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While I use a application, the following error message appears (depending on the version of Windows):

Windows XP

[application name] has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8

[application name] has stopped working

Afterwards, the application closes. Why do applications "need to close" or "stop working", and what can I do about it?

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6  
What application? –  BBlake Feb 25 '12 at 15:40
6  
They aren't actually sorry. –  Daniel Beck Feb 25 '12 at 16:05
4  
Note that registry cleaners (step 2) are more likely to cause problems than to solve them. –  Harry Johnston Feb 28 '12 at 2:46
    
In addition to @BBlakes's comment, is it a legal one? –  ekaj May 9 '12 at 16:43
    
What kind of application is it? Win32, .Net? If it's not .Net, .Net Framework has nothing to do with it. –  Radoo May 10 '12 at 12:57

7 Answers 7

First of all, that error is not your fault.

Some programmer forgot to handle some error in his program, so it fails.

Of course, the problem doesn't have to be in the application itself (so the programmer is off the hook). It could be in Windows or it could be in the MSVC runtime, or the .Net runtime or your video card drivers or whatever (which is why you're always told to install all updates before contacting support).

So you got all that covered, but the problem persists. What now?

Well, now the only thing left is that the application in question is faulty and the programmer is no off the hook for this one (A-HA!). So it's the problem of the author of the software. So contact them and ask them if they could help you out and fix this issue.

But what if they tell me their software is perfect, I'm the only one with that issue and generally, it's my fault?

Now comes the fun part. You get to find the actual cause of your error message.
What did the application actually tell the operating system that made the operating system go "You need to shut yourself the f- down!"?

To do so, you have many tools at your disposal.

  • Log files
  • The Windows event log
  • Process Monitor

Should the application in question write out any log files, those can be gold in search for the cause of your application issue. Read them and discuss possible error messages here.

The Windows event log will surely contain some information about the crashed application. If it is actually a .Net application, you might even get lucky and might be able to pull a call stack from the log (which would be very helpful for developers).

If all else fails, turn to Process Monitor. Process Monitor is a tool that logs all communication between an application and the operating system (so to speak). So in the resulting, captured data, you could see exactly what function the application called that resulted in the unhandled error condition. This could be something trivial like trying to access a non-existent file or registry object. But finding that one call on the log can takes ages and if you have no experience with software development, you'll most likely not get very far with this approach.

If that makes you go "Well, that's pretty unlikely to help me solve my issue.", then you're probably right. While it can be fun to try and track down an issue like this for certain people, it's usually the job of the person who wrote the faulting software.

They are far better equipped to find the problem than you are. A proper bug report can go a long way sometimes.

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Two applications. One is custom software which is being created by the hired, freelance, programmer. But I would NOT like to him to help me fixing this issue due to two reasons. First is because he has been working for me for a while and there are many tasks that need to be done. So I don't want to interrupt his work with this. Second reason is because this software, which is being created, has always worked without an error BEFORE i uninstalled previouns version of .net framework and installed .net framework 4.0 (and.. next comment) –  manchester050 . Feb 25 '12 at 17:47
    
Second application is specific file within pc game Football Manager 2012. This specific file is Editor.exe Oliver; the software Process Monitor. How you described it seems like I could give it a try but I have never used it and don't know what exactly to do with it. Am I supposted to delete "something" (what is this "something"?) if it occurs at the same time when I try to run an application that is causing the error? –  manchester050 . Feb 25 '12 at 17:47

In reply to your last comment to my answer, I think most would agree there's not enough information to provide a precise solution for you.

Reinstalling .NET was an educated guess, but we can't know what other files/registry entries your clean-up utilities deleted, and which one might have been critical.

My first answer is: If reinstalling the application doesn't help, contact your vendor/developer to figure it out. The vendor knows what files are expected upon launching their application, we don't!

Then I noticed in your profile you posted a question on stackoverflow where you indicate that your C drive "hardly have any kb left" - which probably initiated your clean-up. Well, you know, that would be the first thing I'd try to fix if I were you. You should make sure to always have at least 1 GB free.

A few MB free space is asking for troubles and could certainly cause "need to close" errors if space attempts to be allocated by windows or your applications. Also it would help avoiding the need for extreme clean-ups and inadvertently delete important files.

Thus my second answer is: Get a new (or use another) bigger main hard drive ASAP. If your applications still crash, you may need to reinstall Windows and all applications/drivers on it. It's a lot of work, but it's ultimately an excellent solution to your problem (read: it will almost certainly fix it).

Finally, clean-up utilities aren't official utilities. It's true that Windows tend to accumulate stuff, but that clean-up utilities do a good job at stripping it down is debatable. Most of Windows growth is from libraries (DLLs), and updates and various installed applications, which utilities should not attempt to mess with too much anyway. Temporary folders are easy to clean-up by hand from time to time. Often the best clean-up you can do is uninstalling applications you don't absolutely require. You know, I find most clean-up tools add more bloat than whatever they clean. That huge list of anti-malware you have installed also seems overkill for the job at hand.

So my third answer is: Go easy on cleaning-up in the future. Disk space is cheap enough that you should be able to avoid all this trouble to save a few megabytes.

Favor uninstalling unused applications, and delete "TEMP" folders by hand from time to time. As much as possible, avoid installing many applications just to try them - as this contributes to needless windows growth that's hard to get back. Ideally, stick to one good anti-virus, one good anti-malware, and whatever you need to work. Avoid messing with the registry!

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Uninstalled previous version(s) of .NET Framework and installed 4.0

Never do this, you are not supposed to uninstall .NET frameworks. The idea behind these versions is that when microsoft improve and make changes to the .NET framework, they may (and often do) break compatibility on programs that were developed on previous .NET versions.

To avoid this problem, a new version of .NET is released and can be installed side-by-side the others. Windowss manage them correctly, and will then load up any version a program is asking for. This allows you to run both old and new programs without problems.

I repeat, when an application is designed for .NET 3.5, it cannot be expected to run reliably on any other .NET version.

Since one of your comment mentions that your "custom software always worked before you uninstalled previous version of .NET", I'm gonna go ahead and suggest you reinstall them. The easiest way to do this is to reinstall the application - they usually include the appropriate .NET installer they need.

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mtone so should I reinstall .net 3.5 or should I uninstall 4.0 and after that reinstall 3.5 and after that reinstall 4.0? –  manchester050 . Feb 25 '12 at 18:57
    
@manchester050 You can install them in any order (Windows keep them in separate folders), so no need to uninstall 4.0. –  mtone Feb 25 '12 at 19:02
    
mtone your suggested solution (having installed both 3.5 and 4.0) worked for one out of two applications. The second one still has the error occuring. Would I need to install even .net framework 4.5? But i think it isn't released yet. What else should I do? –  manchester050 . Feb 25 '12 at 19:19
    
anyone? does framework (4.0) needs to be on the same hard drive as application which produces "application.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience" error? Or can be framework files accessed even if the application is on different hard drive? I cannot put it on the same hard drive as framework 4.0 is. –  manchester050 . Feb 25 '12 at 22:20
    
@manchester050 Glad one worked out. Pretty sure .NET automatically and always installs in the C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework folder. No, don't worry about 4.5 or other versions unless you can find out which version they do really require. The other error you have may an issue other than .NET. –  mtone Feb 25 '12 at 22:37

First off, the error (Some program application) has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience. is a completely generic Windows error message. If it where easy enough to say '(Some program) stopped working because the developer didn't account for Error ID10-T on the memory stack', then the generic error really wouldn't be needed!

Alas, developers and software engineers cannot account for each and EVERY single thing that might cause a program to crash unexpectedly. Yes, there are some programs that have "great" error handling methods which throw out some random number that means 'something', but in order to even get that, that means the developer has accounted for THAT specific error.

Some reasons the generic message may be given are because of things like:

  • General Memory or resource access errors (Segmentation Fault)
  • Improper Anti-virus settings (disallowing the program access)
  • Compatibility mode errors (Try running the application in a 'Compatibility mode for another Windows version)
  • Poor coding practices by developer, or insufficient bug squashing/testing
  • Windows depreciated API calls being used by application
  • Dependencies (other frameworks, DLLs, shared resources) not up to date or available
  • etc, etc

There really is no way to list out the many different possibilities of why the error will occur. Your best bet to 'fix' the problem is by checking with the software developer, and ensuring your system libraries/resources are fully up to date and compatible with the application vendors specified requirements.

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"Application has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience"

This is always a response to the application doing something that mean that the program cannot safely continue.

  • Something in the process went very badly wrong and the process isn't safe to continue anymore (this is usually the heap noticing a heap-overflow or double-free vulnerability has been triggered).

  • The program tried to read, write or execute memory that isn't there or for which the operation is invalid (such as DEP stopping you executing data on the stack).

  • The program triggered an exception, and no registered handler knew how to deal with it.

The dialog box is Windows notifying you that the program died in an uncontrolled way whilst it takes a crash-dump of the program to be sent to the Windows Error Reporting Service. These crash dumps can be viewed by the developers of the program to try and fix the bug.

This isn't an indication that you've been attacked by a virus. It's an indication that the program is faulty. The only solution is to send the crash dump to the original developer of the program (via WER) and update to the fixed version once the bug has been fixed.

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Generally this means the program has encountered an exception (this is an error that will make the program crash). What causes this error is dependent on the application, so it's hard for us to tell what exactly is going wrong.

General solutions are reinstalling the program or deleting its temporary files (you cleanup utilities might not catch them). Perhaps it encounters an exception related to user account control, so try running the program as administrator (right-click, run as administrator). In some programs it is also caused by DEP (Data Execution Protection, a security system). This page explains how to disable it for your program.

There's also the possibility that this program tries to write a file in a location it has no access to. Try to give the program you're running write permissions (right-click, properties, security)

Also make sure you have installed the latest updates for Windows and that specific program.

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Try using a program like Soluto which detects crashes and offers up advice on how to fix the problem if it is available. Soluto uses crowd sourcing to detect crashes and offer up fixes.

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