Stack Overflow Can Cause Windows to Hang

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Article ID: 82318 - View products that this article applies to.
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Stack overflows can cause Microsoft Windows to stop responding (hang). If Windows hangs intermittently, try adding the following line to the CONFIG.SYS file:


The addition of the STACKS command line causes MS-DOS to reserve space for hardware interrupt handling (rather than an application's stack). In general, the default setting gives you more free memory; however, there are situations when the hardware interrupt routines require more space. On IBM machines, STACKS=0,0 is the default; on all other machines, STACKS=9,128 is the default.

One such situation is when you are running SMARTDrive (SMARTDRV.EXE) version 4.0 with certain network cards. Windows Setup should modify the CONFIG.SYS file accordingly when Windows is installed if it detects a known problem configuration.

If Windows is hanging or crashing, particularly if SMARTDRV.EXE 4.0 is running, or a network is installed, try adding the STACKS command to the CONFIG.SYS file and see if that corrects the problem.

For more information, please query on the following words in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: STACKS and OVERVIEW


Article ID: 82318 - Last Review: September 24, 2011 - Revision: 2.0
  • Microsoft Windows 3.0 Standard Edition
kbprod2web KB82318

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