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Computer General Protection Faults

March 24th Fact-of-the-Day

Computer operating systems allocate blocks of memory space and certain other resources to individual programs that request them. The programs are allowed exclusive use of resources allocated to them until they terminate. In principle the process is like a government allocating parcels of land, water rights, and other resources to individual farmers who are allowed to use them exclusively until they die. In such a system, either by mistake or design, one farmer may try to use resources allocated to another. The same thing happens in computers where one program, by mistake or design, tries to use resources allocated to another. Computer operating systems constantly watch for that and issue a 'General Protection Fault' if they find one program using resources allocated to another to prevent processing errors and to protect disk files from possible damage. It is necessary to reboot following a General Protection Fault which clears previous program resource allocations. ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.

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