View Full Version : booting query

09-15-2000, 04:22 PM
when i booted up today, i got the following message:
"WINDOWS: Terminating thread due to stack overflow problem. A VxD, possibly recently installed, has consumed too much stack space. Increase the setting of 'MinSPs' in SYSTEM.INI or remove recently installed VxD's. There are currently 4 SPs allocated. Press any key to continue."
i pressed the space bar and the message went away and was replaced with a screen full of dots. was unable to get any response from keyboard, not even control-alt-delete, so i rebooted from the cpu (on/off button). this time, it booted normally, but i'm wondering: what was the message about, and what am i supposed to do with it? i am embarrassingly ignorant, as i have no idea what a stack overflow problem is, what a VxD is, or how to do anything at all to SYSTEM.INI. the only recently installed thing i have is a firewall, which i don't want to get rid of. i am using windows 98, btw.

Charles Kozierok
09-16-2000, 10:23 AM
A "VxD" is a virtual device driver. This is by far most likely to have been caused by whatever you just installed. Try checking their web site, it may be a known bug, or there may be an update. Let us know how you fare.

Charles M. Kozierok
Webslave, The PC Guide (http://www.PCGuide.com)
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09-30-2000, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by ixl:
A "VxD" is a virtual device driver. This is by far most likely to have been caused by whatever you just installed. Try checking their web site, it may be a known bug, or there may be an update. Let us know how you fare.

http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif I received the same message this morning..Is there a reason you did not respond to the part that said "Increase the setting of 'Min Space' and only replied to the 'VxD' portion. My message also included the statement there are currently 4 spaces allocated. Is this pertinent? Sorry to be so vague...I keep trying to educate myself...but there is sooooo much to learn. Thanks

09-30-2000, 03:46 PM
hi, suzy and charles--
i'm sorry i haven't replied sooner. i had only just installed the firewall abt a week earlier so i didn't think it likely there wd be an update yet. i asked a tech-savvy friend who's not a member of this bulletin board for his opinion, and he said to just ignore the whole thing unless it happens again. i've been doing that, although i find it shocking!! but so far i haven't had a repeat of the problem, either.
suzy-- i share your feeling of no-matter-how-hard-i-try-to-educate-myself-i-still-don't-know. it seems to me that this stuff is like a maze with endless secret passageways and uncharted territory! very frustrating.
i'm still interested in any insights anyone may have. meanwhile, i'm just hoping it was an isolated occurrance, although in my heart i find it hard to believe....

09-30-2000, 03:53 PM
I too am going to ignore it for the time being, if I get the same message again I guess I will have to explore it further. Good luck.

Paleo Pete
10-01-2000, 03:44 AM
Give it some time and see what happens. You'd be surprised how many times an error of this sort is just a one-time thing. If it's a constantly recurring problem, at least once a day, then worry.

I'm not sure how to explain a stack overflow, I'll do some looking and see what I can find in the morning.

The system.ini file can be viewed/edited in a couple of ways.

1. Start\Run type in sysedit and click ok or hit the [Enter] Key. This opens the system editor. It opens about 5 files, autoxec.bat, config.sys, win.ini, system.ini and protocol.ini.

2. At the C:\> prompt in DOS type edit system.ini and the DOS editor will open it so you can read or edit it. [Alt] [F] [X] will close the edit window.

Until you learn a bit about how windows interprets these files they'll be as helpful as heiroglyphics. system.ini and win.ini basically tell windows a ton of information about system configuration, and what settings many components and drivers are to use.

If you want to look at it and see what it looks like and how it is set up, got to the start button, click Run, type in sysedit and close autoexec.bat and config.sys and you should be at either win.ini or system.ini. Don't change anything, but if you do, you can avoid harming your computer by NOT saving changes that may have been accidentally made. Click the X button at top right to close, and say No to the save changes box that pops up. If you make no changes, this box won't show up, and sysedit will simply close.

You can't hurt your computer as long as you don't SAVE, FORMAT or DELETE anything.

If you had everything...Where would you put it?

Computer Information Links (http://www.geocities.com/paleopete/)

Paleo Pete
10-01-2000, 01:22 PM
Stacks: Devices interrupt the CPU for attention. It must have a place to set aside its tasks. This is the purpose of stacks. The stacks setting in config.sys specifies the amount of memory to be used for processing interrupts.

the syntax is:


Substitute the number of stacks to use for n and the size in bytes for s

The usual setting is


I haven't looked up the stack overflow message yet, but as far as I can tell it means the system doesn't have enough stacks available to accomplish the intended task.

If you think you need more stacks, change the number, but not the size. Make sure to write down all changes you make to the config.sys file so they can be undone easier, and if changing the number doesn't work, change the size.

You might also copy the original config.sys file to something like config.abc so it can be restored later, in case of problems. I use my initials for the extension. And notice I said COPY, not rename...

If you had everything...Where would you put it?

Computer Information Links (http://www.geocities.com/paleopete/)

10-01-2000, 09:15 PM
This is a great site. Thanks to those of you who have replied. Will study what you sent and will try to gain more knowledge. This may be one of those isolated instances but I think I had it happen one other time when I was using another program. I think I have some notes...I'll look them up.

10-02-2000, 05:11 PM
thanks for the tutorial! i really appreciate it!

Paleo Pete
10-03-2000, 03:01 AM
You're welcome.

Just took a bit of digging, and I always learn from it too. Every time I have to search for something I run across a few things that catch my interest, sometimes totally off topic. Makes life interesting, but sometimes it makes me sit here and read for a half hour or more before actually getting and posting the info I was originally after...which is why it's 1AM now and I'm still sitting here staring at this infernal confuser...

If you had everything...Where would you put it?

Computer Information Links (http://www.geocities.com/paleopete/)

10-06-2000, 05:50 PM
How about this? It worked for me. http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/wink.gif http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q149/0/83.asp


10-06-2000, 07:19 PM