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Article ID: 218873 - Last Review: October 25, 2006 - Revision: 5.1

This article was previously published under Q218873
Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure to back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986  ( ) Description of the Microsoft Windows registry
Warning This information is preliminary and has not been confirmed or tested by Microsoft. Use only with discretion.
Note Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.

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This article contains information about troubleshooting and eliminating invalid page faults that occur in module Kernel32.dll when you work with a Microsoft Office program under Microsoft Windows 95. When a Kernel32.dll error message appears, a message similar to the following appears:
Program name caused an invalid page fault in module Kernel32.dll
where Program name is the name of the program you are using.


When an invalid page fault occurs, an unexpected event occurs in Windows. An invalid page fault typically indicates that a program incorrectly attempted to use random access memory (RAM); for example, when a program or a Windows component reads or writes to a memory location that is not allocated to it. When this occurs, the program can potentially overwrite and damage other program code in that area of memory.

An invalid page fault may occur when parameters are passed between programs and Windows. An invalid parameter may cause a program to run invalid instructions, which results in an invalid page fault. This behavior usually occurs because a program incorrectly passes data that Windows or a Windows-based program cannot interpret.

It is important that you follow the steps in each of the sections in this article in the order in which they are presented. Because invalid page faults are typically caused when two or more programs interact, skipping steps may prolong identifying the problem.

Determine whether the problem is documented

Many Kernel32.dll errors are documented in the Microsoft Knowledge Base and have solutions. For more information, browse to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base Web site: (
Query on the following phrases in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
"invalid page fault" "kernel32 dll"

Start Windows in Safe Mode

Windows has a built-in troubleshooting mode called Safe mode. It bypasses startup files and uses only basic system drivers, including basic networking. When you start Windows in Safe mode, Windows uses only the mouse, keyboard, and standard video graphics adapter (VGA) device drivers. This makes Safe mode useful for isolating and resolving error conditions that are caused by both real-mode and Windows-based drivers. Windows also has troubleshooting features that may help you identify the problem. To start Windows in Safe mode and make the additional troubleshooting features available, follow these steps:
  1. In the Control Panel, double-click the System icon, and then click the Performance tab.
  2. Click File System, and then click the Troubleshooting tab.
  3. Click the following check boxes to select them:
    "Disable protect-mode hard disk interrupt handling"
    "Disable synchronous buffer commits"
    "Disable all 32-bit protect-mode disk drivers"
    "Disable write-behind caching for all drive"
  4. Click OK, click Close, and then click Yes.
  5. Press F8 when you see the "Starting Windows 95" message.
  6. On the Windows Startup menu, select option 3 (Safe Mode).
  7. After Windows is running again, perform the operation that caused the error.
When you use Safe mode or when you disable 32-bit protected-mode disk drivers, Windows does not process protected-mode drivers, the Autoexec.bat file and the Config.sys file. Therefore, the CD-ROM drive is not available. To use Safe mode with CD-ROM drive support, determine whether Windows uses protected-mode drivers for the CD-ROM drive. If Windows is using protected-mode drivers, install the real-mode (MS-DOS) drivers for the CD-ROM drive on the computer. The real-mode drivers are usually located on a disk that is shipped with the CD-ROM drive or with the computer. The drivers are installed in the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys files.

For more information about how to determine whether Windows is using protected-mode drivers, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
151634  ( ) Protected-mode CD-ROM drive support in Windows
For more information about how to install real-mode drivers for the CD-ROM drive, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
167069  ( ) Installing real mode CD-ROM drivers for Office installation

Turn off the CD-ROM drive cache

If the error message appears while you are reading from a CD-ROM drive, try turning off the CD-ROM drive cache. This may make the drive more reliable but reduce performance. To turn off the CD-ROM drive cache, follow these steps:
  1. In Control Panel, double-click System.
  2. Click the Performance tab and click File System.
  3. Click the CD-ROM tab, in the "Optimize access pattern for" list, click to select No Read-Ahead.
  4. Verify that the Supplemental Cache Size slider is positioned in the far left position (the Small setting), and then click OK.
If you are using real-mode CD-ROM drivers, the drive may be cached by the Smartdrv.exe program. If this is the case, remark the line from the Autoexec.bat by typing REM at the beginning of the line.

Check for registry damage

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.
When you start Windows in Safe mode, Windows does not read the entire registry. Therefore, damage to the registry may not be evident when you run Windows in this mode. It may be necessary to replace the existing registry (System.dat) with a backup to determine whether the problem is caused by a damaged registry. To troubleshoot a damaged registry, follow these steps:
  1. Restart the computer. When the "Starting Windows 95" message appears, press F8.
  2. On the Windows Startup menu, select option 6 (Command Prompt Only).
  3. To remove the file attributes from the backup of the registry, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    c:\windows\command\attrib -h -s -r c:\system.1st
  4. To remove the file attributes from the current registry, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    c:\windows\command\attrib -h -s -r c:\windows\system.dat
  5. To rename the registry, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    ren c:\windows\system.dat *.dax
  6. To copy the backup file to the current registry, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    copy c:\system.1st c:\windows\system.dat
  7. Restart the computer. If the Windows Startup menu displays, choose Safe Mode, or "Safe Mode With Network Support" if you need network connectivity.
Note The System.1st file is a backup of the registry that is created during the final stage of a Windows installation. Therefore, the Running Windows 95 for the first time banner appears, and Windows finalizes settings as if you reinstalled it.

If replacing the System.dat file with the System.1st file resolves the issue, the problem may be related to registry damage. Note that you may have to reinstall programs and device drivers that you installed after you installed Windows to update the new registry.

If the issue is not resolved, restore the original registry. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Restart the computer. When the "Starting Windows 95" message appears, press F8.
  2. On the Windows Startup menu, select option 6 (Command Prompt Only).
  3. Type the following commands:
    c:\windows\command\attrib -s -h -r c:\windows\system.dat

    copy c:\windows\system.dax c:\windows\system.dat
  4. Restart the computer.
For more information about how to resolve registry errors, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
131431  ( ) How to troubleshoot registry errors in Windows 95

Check for a valid temporary folder and delete temporary files

There should be at least 20 megabytes (MB) of free space on the hard disk that contains the temporary folder. To check for a temporary folder and delete excess files from that folder, follow these steps:
  1. Close any running programs and restart your computer by clicking Shutdown on the Start menu and clicking Restart Your Computer (Microsoft Windows 95) or Restart (Microsoft Windows NT). Press F8 when you see the "Starting Windows 95" message, and then choose "Safe mode command prompt only."
  2. Type set and press ENTER. Note the location of the TEMP variable.
  3. Change to the folder you noted in step 2. For example, if TEMP is set to C:\Windows\Temp, type the following line and then press ENTER:
    If the folder you noted in step 2 does not exist, create the folder. To create a temporary folder, type the following line at the command prompt:
    md c:\win95tmp
  4. Delete any temporary files in this folder. Temporary files typically have a .tmp file name extension. To delete these files, type the following line, and then press ENTER:
    del *.tmp
    Note Do not delete these files when you are running Windows, because Windows or a Windows program may be using one of these files.

Check the hard disk for disk errors and fragmentation

Use the ScanDisk program to check the hard disk for lost clusters and other file allocation table (FAT) errors and to test the hard disk integrity. You can also use the ScanDisk program to repair any of these problems. To run ScanDisk, follow these steps:
  1. On the Start menu, point to Programs.
  2. Point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click ScanDisk.
Hard disks that are very fragmented can affect the performance and reliability of Microsoft Office programs and other tasks in Windows. To resolve this problem, run Disk Defragmenter to defragment the hard disk. To run Disk Defragmenter, follow these steps:
  1. On the Start menu, point to Programs.
  2. Point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.

Verify that the compact disc is clean and unscratched

If the error message appears while you are installing from a compact disc, verify that the compact disc you are using is clean by wiping the compact disc with a soft, lint-free cloth. Also ensure that there are no large scratches on the compact disc. If the compact disc is damaged and unreadable, error messages may appear during installation.

Check for a damaged swap file

The Kernel32.dll error may also appear if your Windows swap file is damaged. To create a new swap file, restart the computer in MS-DOS mode, delete the Win386.swp file in the Windows folder, and then restart the computer. To create a new swap file, follow these steps:
  1. On the Start menu, click Shut Down.
  2. In the Shut Down Windows dialog box, click "Restart the Computer in MS-DOS Mode," and then click Yes.
  3. At the MS-DOS prompt, switch to the Windows folder by typing the following command
    cd drive:\Windows
    where drive is the drive letter that contains the Windows folder. Typically, drive is drive C.

    Note The swap file exists in the Windows folder if Windows manages virtual memory settings on your computer. If you chose to manage virtual memory settings on the computer, the swap file exists at the root level of the hard disk. To determine whether Windows manages virtual memory settings, right-click My Computer, click Properties, click Performance, and then click Virtual Memory.

  4. To delete the swap file, type the following:
    del Win386.swp
  5. After you delete the swap file, restart the computer.

Damaged custom profile

Damaged custom profiles are also known to cause Kernel32.dll errors. Deleting and recreating the profile can possibly resolve this problem.

If you are using the Office system policy templates that are included in the Microsoft Office 2000 Resource Kit, you must use the version of the System Policy Editor that is included in the Microsoft Office 2000 Resource Kit.

Note The System Policy Editor that comes with Windows 95 does not work with Office 2000. Be sure to install the latest version of the System Policy Editor from the Microsoft Office 2000 Resource Kit or from Windows NT Server 4.0 with Service Pack 4. You can download Policy.exe, a self-extracting file containing Poledit.exe, from online services. Download this file from the following Web site: (

Turn off enhanced BIOS features

Most computers have several enhanced settings that allow the computer to fully use the computer hardware. These high-speed settings can cause the system to become unstable; turning off these features may make the computer more stable. Contact your computer manufacturer for information about entering the basic input/output system (BIOS) and changing the BIOS settings. You can enter the BIOS on most systems immediately after turning on the power. Usually a keystroke (such as DEL) is required to enter the BIOS. Below are the common features that can interfere with Microsoft Office programs:
  • Memory Shadow RAM
  • Video Shadow RAM
  • Internal Cache
  • External Cache
  • Built-in Virus Protection
Newer chipsets may have more advanced features such as memory wait states, that may cause errors. Most BIOS installation programs have an option to load the BIOS default settings. This option usually disables all advanced features.

Warning Incorrectly altering hardware BIOS settings can cause serious problems that may cause your computer to fail to start or function properly. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems that result from the incorrect setting of hardware BIOS options can be solved. Alter the hardware BIOS settings at your own risk.

Customers have reported that the Dell A02 BIOS does not work with Windows This BIOS version is used on the Dell Dimension models. Dell technical support can be contacted at (800) 624-9896.

Disabling the External Cache feature on Tyan Titan III VX and Tyan Tomcat III motherboards has been known to resolve Kernel32.dll error messages. Similar problems have also been reported when using Gigabyte motherboards.

Remove and reinstall the program

If the problem occurs after you run the Setup program, some of the dynamic link library (.dll) files may be damaged or corrupted. To troubleshoot this problem, first completely remove the program. After you completely remove the program, reinstall the program.

Check for software updates

Outdated and incompatible software may also cause error messages to appear. Check with the manufacturer of the computer for various software updates, such as BIOS updates, OEM Windows updates, and hardware driver updates (such as CD-ROM drive drivers). If you are using third-party partitioning software (for example, EZDrive, or Ontrack Disk Manager), verify that you have the most recent versions of these products.

Microsoft has released three updated files that may affect whether you receive error messages when you run Setup or when you use an Office program. Download the Windows 95 Service Pack 1, the Kernel32.dll update, and the Ole32.dll updates from the Microsoft Web Site. Also, determine whether other updates that may pertain to your system configuration are available. To check for updated files on the Microsoft Web site, use the following address: (

Scan the computer for viruses

If a virus is present on your computer and has damaged some files, Kernel32.dll error messages may appear when you use a program. Scan the hard disk and floppy disks with a virus detector. If the virus detector finds a virus on your computer, remove the virus before you run the Office program again.

Note Do not run a virus detector terminate-and-stay-resident (TSR) program while you run any of the Office programs, including the Setup program. Run a virus detector before you run the Setup program, and then disable it.

Reinstall Windows in a new folder

Use this method only after you try all of the troubleshooting steps in this article. If you reinstall Windows in a new folder, you must reinstall all Windows-based programs under the new Windows installation.

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
200375  ( ) How to install Windows 95 to a new folder to troubleshoot Office

Check hardware

If you exhaust all other troubleshooting steps and you are still receiving error messages, it is possible that one or more pieces of your hardware are incompatible with Windows or are damaged. To identify a problem with your computer hardware, contact your computer vendor.

Badly seated memory or bad memory has been reported to cause Kernel32.dll error messages. Switching memory around in the motherboard memory banks has been known to correct some of these issues.

It has also been reported that running the Atron 380 Bus Mastering Ethernet Card can cause Kernel32.dll errors. Removing this card from the computer may resolve these error messages.

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.
For more information about hardware and software vendor contact information, visit the following Microsoft Web site: (

  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2000
  • Microsoft Windows 95
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