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Convert "negative" error codes to standard hex

By Adrian Grigorof, B.Sc., MCSE

In many cases, various applications and the error they record in event logs contain long, negative error codes such as -1073418231, -2147023838 or -2143485933. Searching for these error codes is in many cases fruitless as the errors documentation is usually for their hex equivalent (i.e. 0x80070422).

Fortunately, these codes can be translated into their hex equivalent as follows:

Example, the event description contains error -2147023838 (notice negative sign):
- From 4294967296 (hex 0x100000000) subtract 2147023838 and you will get 2147943458
- Convert 2147943458 to hex and get the result 80070422
- The hex error code is in most cases specified as 0x80070422 (the 0x suffix indicating that the value is in hex)

The calculator that ships with any Windows system can be used to convert from decimal to hex and vice versa.

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