This difference is sometimes important when interpreting an error code.
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To make it easier to retrieve error-code descriptions, I wrote Error Parser.hta, an HTML Application (HTA) that lets you enter a numeric code and click a button to get the Windows description of the error.
Understanding Windows API Error Codes Before I describe how Error works, I need to provide a bit of background about error codes.
As you might know, the Windows API has a large list of standard error codes.
These codes are returned as 32-bit unsigned integers.
Signed integers can store negative values, but unsigned integers can't.
The range of values for 32-bit signed integers is -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647; the range of values for unsigned 32-bit integers is 0 to 4,294,967,295.The difference between the two types of values is how the bits for the number are stored in memory: A signed integer uses one of the bits to indicate whether the number is positive or negative.Executive Summary: Use the Error HTM Application (HTA) to convert numeric Microsoft Windows API system and network error codes—whether decimal, hexadecimal, or negative—into easy-to-understand Windows error-code descriptions.Error messages are common occurrences, and script and program authors try to make them as informative as possible.However, unexpected errors sometimes force the script or program to simply display a numeric error code.Whether the error condition is a result of poor programming or an unexpected condition (e.g., a network outage), it's sometimes important to have the description for an error code.