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Microsoft KB Archive/102640

From BetaArchive Wiki

The "Segment Load Failure" Error Message


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) 3.1


Running an application in the Microsoft Windows operating environment may produce a system modal dialog box containing the following error message:

Segment Load Failure

The error occurs inconsistently due to the cached file handle mechanism of Windows version 3.1.


During the life of a Windows-based application, Windows may need to load discarded code or resource segments or LOADONCALL segments for the first time. To load the segment, Windows uses file I/O functions to read the information from the .EXE file. If Windows has any errors opening the .EXE file, it will produce the error message:

Segment Load Failure

The following are possible reasons opening the .EXE file fails, but this list is not exhaustive:

  • The filename was changed, deleted, or otherwise corrupted since the application was first started.
  • The .EXE file resides on a shared drive and is opened exclusively or in compatibility mode by another workstation running the application.
  • The .EXE file resides on a shared drive and is opened exclusively or in compatibility mode by another application for some purpose other than running the .EXE.
  • The system has run out of available file handles.

The error message may occur inconsistently or not at all due to the mechanism used by Windows for caching file handles. The .EXE file is referred to by a file handle. By default, Windows caches 12 file handles for the most recently used files. If Windows subsequently opens more files than what the cache can hold, the cache closes the least recently used file handles. The error does not occur if Windows uses a cached file handle to refer to the file, but will occur if the file handle is no longer in the cache.

The file handle cache is a system-wide mechanism and not a per-application mechanism. The number of cached file handles can be changed by the CachedFileHandles switch in the [boot] section of the SYSTEM.INI file. For more information regarding CachedFileHandles, see the SYSINI.WRI file in the Microsoft Windows Resource Kit.

Additional query words: no32bit 3.10

Keywords : kb16bitonly
Issue type :
Technology : kbAudDeveloper kbWin3xSearch kbSDKSearch kbWinSDKSearch kbWinSDK310

Last Reviewed: November 6, 1999
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