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C000021a Fatal Error Causes


Aug 3, 2009
I am trying to determine possible causes for the above blue screen error. Here's the situation: the computer is a 6 month old Dell Inspiron 530. My company has 6 of them and we use them to print bar code labels, each on its own dedicated bar code printer. 5 of the machines work great, however, one computer tended to freeze up and/or give us lots of error messages. I paid to have the store run hardware diagnostics on it and the hardware came back with no problems detected. I also ran check disk to make sure the hard drive didn't have errors and it also came back as fine. Concluding that the operating system somehow was corrupted, I reformatted and reinstalled everything. It worked fine until the bar code software guy installed the printer driver and bar code software. The very next day, we then received the c000021a error. When I rebooted the computer, it worked fine again and now seems to continue to run ok! I asked the bar code label software company guy about the error and he immediately said that it was a Window's XP problem and disavowed any possible responsibility..... When I googled the c000021a error code, I found that there seems to be all sorts of possible causes ranging from boot up problems to sunspots! I did find one forum which stated that printer driver conflicts could cause this type of error. Assuming that this seemingly intermittent problem will occur again, I'm writing to see if you can give me a definitive explanation on this type of error and its causes and if driver conflicts could indeed be a potential cause. Thanks very much!!


May 20, 2008
looks like hand full alright, this a bit long winded but it's a direction to go, you might also try try running EFRC(Eusing Free Registry Cleaner), of course back up the registery first, maybe if all the machines are the same you could copy and transfer the registery to the problem Computer, or the Gina.dll if it is the problem, at the bottom of the page I have ##### around the paragraph you might want to pay attentionm to

Although there can be many causes of this problem, some of the most common causes are:
You have mismatched system files installed on the system.
A Service Pack installation failed to complete.
You recently restored a few files on the hard disk, but the process failed to correctly restore the files that where in use during the restoration.
You have an incompatible third-party software on your computer.

Resolution Methods
To resolve this issue, you first need to find out which of the two processes (Winlogon.exe or Csrss.exe) failed and the reason behind their failure.

To find out this information, you need to register Dr. Watson as the default debugger program-ideally, it should already be the default debugger for your system.

The Dr. Watson debugger program logs all information related to failed processes to the Drwtsn32.log file. In addition to this, the debugger program can be configured to create memory dump files related to the failed processes. You can refer these dump files to analyze the reason behind a process failure.

Perform the following steps to configure Dr. Watson as the default debugger program to record user-mode program errors:

Open Start menu, select Run, type Drwtsn32.exe -I and then press Enter. This command sets Dr. Watson as the default debugger.
Next, run the Drwtsn32.exe command.
In the Dr. Watson for Windows dialog box, select the following check boxes:
Append to Existing Log File
Visual Notification
Create Crash Dump File
Now, when your computer restarts after the STOP 0xC000021A error is generated, run the Dr. Watson command.
Here, view the paths to the Dr. Watson and User.dmp logs.
Open Windows Explorer, navigate to the log files and then open them.
Here, check the cause behind the STOP 0xC000021A error.
Most of the time, this error occurs due to the failure of the Winlogon.exe process. This usually happens if a faulty third-party Graphical Identification and Authentication (GINA) DLL exists on your system. GINA is a replaceable DLL component that is used to perform the following tasks:

Implement the authentication policy of the interactive logon model.
Perform user interactions, such as authentication and identification.
At times, a remote control software may replace the default GINA DLL file, msgina.dll, on your computer and you may face the stop error. This is the reason why it is a good idea to first check if you have a third-party msgina.dll on your computer. To do this, run the regedit command to open the Registry Editor tool. Here, navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Here, check if the value GinaDLL REG_SZ is on the right pane. If the value is there and its value is different from msgina.dll then it means that a third-party software has changed this value. In case this value is not there, it implies that that your system uses msgina.dll as the default DLL file for GINA.

If this error follows a new driver, service or third-party software installation, you must try to uninstall this new software to repair the error. To do this, you may use a good third-party program uninstaller tool, such as Perfect Uninstaller to ensure complete removal. You may also try to install an update for the software, if it is available.



Aug 3, 2009


First of all, thank you for replaying and your help!

I checked the registry and did not find the GinaDLL REG_SZ is on the right pane at all. As you state above, this implies that the system is using msgina.dll as the default DLL file for GINA.

Question: Can I replace the msgina.dll file but copying it from one of the other identical systems that is using the same printer driver to try and correct the problem? If so, where exactly will I find the msgina.dll file? (I guess I could run a search to find it....)

The problem is definitely intermittent-- we can boot up the system and have it work fine and then the next day we get the blue screen of death...we reboot and everything is fine again.... very frustrating!

Thanks again!

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