Pagemaker 6.5 / 7.0 – Photoshop Kernel32.dll Errors and Invalid Page Faults

Most of these errors seen on any version of Windows 95,98 or ME are the generic error messages when Windows some program or driver overwrites or has corrupted the memory address of another program’s memory address. These cryptic error messages can be maddening for the end user, as well as difficult for even experienced computer techs to diagnose.

For Pagemaker 7.0 users, the first step is to download the 7.0.1 from Adobe’s download page. If you are running PageMaker, make sure you have the 6.52 update, if your original version was 6.5 or 6.51. For Pagemaker 6.5 users with Photoshop 6.0, apply the CMAP patch or delete the CMAP files. This page has the download link for the patch

Remember, Win9x still rides on good old DOS, and its combination of 16 bit and 32 bit code, meshed with the design compromises for backward compatibility ensure it will never have the stability of a 100% 32 bit operating system like NT, Linux or Solaris. The memory manager also allows for fragmentation, much like disk drives fragment with heavy use. Eventually, the system gradually runs out of system resources typically manifesting itself by hesitations in the menus, corrupted dialogs or program crashes.

Why does NT4, Windows 2000 ( recommended for PM 7.0 and Photoshop 6.0) or XP not suffer these maladies so often? Very simply, their memory management design is vastly superior to Win9x and simply dope slaps any program trying to access memory illegally. You can crash a program 15 times, kill it and restart without rebooting. Linux, Unices, Solaris and other “big iron” operating systems have the same features. How else could you keep a mainframe or web server running for months or years at a time?

Unfortunately, Pagemaker and Photoshop by their graphically demanding nature deplete these resources quicker than most. Any weakness in your hardware, device driver, operating system combo may not show up until you have hit it with PM, Photoshop, Draw, Illustrator and Acrobat. DTP apps are tough on operating systems – that’s life. It takes all that complex code to render all those pixels and fonts so well.

These are not bugs. PageMaker’s code base though old and from what we understand is rather complex, can run remarkably well on a properly setup system with good hardware and clean files. Users who have properly setup hardware, device drivers and practice good operating habits rarely have problems or repeatable crashes unless they have problems with an individual file.

When Pagemaker or some other program ( Office? ) has crashed, recover by what ever means possible then, reboot. By not rebooting at this point, you are likely leaving your system ready to crash again and often more severely. Other programs may suffer similar errors subsequently and possibly corrupting documents or files.

Kernel32.dll error messages can also result from a variety of other factors including a need for an updated video card driver (frequent), general weakness in the Windows installation itself (frequent), lack of maintenance like de-fragmenting and a good thorough scandisk (less frequent), bad memory chips (rare) or a failing CPU cooler fan (occasionally).
Pagemaker and Photoshop both exercize the video subsystem in ways most programs do not. Thus, video related problems show up as a bug in the driver or the hardware itself. These kinds of errors are similar to the problems some find when their memory chips are not quite up to the task. This is not known until they switch from either Win 3.11 to OS/2 or going from Windows 9x to Windows NT. In both cases weak hardware was tolerated until a more demanding (or precise) operating system was installed. In the Windows 3.11 era, it was often said the best way to test memory on a computer was to try to install OS/2. If it did not blue screen during the install, then your memory was OK for Windows.
The challenge in troublshooting kernel32.dll errors is deciding whether there is a hardware problem, triggered by a program stressing the system or if it is a symptom of a software problem and/or conflict.

Avoidance Strategies

Reboot at lunch time or every few hours to refresh system resources.

Keep your active fonts to a minimum. Fonts are in a sense mini programs. More fonts = less resources for Pagemaker.

Use good fonts. A font is essentially a mini-program. The ones included with later Corel Draws, Pagemaker itself and Adobe Type Manager all have good quality Type 1 fonts. Freebies from the internet usually do no not have the QA testing of the above. The only good free ones to recommend is the free Type 1 collection from URW ( another good foundry), which comes with Linux and/or Xfree86. If we can find a direct link, we’ll add it later.

Avoid at all costs running other non-essential programs in the background. Chat, Instant messengers, media players etc. Having 5 browser windows, Office and Outlook all running is asking for a crash – your fault – not Pagemaker’s.

This also includes removing or disabling all the animation tricks and cursors, fancy desktop themes including sound themes and non-standard window savers. By the way, the most accurate color display in photos is with a neutral gray desktop. Sorry, it’s boring, but years of supporting Windows and learning the fine points of color management tells us this works.

Look in the system tray near the clock. Do you have a bunch of little icons for this and that’s program running in the background? These all consume memory and slow your workstation down, sometime substantially. You can use a combination of msconfig, or X-Setup (advanced users only – this has about 600 options) to stop these from automatically at boot time. Another tool which is quite simple to use and install is the Start Up Control panel is here, along with good notes on understanding what gets installed and how to manage auto start up programs:

We highly recommend disabling Active Desktop COMPLETELY. Download TweakUI from the Microsoft web site. This can also help you get rid of all the animation effects and speed up your Start menu as well. Great little tool. Search on the Microsoft web site under powertoys.

Use “Save As” and Save Smaller in Preferences to keep your files clean. Control – K

Clean out your temp files. With all applications closed, do a search for *.tmp and delete.

“Place” images – do not cut and paste. This also gives you much more control over the importing features.

Use the system monitor tray applet to keep an eye on GDI and system resources. Start > Programs > Accessories > System Resources. When it is yellow time to reboot. Red means reboot NOW!

If you have a habit of installing then un-installing programs and the install was done more than a year ago, you might want to consider a full backup and fresh install of Windows9x. Un-installed programs leave a lot junk behind in the registry, as well as sometimes overwriting certain system files with older versions. Computer techs know this as “DLL hell”. Some corporations find it is easier to completely reinstall everything every 6 to 12 months on workstations running Win9x, rather than to try and clean up the mess.

Troubleshooting Guides

Adobe’s PM 6.x kernel32.dll official troubleshooting guides – well done in our opinion.:

In addition, if you have kernel32.dll errors with other program, these are two excellent links to diagnosing Kernel32.dll errors on the various Windows 9x flavors: and

First version 10:03:2002

Updated to XHTML 15:02:2003

This Document is offered to the public domain on the understanding that no sale of this information is undertaken by any recipient without authorization. Any reproduction of the information should be complete and entire and provide reference to the author.
The author takes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or misunderstandings. The information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind. In no event shall the author of this FAQ or the distributors of this FAQ be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits, or special damages, even if the author has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
Adobe, PageMaker, Photoshop, Acrobat and PostScript are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems. All other products mentioned in this file are trademarks of their respective companies.

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