Windows Hardware Error Architecture

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Windows Hardware Error Architecture (WHEA) is an operating system hardware error handling mechanism introduced with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 as a successor to Machine Check Architecture (MCA) on previous versions of Windows.[1] The architecture consists of several software components that interact with the hardware and firmware of a given platform to handle and notify regarding hardware error conditions.[2] Collectively, these components provide: a generic means of discovering errors, a common error report format for those errors, a way of preserving error records, and an error event model based up on Event Tracing for Windows (ETW).[3]

WHEA "builds on the PCI Express Advanced Reporting to provide more detailed information about system errors and a common reporting structure."[4]

WHEA allows third-party software to interact with the operating system and react to certain hardware events. For example, when a new CPU is added to a running system—a Windows Server feature known as Dynamic Hardware Partitioning—the hardware error component stack is notified when a new processor is installed.[5]


  1. ^ WHEA.
  2. ^ Components of the Windows Hardware Error Architecture.
  3. ^ WHEA - Windows Hardware Error Architecture
  4. ^ Sosinsky, Barrie. Microsoft Windows Server 2008: Implementation and Administration. John Wiley & Sons, 2008. p. 11.
  5. ^ Mark E. Russinovich, David A. Solomon, Alex Ionescu. Windows® Internals, Fifth Edition., 2009. p. 441.
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