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Avoiding unnecessary error messages Often the best error message is no error message. The VPN server may be un-reachable, or security parameters may not be configured properly for this connectionTop of pageManage Your Profile |Legal |Contact Us© 2016 Microsoft Corporation. These problems would be much easier to solve with specific names, locations, and values. Error Messages An error message alerts users of a problem that has already occurred. have a peek here

To provide more information about the cause of the error, use the Details button. Do not anthropomorphize. Look for it in titles, main instructions, supplemental instructions, command links, and commit buttons. STOP: 0x00000032 (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) PHASE1_INITIALIZATION_FAILED...

Error Messages Examples

STOP: 0x0000001E (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED... Yes and No buttons must be used in combination and must always be preceded by a question. Please ensure that the LAN adapter is connected before enabling Internet Connection Sharing784 You cannot dial using this connection at logon time, because it is configured to use a user name

Doing so from untrusted sources may harm your computer." (Both phrased as conditions that may cause future problems.) Information. "You have configured Windows Internet Explorer to block unsigned ActiveX controls." (Phrased Troubleshooting (and how to avoid it) Troubleshooting results when a problem with several different causes is reported with a single error message. Clear. Error Message Examples Text To close a message box, use the Close button.

Windows 2000 Error Messages Reference Kernel STOP STOP PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA STOP: 0x00000070 (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) SESSION4_INITIALIZATION_FAILED... Error Messages Best Practices DWORD dwChars; // Number of chars returned. // Try to get the message from the system errors. STOP: 0x00000079 (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) Mismatched kernel and hal image.... For drag operations, allow users to drop only on valid targets.

It should always be obvious what the error message is referring to. List Of Error Messages Doing so is often difficult to parse. STOP: 0x00000009 (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) IRQL_NOT_GREATER_OR_EQUAL... Don't use the following words: Error, failure (use problem instead) Failed to (use unable to instead) Illegal, invalid, bad (use incorrect instead) Abort, kill, terminate (use stop instead) Catastrophic, fatal (use

Error Messages Best Practices

STOP: 0x0000004B (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) STREAMS_INTERNAL_ERROR... STOP: 0x0000000F (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) SPIN_LOCK_ALREADY_OWNED... Error Messages Examples Consider these examples from the Error Message Hall of Shame: Unnecessary error messages Incorrect: This example from Windows XP might be the worst error message ever. Error Message 404 STOP: 0x00000076 (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) PROCESS_HAS_LOCKED_PAGES...

Leading cause: Insensitive phrasing that focuses on the user's behavior instead of the problem. navigate here However, what if the reason a control is disabled isn't obvious? If existing hardware has failed, remove or replace the faulty component. Specific. Error Message Guidelines

If users are likely either to perform an action or to change their behavior as a result, provide the error message. STOP: 0x00000020 (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) KERNEL_APC_PENDING_DURING_EXIT... Additional information is provided in the event log758 Internet Connection Sharing is already enabled on the connection760 An error occurred while routing capabilities were being enabled761 An error occurred while Internet Check This Out For example, if a file cannot be opened for several reasons, provide a separate supplemental instruction for each reason.

If you do this, also use the feature name as the error's subject. Error Messages Ux DATA_BUS_ERROR KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED TRAP_CAUSE_UNKNOWN A worker thread is impersonating another process. Avoid starting sentences with object names.

Use a different error message (typically a different supplemental instruction) for each detectable cause.

Poorly presented error messages Incorrect: This example has many common presentation mistakes. Exceptions: If the error is a user input problem displayed using a modal dialog box or balloon, don't use an icon. Omit unnecessary details. Error Message Funny Another great way to avoid error messages is by preventing problems in the first place.

If the search has obvious mistakes, automatically recommend a corrected query. While it's possible that this is a very poorly written error message, it more likely reflects the lack of good error handling by the underlying code—there is no specific information known Using constrained interactions. this contact form Yes No Additional feedback? 1500 characters remaining Submit Skip this Thank you!

Correct: In this example, the error message would be confusing if the object name weren't in quotation marks. Ordinarily users shouldn't have to read external text to understand and solve the problem, unless the solution requires several steps. User input problems The user entered a value that is incorrect or inconsistent with other user input. Brief.

Provide the user with a solution to the problem. STOP: 0x00000072 (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) ASSIGN_DRIVE_LETTERS_FAILED... STOP: 0x00000027 (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) RDR_FILE_SYSTEM... Don't use Show/Hide details unless there really is more detail.

Chinese Trad. (HK, SAR) Chinese Trad. (Taiwan) Croatian Czech Danish Dari Dutch English (UK) Estonian Filipino Finnish French French (Canada) Galician Georgian German Greek Gujarati Hausa Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Igbo STOP: 0x0000003F (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) NO_MORE_SYSTEM_PTES... Faulty hardware, a buggy system service, antivirus software, and a corrupted NTFS volume can all generate this type of error. STOP: 0x00000064 (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) SYMBOLIC_INITIALIZATION_FAILED...

STOP: 0x00000055 (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) DATA_COHERENCY_EXCEPTION... C++ Copy #include #include // Display error message text, given an error code. // Typically, the parameter passed to this function is retrieved // from GetLastError(). The LAN connection selected on the private network has more than one IP address configured. Balloons go away when clicked, when the problem is resolved, or after a timeout.

Style Considerations Use complete but simple sentences. Some error messages can be eliminated because they aren't problems from the user's point of view. STOP: 0x00000008 (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) IRQL_NOT_DISPATCH_LEVEL... Users are less likely to make input errors if they can accept the default values.

A typical modal error message. Users are less likely to make mistakes if the tasks are unnecessary or performed automatically for them.

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