You receive "The memory could not be read" error message when you log on to the local console of your Windows 2000-based computer

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Article ID: 262490 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q262490
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Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
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NOTICE

The problem that the "Symptoms of the problem" section describes can occur on other versions of Windows and is documented in other Knowledge Base articles. To troubleshoot similar problems, please see the "Similar problems and resolutions" section later in this article. This article is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.support.microsoft.com/contactus

INTRODUCTION

This article contains an explanation of why you receive "The memory could not be read" error message. This article links to the latest Windows 2000 service pack that corrects this problem. Because this error message may be a symptom of other problems, this article also provides links to more articles that may help you resolve the problem.

Symptoms of the problem

When you log on to the local console of your Windows 2000-based computer, you may receive the following error message:
The instruction at '<address>' referenced memory at '<address>'.
The memory could not be read.
Click OK to terminate the program.
When you click OK, your computer restarts and successive logon attempts may be successful.

Note This error message may also occur if you log on by using a Terminal Services client.

Steps to resolve the problem

This error message occurs because the operating system does not allocate a large enough buffer for the maximum string length that is permitted. When the data is larger than the buffer size, the Winlogon service stops unexpectedly and your computer generates the error message.

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows 2000. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
260910 How to obtain the latest Windows 2000 service pack

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

This problem was first corrected in Windows 2000 Service Pack 1.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information about how to install Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 hotfixes at the same time, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
249149 Installing Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 hotfixes

Similar problems and resolutions

If you are still experiencing a problem that resembles the problem that this article describes, it may be a different problem. For more information about similar problems and resolutions, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
828133 "The memory could not be read" error message when you open an e-mail message
899811 You may receive a "The memory could not be read" error message when you click certain Web site links in Internet Explorer 6
894075 You receive a "The instruction at '0x7155d330' referenced memory at '0x77cc2cc0'" error message after you close Group Policy Object Editor in Windows XP
916089 FIX: When you run Windows Update to scan for updates that use Windows Installer, including Office updates, you may experience a memory leak, or you may receive an error message for the Svchost process
923996 When you visit a Web page that uses a custom pop-up object, Internet Explorer 6 closes unexpectedly
927385 You receive an error message after a Windows XP-based computer runs an automatic update, and you may be unable to run any programs after you close the "svchost.exe - Application Error" error message dialog box
927891 You receive an access violation error and the system may appear to become unresponsive when you try to install an update from Windows Update or from Microsoft Update
931852 Error messages when you start a Windows XP-based computer and then try to download Windows Updates

If these Microsoft Knowledge Base articles do not help you resolve the problem, or if you experience symptoms that differ from those that this article describes, please search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for more information. To search the Microsoft Knowledge Base, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com

Then, type the text of the error message that you receive, or type a description of the problem in the Search Support (KB) field.

Properties

Article ID: 262490 - Last Review: November 30, 2007 - Revision: 5.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
Keywords: 
kbresolve kbhotfixserver kbbug kberrmsg kbfix kbqfe kbtermserv kbwin2000sp1fix KB262490

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