There used to be a nice resource – Microsoft Support ErrorFlow Website which had a wizard which took you through 3 key steps in finding the meaning of any error message and code. But unfortunately that resource no longer exists.
Searching for such a similar resource, I stumbled upon this 533 page document and some links from Microsoft that will help you find out the meaning of any error code.
Windows Error Codes
The Windows Error Codes document lists the common usage details for those Win32 error codes, HRESULT values, and NTSTATUS values that are referenced by specifications in the protocol documentation set. You can download the PDF from Microsoft by clicking here.
In a lighter vein, it may amuse you to learn that Microsoft appears to have an error code even if the operation completes successfully! Check what it says for 0×00000000 : The operation completed successfully!
System Error Codes
When using an application on your computer, if it is well-written, it will include an error-handling code that allows them to recover from unexpected errors. When such a system error occurs, the application may request user intervention, or it may be able to recover on its own or it may require a system reboot. This page lists the system error codes and their meanings.
Events and Errors Message Center
Events and Errors Message Center lets you search for and find detailed message explanations, recommended user actions, and offers links to additional support and resources. To perform a search you will need details like Event ID, Event Source, Message Text, File Name. These values can be found in the Event Viewer logs. The Event Viewer can be accessed from the Administrative Tools section of the Control Panel. You can locate the locate the Error Source and the ID in the list of events there.
Hope it helps you some day!
Speaking of Error Codes, these posts too, are likely to be of interest to you:
- Volume Activation error codes and error messages on Windows
- Look up any Windows error code with Error Goblin
- How To Copy Error Codes & Messages From Dialog Boxes In Windows
- Windows Phone MarketPlace error codes
- Windows Bug Check or Stop Error Codes
- Master List of Windows Update Error Codes.