Illegal Operations

Illegal Operations

Don’t you hate it when you see this error:
“This program has preformed an illegal operation and will be shut down”.

It can happen for a variety of reasons. In my experience, most of the time it’s due to a software conflict of some sort, usually with a program that’s running in the background.

If you find you have a bunch of stuff sitting in your system tray (it’s the little box opposite the Start button on the taskbar), you may find that shutting down some of those programs will help tremendously (most have an option to shut down if you right-click their icon) . It’s usually one of them that’s the culprit (RealPlayer causes *lots* of problems), especially if the program with the problem seems to be the only thing running.

You can also use the CTRL-ALT-DEL key combination to shut programs down manually, but you also run the risk of accidentally shutting your computer down (Don’t close Explorer or Systray). Only do this after you’ve shut down all your system try icons and are continuing to have problems.

If you shut all of those background programs down and still haven’t resolved the conflict, you may have a Windows driver that’s messing things up. Try booting to Safe Mode and running the program. (To get to Safe Mode, hit the F8 key just as Windows starts to boot, before the first Windows loading screen comes up). If all works well in safe mode, you may have to re-install or update your drivers.

Another possibility is the program has a corrupted file. Try uninstalling then re-installing the program.

If you’re still having problems, contact the program’s vender and see if they know what’s going on. Although they may not be able to help you, it’s still worth a try. Keep in mind that every computer is as unique as you and I once we start using it, so sometimes even the guy who wrote the program won’t know why it’s causing a problem on your machine and no one else’s.

I can usually resolve the illegal operation problem by taking the steps above. Don’t panic if you see this error message crop up from time to time at random intervals. It happens, usually after Windows has been running awhile without a re-boot. Only take the actions above if the problem appears every time, or almost every time, you use a particular program.


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