Error message when you try to log off a Windows Vista-based computer: "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000142)"


When you try to log off a Windows Vista-based computer, you may receive the following error message:
AtBroker.exe - Application error

The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000142).
Click OK to terminate the application.
Additionally, you may hear a "ding" sound.

  • The "ding" sound implies a system error.
  • The error message and the "ding" sound automatically disappear after several seconds. Then, the logoff process continues.
  • This problem is more likely to occur when you use a program that runs on the secure desktop of Windows Vista. For example, you use screen magnifier software or a screen reader program.


This problem occurs because of a timing issue between the Winlogon.exe process and the Atbroker.exe process. This timing issue causes Windows Vista to start the Atbroker.exe process on the wrong desktop. If the Atbroker.exe process cannot run on this desktop, you may receive the error message.


This problem disappears automatically after several seconds. Then, the logoff process succeeds. Therefore, you can safely ignore this error message and the "ding" sound. This problem does not harm the computer.


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

More Information

The secure desktop is the desktop that is displayed when you perform one of the following actions:
  • You press CTRL+ALT+DEL.
  • You lock the computer.
  • You leave the computer in the logoff state.
Other issues may generate the same error message. However, this article applies only to the specific scenario that is described in the "Symptoms" section.

ID d'article : 940542 - Dernière mise à jour : 22 oct. 2008 - Révision : 1