Runtime Error

There are different reasons why a runtime error message will appear. Usually it will be preceded by a system slowdown. Here are some of the most common reasons and how to overcome them.


  • CD or DVD (for backing up files)
  • CD or DVD software installer
  • Pen and paper (for noting down error messages)
  • Antivirus software

Program Conflicts with TSRs

A TSR is a program that resides in memory. Sometimes this can cause a conflict with other running software, even games.

Solution: Shut down all running TSR programs. Pres CRTL + ALT + DEL. It will bring up a list of running programs. Shut them down and reboot. It should eliminate the runtime error message. If you are using Windows 98 or below, check the config.sys or autoexec.bat files for any TSR programs there. Disable and reboot the system.

Software Problems

The problem can be caused by software in the system. Try running different applications. See which software is running when the message appears. Once you determine what it is, go to the Net. Go to the vendor site and download patches or drivers. Also look at the troubleshooting section (if there’s any) on the site. It may provide some help too.

You can also try to reinstall the program. Uninstall it using Add/Remove Programs or its own uninstall feature. Reboot. Get the CD and reinstall it. This may help in removing the runtime error message. After installing, go to the website and get the updates.

A lot of the most common errors can be attributed to software problems. Reinstall and update the software if you get an “illegal function call”, “out of string space” and “error loading DLL”.


Some of these errors can be the result of a virus or Trojan Horse. Run your virus scanner. If some viruses are found, remove them.

Note: you need to update your antivirus regularly. If not, the program won’t be able to detect the virus.

Hardware / Memory Conflict

In some rare cases in could be a problem with a piece of hardware. It could be having trouble accessing RAM. If after reinstalling and virus scanning the problem persists, turn off the PC. Try reinstalling the hardware.

This can be a difficult task. If you don’t know how to do it, have a technician do it for you. Check out the error message you got first. Reconnect the hardware only if the runtime error message seems related to it.

Tips and Warnings

Back up your files regularly. This ensures that even if you get this error message, you’ll be able to restore them quickly.

Do not however, back up your files if a virus is found. The files may already be infected. Only back them up after the antivirus software tells you that the system has been cleared.

Make a careful note of the error messages you get. If you need to contact the vendor or technical support, they need to be furnished the correct information. Give them the message, your system specs and the circumstances when the message appeared.

There’s no need to panic when you see a runtime error message. By knowing its possible cause, you’ll arrive at the right approach to removing it.