What Does "Heap Check" Mean on a Cell Phone?

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A "heap check" error code often occurs on cell phones that have cameras, and prevents you from saving or taking pictures. This error is related to how an app uses the allocated temporary memory on your phone -- if the app utilizes more space than it should, the error message will appear.

About Heap

  • Heap is the unused memory area or free storage in the RAM of your phone. Used by cell phone firmware, heap buffers temporarily store data received from an input device, such as your phone's camera, before sending it to an output device, such as the display screen. Heap buffers are also called temporary buffers.

Heap Check

  • Heap check mode is a debugging program or tool that looks for coding errors in the temporary buffers of your cell phone's memory. These buffers are dynamic and change in size depending on the amount of space needed by an app. Errors in the program code of an app may cause it to access a larger temporary buffer than it should. When this happens, the cell phone's firmware or main operating system performs a heap check to determine when the app saves or retrieves data, and where that data is temporarily stored in the phone's memory buffers.

App Errors

  • Heap check errors may occur when a cell phone camera app attempts to save a photo in a temporary buffer that's the incorrect size or retrieve a photo placed in the wrong-sized buffer before it was saved. When this happens, the heap check mode flags coding errors related to the incorrect use of the temporary buffers, and the phone will display a heap check error message. The cell phone's firmware, or the app that caused the error, will correct these flagged lines of code when you reset your phone.

What to Do

  • To reset your cell phone, you must turn it off and remove the battery and the memory card. After waiting 10 seconds, you can put the battery back into your phone and turn it on. If your phone has a camera, you must enter camera mode before reinserting the memory card, and then set the phone to save your pictures on the card.

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