Divide error

Booting up a Packard bell 486 PC I am recieving the error message:
        Divide error
After which the PC halts with zero activity and needs restarting. The problem doesn't appear to be caused by autoexec.bat or config.sys and also occurs with different instances of DOS (different start-up disks). The internal CD-ROM had just previously been disconnected and then re-connected to the sound card....could this be the cause?
Anyway, any help will be gratefully appreciated!!!!!!
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May seem like a stupid wuestion, but are your keyboard and mouse plugged in the right sockets?  

Otherwise, do you get this error all the time or just occasionally?

Try rebooting you computer without any TSRs. If this solve your problem, you should try to find out what TSR is causing the "devide error". Just "rem"ark each line in your autoexec.bat or config.sys and restart your computer.
If it is your CDROM or Sound device-driver, there may be a problem in the connection of the card.

Will the computer boot at all?  Can you get a Dos prompt, or does it quit during POST?
Have you tried to disconnect the data cable on the CDROM?

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rigsbyAuthor Commented:
Ok. The keyboard and mouse are connected. The problem occurs every time, the PC does boot up and gets about half-way through the boot process...then the error. It isn't any TSRs as I have tested all lines of the start-up files and even not used them altogether. This also rules out the driver (CDROM)
I think it could be a device connection i.e. the CD-ROM cable. Is this any help?
Thanx again to all!!!!!!!!!
Rename the config.sys & autoexec.bat files so they won't load at all, and try to boot.
Still no help?  Enter CMOS setup and choose the default settings.
If it still won't boot, remove everything from the computer except video and memory and startup from a floppy.
If the machine boots okay, reinstall one item at a time, testing each time until trouble re-appears.

please read,
Err Msg: Explorer Caused a Divide Error in Module Shell32.dll

Last reviewed: March 17, 1998
Article ID: Q136475
The information in this article applies to:

Microsoft Windows 95


When you try to open an icon in Windows 95 (particularly, the My Computer, Microsoft Exchange Inbox, Recycle Bin, or Control Panel
icon), you may receive the following error message:

This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut

If you click the Details button, the following information is displayed:

EXPLORER caused a divide error in module SHELL32.DLL at


This error may be caused by a combination of the following conditions:

The horizontal spacing for icons is set too high or set to 0.
You are using a video resolution of 640 x 480.
The taskbar is placed at the left or right edge of the screen, and has been expanded to larger than the default size.


To correct this problem, use any one of the following methods:

Method 1

Decrease the horizontal icon spacing. To do so, follow these steps:

1.Use the right mouse button to click an empty area on the desktop, and then click Properties on the menu that appears.

2.On the Appearance tab, click Icon Spacing (Horizontal) in the Item box, and then decrease the value in the Size box to a value greater
than 0.

3.Click OK.

Method 2

Change the video resolution so that it is greater than 640 x 480. To do so, follow these steps:

1.Use the right mouse button to click an empty area on the desktop, and then click Properties on the menu that appears.

2.On the Settings tab, move the Desktop Area slider one notch to the right.

3.Click OK.

Method 3

Decrease the size of the taskbar.

Method 4

Move the taskbar from the left or right edge of the screen to the top or bottom of the screen.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Microsoft Windows 95. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in
the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

rigsbyAuthor Commented:
Answer not realy relavent as unable to get to Windows in first place and browsers don't even enter into it.
Nice try though....:-)
Have you tried my suggestions?

Explain your problem in great detail. and
Please tell me the vitals your system, ie; cpu make and model,
How much ram , pci, type of mouse, video adapter, network, what
kind of Network Adapter, significant software and anything you can
think of. Operating System and version. Updates, Service Packs.
Do you have or did have IE4X and ACTIVE DESKTOP?
There are many variables and we could spend weeks trying to solve
something while I don't know what we're working with. :)

Have you made adjustments to the hardware ie. Added removed or changed any settings on the motherboard or BIOS?
We need some feedback from you.


  A "DIVIDE ERROR" message is related to a memory problem-- either the physical memory itself, or the management of it. The errror message occurring during POST, as you describe it, indicates that the message is generated by your BIOS. (As opposed to a memory manager... e.g;  some versions of EMM386.EXE will generate "Code 0," or verbosely, "DIVIDE ERROR")

  If the message comes from the BIOS, then the problem could be your physical memory. Things such as mismatched memory modules and power supply problems can cause this error. Moreover, a SIMM can go bad, causing a "short" that could create a divide error.

  And... this error can occur when a SIMM has become unlocked or unseated-- which may have happened when you were connecting or disconnecting your ROM drive.

  Therefore, you should examine your memory modules, making sure they're all seated and locked. If so, then test them all by moving them around to different banks, (either individually or in pairs, depending on your mainboard's configuration.) One of them may have just "died"...

  Anyway, that could be your problem... so check it out, if you haven't already, and let us know how it's going!


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rigsbyAuthor Commented:
Hi everyone......
I realy should this page more pften  :-)
Thanks for your comments. I am due to spend time with the offending machine early next week and I wil review the system BIOS, memory and CDROM connection.

I PROMISE to - on solving the problem - furnish y'all with the answer.

The error occurs following POST (otherwise I would not be reaching the BAT/SYS startup files). I've had 'bad' SIMMS before and wasn't able to pass POST receiving the appropriate error message (not DIVIDE ERROR). But you learn something new every day!

Speak to you soon.

 I'd like to mention here that I didn't mean to "lock" this question. I'm new to Experts Exchange, and although this question pertains to something I've experienced, my "answer" was more along the lines of a suggestion to Rigsby, and I suppose it should have been labeled as a "comment."

 Having studied the instructions, I believe I now have a grip on how the program works, and will try not to screw anything else up. I've yet to find the part about "locking" a question, but if I do, I'll try to "unlock" it, in case someone else wants to append an answer or comment.

 My apologies to anyone inconvenienced by my negligence.

 ( ...btw, Rigsby, if your CPU is in a ZIF socket, make sure the lever arm didn't pop open.)

rigsbyAuthor Commented:
Sorry for taking my time to reply!!!!!!!

You have been a MASSIVE help!!! I'd loke to give you all 50 points but am a bit short at the moment.

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