Thank you for your question.
This type of question becomes a little difficult to solve when using
GA as we lack the interactivity of a phone call, for example. Having
solved numerous IPF (Invalid Protection Fault) problems in the past, I
have found it often to be trial and error. It will depend on what
software you have and are running, which video card, how your memory
settings are configured and numerous other variables.
My approach to this answer will be similar to "Give a man a fish and
feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime."
I shall try to lay out the methedology for tracking down your problem.
Additionally, there is precious little information on the Internet on
Winword IPF's WHEN CLOSING. This further encourages my belief that the
problem you are experiencing is not in Winword, but in another driver
That being said, let's start by saying that Invalid Page Fault
problems are caused by either a corruption of memory or two programs
trying to access the same portion of memory at the same time.
In this Microsoft Knowledge Base article: WD2000: Part 1:
Troubleshooting Invalid Page Faults (IPFs) and Exception Errors at
"When an invalid page fault occurs, an unexpected event occurs in
Windows. An invalid page fault typically indicates that a program
improperly attempted to use random access memory; for example, when a
program or a Windows component reads or writes to a memory location
that is not allocated to it. When this occurs, the program can
potentially overwrite and corrupt other program code in that area of
You should read this article and the other two parts referenced in this article.
In order to isolate the problem, there are a number of steps I would
take, and often perform some of them even though I am convinced they
are not the root cause of the problem. In any situation like this, you
will have to do a large amount of sleuthing and trial and error. I
suggest keeping good notes of what you have tried and what you might
have changed as you proceed:
1. Run a good virus checker with current virus definitons - just in case
2. Be sure that there is plenty of hard drive space available as
Windows will sometimes write VERY large files for virtual memory usage
on your hard drive. A lack of disk space can cause an IPF.
3. Be sure that your virtual memory is set for Windows to manage it
automatically. You can set a minimum swap file size equal to your
physical RAM, but never set a maximum. Always let Windows manage that
parameter for you.
4. Run a defragmenting program and defrag your hard drive
5. Run scandisk (included with Windows) or, better yet, Norton Disk
Doctor to see if there are corrupted files or physical problems with
your hard drive. If you have Norton Utilities, run Norton Win Doctor,
6. Download and run Ad-Aware available free form www.lavasoft.de to
check to see if you have spyware running in the background and using
7. Microsoft suggests:
"To resolve this issue, identify when the error message first
occurred. Also, determine if you recently made changes to the
computer, for example, you installed software or changed the hardware
Use a clean boot troubleshooting procedure to help you identify the
cause of the error message.
For additional information about the clean boot procedure, click the
article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge
Q243039 How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows 95
Q192926 How to Perform Clean-Boot Troubleshooting for Windows 98
Q267288 How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows Millennium Edition
This will prevent programs from starting and running in background
memory. If the problem goes away, you then have learned that something
that runs at startup is the cause and can add back programs until the
problem reoccurs and you have discovered the offending program.
8. Reduce the color depth of your graphics display and/or the graphics
For additional information about reducing graphics hardware
acceleration, click the article number below to view the article in
the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q263391: How to Change the Graphics Hardware Acceleration Setting in Windows
This article at the Knowledgebase (part of the above mentioned series
of three articles) references Word, though it is applicable to almost
any Windows program:
"Is It the Video Driver?
Word frequently queries the video driver for information it needs when
formatting and printing the document. A damaged video driver can cause
an invalid page fault or exception error to occur.
To troubleshoot this problem, install a different video driver by
following the steps for your version of Microsoft Windows.
In Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me:
Quit all Microsoft Windows programs.
Right-click the Windows desktop.
On the shortcut menu, click Properties.
Click to select the Settings tab. Note the settings for the desktop
area, color palette, and font size. You may need to know these if you
want to return the display settings to their original state.
NOTE: In Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), click Advanced.
Click Change Display Type. Note the display adapter that is currently
in use. You may need this if you want to return the display settings
to their original state.
For the Adapter type, click Change.
Click Show All Devices.
At the top of the Manufacturers list, click Standard Display Types.
For the Model, click Standard Display Adapter (VGA).
Click the OK and Close buttons to close the dialog boxes.
Click Yes when Windows asks you to restart your computer. When the
computer is restarted, your display appears in 640x480 resolution with
In Windows 2000 or Windows XP:
Restart your computer.
Before the Windows 2000 or Windows XP splash screen appears, press F8.
Select Enable VGA Mode, and then press ENTER.
In the Please select the operating system to start section, select
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional or Microsoft Windows XP, and then
NOTE: The operating system now loads the Standard VGA driver.
Start your programs normally, and then try to reproduce the problem.
If the problem is corrected, you have identified the problem as a
damaged or incompatible video driver. You need to contact the
manufacturer of the video card for an updated video driver."
9. It"could" be a bad RAM chip problem, though usually very unlikely.
Should nothing else solve the problem, have you RAM chips tested.
Additional resources for information on Invalid Page Faults :
Matrox Video Card Driver Problems - Microsoft Knowledge Base Article -
If you have a Matrox card of any variety, updating you driver is
definitely worth a try.
Another Microsoft Page worth reading:
A related article at Annoyances.org:
A similar error, but with Outlook exiting:
An Atari game page mentions:
"...If the message mentions an "Invalid Page Fault" in module "Unknown":
This error occurs when another application on your system conflicts
with the game. You should always shut down all of your other
applications on your system before playing.
One program that will always cause this error is the Access Ramp
Monitor used by some Internet Service providers such as Mindspring and
Earthlink to monitor your Internet connection. To find out if this is
the problem on your system, press the Control, Alt, and Delete keys on
your keyboard, and search the task list for ARMON32. If it's there,
click on it and then click on the end task button. The game should now
QUE suggests this might be virus related:
"...Reader: After I cleaned up a virus attack, I'm still seeing the
following error message:
"Explorer has caused an illegal operation...EXPLORER caused an invalid
page fault in module <unknown> at 0000:023d1910. Any suggestions?
Scott: Microsoft has an article that may help you at
suggests that you may have had the Petty Park virus, and lists a
procedure to repair the problem. If this doesn't help, then in that
article is a link to a list of invalid page fault articles that may
help. If none of them help, then you can try reinstalling Windows over
your current installation. If that doesn't help then you'll probably
have to reinstall from scratch..."
Also, be sure to visit Windows Update and apply all the critical
patches to your operating system:
Search strategy: invalid page fault in unknown
I hope the above will be helpful in solving this problem for you. Best
of luck in regaining your computer's performance. Do ask if anything
above is not clear and requires clarification or if a link should fail
Clarification of Answer by
22 Feb 2004 23:26 PST
Hi again kiwi5,
Norton Internet Security is one of those programs that some systems
seem to have problems with. I know, in my case and a Windows 2000 box,
I could not use Norton's System Works without numerous seemingly
unrelated problems. My cure was to go back to Norton Utilities 2002
and Norton AntiVirus 2003. It seems Systemworks was using a different
method for the automatic updates and it threw my system into a
I did a search looking for specific NIS 2004 problems to see if there
might be some advice for you. A negative review at Amazon notes:
"...In late Oct. I wrote a review of this product based on my intitial
impressions from around 2 weeks of use. I gave the product 3 stars
after a number of hassles that seemed to be ending. Well, this weekend
I uninstalled this piece of crap for the 4th and last time. And like
virutally everything else about the product, even the uninstall didn't
work correctly and I am still suffering from Norton's mess that they
loaded onto my computer. Here's the lowdown on a worthless software
program that will stay in memory as the single most destructive thing
I have ever had around.
It hogs memory. I went out and bought another 128mb which Norton
instantly grabbed. 374mb and you would have thought I had an orignal
antique computer from the 50s. Both the boot and shut down times
lasted so long I could take a bathroom break and still get back before
anything had finished. While the computer was on I continually heard
my hard drives doing something almost nonstop..."
I'll let you read the rest of the diatribe for yourself. And note that
no review here at Amazon is favorable to NIS 2004! And it isn't hard
to find other less than rave reviews in a simple search.
Look at the user ratings at PC Magazine:
"...The real problems began soon after this initial start-up. Response
times in commonly used programs ? Word and Outlook Express, for
example ? began to slow. Programs froze.
In the two years since setting up this Windows XP system ? 1.6 GHz P4,
512MB RAM, with gigabytes of spare disk space ? I have rarely if ever
seen it brought to its knees in the ways that were so familiar in
Windows 98 days. But that's what seemed to be happening with NIS 2004
running on it..."
"AVOID THIS PRODUCT.
It does not work. Once you install it, only a clean reinstall from
format will have your computer working again.
I installed it on a P4 3GHz, and it continually crashed and failed.
I am a technical professional, and have used many, many software
packages. This one is terrible, and will cause you more headaches than
it will save.
DO NOT PURCHASE!"
"BEWARE !!! NORTON...YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF !!!
I have been a user of Norton Internet Security for several years now
and the product seems to be getting worse with each year passing. I,
like everyone else, couldn't resist the $30 discount for previous
Norton product users so I kept upgrading and this year, I paid the
Let me start off by warning all of you who have a Dell Dimension 4100
or 8100 system with a Win 2000 Pro OS. It is very very likely that you
will encounter a message (the deadly blue screen)
"stop:0x00000008e..." and your computer will reboot which will be
followed by the message and then reboot, etc. etc... you will not be
able to boot your computer. This happened to me and only after hours
of scouring through Symantec's online support site was I able to find
a solution. And guess what their solution was ?? Nothing. It states
that Symantec is aware of this problem and they will let us know when
the problem is solved
How about that? Why is Symantec still selling this defective product
knowing that the product does not function for everyone? And of course
there is the world famous Symantec customer support. I should have
known to stay away from a company where they actually charge you to
talk to support people..."
"...Best Feature? 60-Day Money Back Guarantee
Email in Outlook Express flat out stopped working after install. I
have uninstalled and returning product after hours of lost time. Can't
believe we put up with this type of service in this day and age. If
you buy this product, hope that you have 0 issues. Online help is
worthless and to talk to tech support is $29.95 a pop!!! That's 1/3 to
1/2 the price of the product. Symantec does not even give one chance
Never again. Thank goodness for 60-day return policy.."
It goes on and on.
Personally, I would return NIS 2004 and use a firewall such as
ZoneAlarm or Agnitum or Tiny, use Norton AntiVirus 2003 or McAffee and
other utilities as needed to fill voids.
I wish I had better news, but at least the problem seems to be
isolated. You might try a reinstall and hope the problem does not
reappear. If it does, and you remove NIS, do know that Symantec
uninstalls leave quite a bit of debris behind. You might look for
utilities to finish the purge of NIS 2004 if you elect to go that
Good luck. As I said, I wish I had better to report.