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Single step exception
Debug exception 0x80000004
A single step or trace operation has just been completed.
You would not normally see this exception, as it is used by a debugger
under the direction of a programmer to help solve or validate an issue
in a program. The debugger can step-through instructions to see what a program is doing at some critical juncture.
Without a debugger running, this exception should never occur
(although hardware faults and software bugs might create this
* Reporting vendor, unclear who is responsible for the issue.
Solutions and Fixes
Assuming a debugger is NOT running, the following solutions may be helpful.
You may have a defective memory. This is even more likely if it only occurs when the system is cold or hot, but not all the time. Use a memory tester to confirm if it is defective or if you have spare memory, try replacement.
Windows 7 and Vista include a Memory Test program when booting from the Windows Installation DVD. Step-by-step instructions with screen shots are available at Using System Restore on 7/Vista/2008 as part of System Recovery.
Confirm all the memory is of the same type and speed. Many motherboards only work correctly when the memory is installed with matched sets and matched speeds.
If you added or changed your memory just before this problem occurred, try reverting to the prior memory configuration to confirm it's the source of the problem.
Check that the memory is fully seated in the sockets. Memory sockets often have side latches that need to be upright to indicate the memory is correctly locked in place.
Confirm the memory resides in the correct slots on the motherboard. You'll need to refer to the motherboard manual to confirm this. There is little consistency, even within a single vendor. Some systems require that memory is installed as matched pairs, but not always adjacent to each other!
It's also possible the memory problem is on the video card, as they often contain additional memory. The video card should be tested and/or try a different video card to see if the problem goes away.
FaultWire Staff Posted: 5-Oct-2008
Update or Replace Defective Software
Most exception errors are the result of a software bug. If the faulting program is identified, check if a newer version is available that corrects the issue.
Be aware that in some cases the fault might lie elsewhere, such as an operating system file, driver or other defective software that is running.
FaultWire Staff Posted: 8-Jan-2009
Fix Defective Hardware
Confirm the hardware is working correctly using a hardware diagnostic program. If you suspect a specific hardware item, such as memory stick or video card, try replacing it with known good hardware.
Don't overlook the possibility that hardware was not installed correctly, especially anything you installed just prior to the problems starting. Make sure all cards and memory are securely seated in their slots. Verify disk drive cables are properly connected and are not loose.
Although less informative than our notes here, you can view the Microsoft MSDN source document for a list of the NTSTATUS codes used when Microsoft encounter a problem with an application.
While we believe this information up to date and accurate, FAQware is not responsible for any inaccuracies. If you find something that is out of date or inaccurate, please let us know at
so we can correct it.