Windows Error Codes and err.exe

It seems that the Windows Operating System loves error codes. It’s getting better, most programs will automatically translate the error code number back to a friendly error. And new or Windows 8, Microsoft has added a new error screen for the Blue Screen of Death that includes a Frown :^( emoticon.

But there are times when you need to find out what an error message actually means, or at least a hint on what it means. A friend recently asked about an error 0xc0000017 on Blue Screen of Death on a Virtual Machine. What does it mean?

I recommended a tool that I have been using internally at Microsoft, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s available externally. Err.exe. You can download it here:

When you run the tool, pass the error number as a parameter on the command line. It’s smart enough to handle decimal numbers ( 12345 )and hex numbers ( 0x4005007 )

For the error above I ran the tool and got the following output:

C:\ >err 0xc0000017
# for hex 0xc0000017 / decimal -1073741801 :
  STATUS_NO_MEMORY                                              ntstatus.h
# {Not Enough Quota}
# Not enough virtual memory or paging file quota is available
# to complete the specified operation.
# 1 matches found for "0xc0000017"

Sure enough the virtual machine had only 512MB of ram assigned, which was not enough. Bumping the ram up eliminated the BSOD.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s