:
    "MinSPs=4" (without the quotation marks)
  5. On the File menu, click Save, then click the File menu again and click Exit.
  6. Restart your computer.

More information

Note: The following information comes from sources outside of Microsoft. Microsoft provides it to you as a courtesy and has not verified its accuracy or validity.

If you are running Norton AntiVirus by Symantec, you can visit the following URL for information from the Symantec web site:
http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/nav.nsf/aab56492973adccd8825694500552355/7c1f9d53b991d7c688256541006b00c3?OpenDocument (http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/nav.nsf/aab56492973adccd8825694500552355/7c1f9d53b991d7c688256541006b00c3?OpenDocument)

Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows 95
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbenv kberrmsg kbprb KB149083
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