Understanding Windows Stack Faults


Stacks are reserved memory that programs use for processing hardware events. When Windows displays an error message related to an internal stack overflow, it is because there is not enough space in memory either set aside or available to handle the calls being made to the system hardware. There are several possible solutions to try when troubleshooting this problem:

  • Eliminate terminate-and-stay-resident program (TSRs). Some TSRs may be interfering with Windows. Disable any non-boot device drivers in the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files. If you are installing from Windows 3.x and getting a stack overflow error, check the Win.ini and System.ini files for non-Windows-based programs or drivers loading.  
  • Eliminate hardware conflicts. There may be an incompatible hardware configuration. Check the port and IRQ settings of the network card, sound card, and modem. Make sure that there are no COM2/COM4 or COM1/COM3 conflicts and that no devices are sharing IRQs. Disable or remove conflicting devices.  
  • Check to see whether your computer needs a BIOS or chipset upgrade. Check the BIOS version and contact the manufacturer of your computer for information about a BIOS upgrade. Some computers require supplemental firmware updates, which are updates to programs stored in chips on the system board.

For additional information, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge BasC:
Stack Overflow Can Cause Windows to Hang [Q82318]
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=82318

Error MessagC: There Are No Spare Stack Pages [Q149083]
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=149083