Why did I just get an 'Unrecoverable processor error' - and what does it mean?

Why did I just get an 'Unrecoverable processor error' - and what does it mean?

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Every now and then a user will report seeing an unrecoverable processor error under Virtual PC - and wonder what the heck is going on and what it means.  Virtual PC will display this error message when one of two events happen:

  1. When something happened that would have caused a physical computer to spontaneously reset.

    On a physical machine - there are a number of things that you can do that will not only cause the operating system to crash, but will cause the entire system to spontaneously reboot.  Needless to say these are usually fairly drastic problems - like have the wrong hardware abstraction layer driver loaded.  On Virtual PC - rather than simply rebooting we provide a relatively meaningless dialog...  Hmm...  Maybe we should try and add some more detail to the dialog message.
  2. A problem was encountered in core emulation.

    This is thankfully very uncommon - but sometimes there may be a low level CPU operation that either is not supported by Virtual PC, or is only partially supported under Virtual PC - and using this operation may cause an unrecoverable processor error.

Either way - when you see this error message your only option is to reset the virtual machine and try to reconfigure it to avoid the problem.

Cheers,
Ben

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  • I chose to purchase Virtual PC partly because of a test a friend did when he was bored. He first started VMWare and then tried to launch Virtual PC within it, and VMWare blew up. He then launched Virtual PC and started VMWare within it. It didn't do anything for a while, so we left it running, and when we checked it a few hours later, three letters of the BIOS logo had shown up. Useless, but I was rather impressed with the depth of the CPU emulation.

    While using VPC, I've only hit one case that tripped the "unrecoverable processor error" dialog -- attempting to run Connectix Virtual Game Station. :)
  • I regularly get an Unrecoverable processor error when using Visual C++ to compile a project in a shared folder. I can run one or two compiles, but in a sort time, boom...

    I am also getting errors from Visual C++ indicating that a file cannot be accessed because the disk is full. When I delete the file and restart the compile, everything works OK. I think these two things are related.

    James
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