While working on your computer, and especially while browsing the web, it is very common to bump into an error. Errors are perfectly normal things which suggest that something is going wrong with your computer. It could be a faulty driver, or a device, or a recent app which you installed that isn’t aligning with the rest of the modules. Most people don’t bother about investigating these errors, and perform a complete wipe and re-installation of the operating system. Sure it will, most of the times fix the problem, but again you don’t cut and remove your hand and attach a prosthetic one every time it itches. We have looked into some of the common errors that we come across every once in a while, what exactly those errors mean, and how you could resolve them.

Windows Errors

The POST beeps

POST error

This probably is the first error you could encounter after turning your computer. If all the vital components inside the computer are running fine, you will hear one beep (or two, depending on your motherboard’s manufacturer). One beep technically means that your computer has successfully passed the POST (Power-on self-test). If however you hear more than one beep, then it means that certain hardware of your computer is not functioning properly. Depending on the manufacturer of your computer’s motherboard (and also, BIOS version), any extra number of beeps that you hear suggests a faulty hardware. It could be anything from an out of power CMOS battery to a non-functional graphics card. You can identify the symptoms here.

Blue Screen of death (BSoD)

Windows 8 BSOD

Doesn’t matter which Windows operating system you are on, one thing that you must have encountered a couple of times by now is the Blue Screen of Death or BSOD. Unlike most errors, there is no real-time escape from this error. You can’t press ESC to avoid it, or Ctrl + Alt + Del to fix it right away. This error usually occurs because of recent hardware or software change that you might have made on your computer. After restart, you should unplug any new device that you had attached to your computer, or uninstall any new software while booting in through Safe Mode.

To tackle these situations, you can also use a nifty freeware tool Nirsoft BlueScreenView. The app looks into the system dump files and logs to figure what might have caused the problem. Alternatives include WhoCrashed and Reliability Monitor.

Virtual Memory Too Low

Adding space to PageFile

It’s another common error to bump into. It usually occurs when you have an insufficient amount of RAM or, an application is eating up or leaking your precious memory. Computer uses smart ways to deal with programs, it either provides them the real actual memory or something called Virtual memory, which is essentially your hard-drive memory being used in place of physical memory. To resolve this error, you need to buy some more RAM chips. If you think your existing RAM(s) are enough to bear the amount of work you do, then, increase the size of the pagefile. To do that, go to Control Panel, System and Security. Click on Advanced system settings, and from the Advanced tab, inside the performance pane, click on settings. Usually, it is suggested to have the size of PageFile about 1.5 to 2 times your RAM memory.

The missing DLL files

Missing DLL

It is pretty common to cite a missing DLL message. What this error usually means is that while execution of a program, one of the required files (.dll in this case) was nowhere to be found. You can fix this error by reinstalling the software, or if it is a system file, you can search for that file online and get a copy of it. It is not necessary that the replacement file will always work, and secondly, make sure that the website from which you are downloading the file is trustworthy. Usually these errors are caused by viruses, so you may want to try a better anti-virus suite.

Device errors

Device Error

If a device has recently stopped working, it could be because of some glitches in its driver module. To figure out what is wrong with that device, you will need to go to the Device Manager. To reach there, click on the start menu and type devmgmt.msc. Now locate the device, right click on it, and go to its properties. Click on the ‘Update Driver’ button. If updating the driver doesn’t resolve your problem, click on the Device Status, you will find an error code. Search that code on the web, and you will find links to an ample number of forums including Microsoft’s support site explaining and providing the solution for your problem.

Fatal Exception errors


In computer a lot of programs and hardware share memory and other resources with each other. If for some reason, a program doesn’t get its request fulfilled, you will get an error saying ‘unhandled exception’ and the program might even terminate. In worst scenario, it could even cause the computer to shut down. If you have seen that error, you can visit the webpage of Microsoft’s list of fatal errors and identify your problem.

System Error Codes

Software programmers follow a protocol to assign error codes to tell end users, and IT support about that error and what that error means. You can go to Microsoft’s support site where they have documented all the error codes and what those errors mean. For example, Error “22” points to “ERROR_BAD_COMMAND”, which means that the command you have entered is unknown to the program. Whereas, error “225 (0xE1)” is “ERROR_VIRUS_INFECTED” that means the program wasn’t able to complete the operation because the file contains a virus or any other potential unwanted program.

Browser Errors

We have many varieties of 4xx and 5xx errors that you could come across while surfing the web. While some of the errors, like 404 (Page Not Found) and 408 (Connection timed out) are usually not your browser’s fault but the server you have pinged. But there are few errors that could be blamed on your browser.

Error 403


The error 403 means that your computer has made the connection successfully, but you don’t have the required credential to view the page. Look for authorization/authentication details and try again.

Error 501 or 505

Error 501 and 505

This error means that either your browser is outdated and hence does not support the version of HTTP protocol. Or, your browser doesn’t have the required plugins, like Java or Flash that are essential to display the content of the page. Both way, you could update your browser and since all the popular browsers are now laced up with the basic 3rd party services, your browser should be able to display the content. Or, you can install the required plug-in by visiting their official websites.

Error 406


This error means that your computer (needless to mention, the browser) doesn’t have the required software to view the content. Make sure to download the required software and that should fix the problem.

PHOTO CREDITS: Shutterstock

Also Read:

Manish is pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering but spends more time in writing about technology. He has written for a number of Indian and international publications including BetaNews, BGR India, WinBeta, MakeTechEasier, MediaNama, and Digit magazine among others. When not writing, you would find him ranting about the state of digital journalism on Twitter.