The dreaded Blue Screen of Death is a common term among gamers and PC users that potentially signal a catastrophic failure of your hardware. The term accurately describes a blue screen that appears on your device with error messages in white letters. If you're experiencing the issue, here is everything you need to know about the most feared malfunction in Windows, and what you can do about it.
The BSOD is a stop error message also called a stop screen. It occurs without warning, causing all work to be lost immediately. It indicates that your device is in the throes of a full system failure. It's a serious event that can cause damage to the device . The ominous name of the stop screen describes the potential for the death of the system due to critical failures in essential components of the system, resulting in a fatal crash. In most cases, newer versions of Windows from v. 8 and later provide information about the causes to help you troubleshoot the issue, giving hope some hope for resolving the causes and restoring your system.
Causes of a Blue Screen of Death
Finding the root cause of the problem is easiest with later versions of Windows. Windows 7 and earlier version systems do not provide information on the screen that is useful in isolating the errors, but updates from Microsoft, beginning with Windows 8 forward, provide a QR code that lets you look up the causes. Windows 10 offers a new format for the Blue Screen, causing the system to cease running to protect against catastrophic hardware failure. It creates a memory dump file, then writes it to the disk. It allows users to reset their systems for a Windows restart and possible recovery.
Several issues can cause a Blue Screen Stop. It's most common if there is a problem with the hardware or software of your operating system. A BSOD can result from a corrupt device driver or after an upgrade of a driver with corrupted files. Other causes are bugs in the BIOS or the firmware. Occasionally, hardware issues such as a soundboard or graphics card, memory chip, or solid-state drive can cause a stop screen. Less commonly, malware or low disk space can cause the Blue Screen of Death if the master boot record or any system files become corrupted in the hard disk. Other rarer causes of BSOD are power supply issues, overheating components, incompatible DLLs, or overworking the hardware when programs cause them to work beyond their specified limitations .
What to Do for Blue Screen Crash
If your system encounters a Blue Screen of Death crash, the first step for potentially resolving the problem is to identify the cause, then apply the most appropriate fix, if possible. Resist the urge to panic. In some cases, the issues are simple and may be quickly resolved. The most challenging task is finding the cause, as it could be a single failure or a more complex issue.
Start with the premise that there is a conflict between the Windows OS and installed hardware or software, and go from there. Identifying the cause is essential. Newer versions of Windows provide more helpful information about the grounds of the errors. Read the information provided on the error message on the screen. If the information is not beneficial, employ deductive reasoning. For example, if you've recently installed a new program/software, corruption in the files could be the culprit. Corrupted drivers or faulty hardware could also be the blame. For example, if you've installed a new memory chip, or sound card, or updated a device driver, look to these components as potential starting points.
It's wise to start with the simplest things and work toward the most complex. If provided, follow the troubleshooting steps offered by your version of Windows. App issues could be to blame if the stoop screen occurs when running a p program. Try to uninstall the app or update to a newer version compatible with your current operating system . You may uninstall software and programs that are not essential to OS performance if they run when a Blue Screen appears. If this doesn't solve the problem, investigate other potential causes.
Check Your Hard Drive for Errors
Errors on your hard drive can cause a Blue Screen Stop. If your system allows a restart, you may begin diagnostics by typing "this PC in the search box of Start. Next, right-click on the C drive, go to Properties and click the Tools tab in the window. Next, select the Check option in the Error Checking section. Follow the instructions and manually check your hard drive for errors. This process can give clues to the nature of the problem if it's with the hard drive.
Check Your Memory
If you've recently installed a memory card, the problem could come from the hardware. Check the card to ensure it's physically sound with a visual inspection. Try replacing it to see if this solves the problem. You can also run a memory checker to identify a defective RAM chip. Type the word Memory in the search box of Start and click on the Windows Memory Diagnostic. Next, click on the option to check for problems the next time you start your computer and perform a restart. After the restart, go back to the Start search box, type in words Event Viewer, and click on the option when it comes up. To the left, click Window Logs, then System. Move to the right and click on the Find option and find the Memory Diagnostics to retrieve the results of the search. If there are problems with the memory, they will appear here.
Delete Problematic Hardware
Peripherals like printers, external storage devices, scanners, and other non-essential hardware can cause a Blue Screen of Death. Sometimes you can perform uninstall for these items to solve the problem. Incompatibility with the system or corrupted files within these hardware items can cause system failures in rare cases. Any non-essential hardware is suspected if the issue occurred shortly after installation, as these devices come with software and drivers that are subject to corruption.
Check expansion cards
Expansion cards, including audio and graphics cards, can also cause the Blue Screen of Death. If they're incompatible, defective, or have corrupt drivers or other files associated with the software component, they could cause the problem. Try to remove the cards and uninstall the card driver software to resolve the problem. You'll need to replace them with clean and compatible versions for computer performance if they're the source of the problem. Sometimes the issue is remedied with driver updates or a clean install of the software/drivers.
Investigate Windows Update Failures
Failures in Windows updates can also cause a Blue Screen stop. If the issue occurs when attempting to update the software on Windows, you can use the SetupDiag tool to help check the status. It's a diagnostics program that can explain why the Blue Screen pops up during Windows updates. Go to the SetupDiag webpage on the Microsoft Windows website, find your OS version, and download the program. After it downloads, install and run the program to help find any issues .
Complete a Clean Install of Your Operating System
If nothing has worked so far, you can perform a clean install of your Windows Operating System. It's one of the last-ditch measures to take, as it will wipe out all the information stored on your system and start with a new slate. It's beneficial for software problems you can't identify or for remedying criticalities in hardware systems that have not previously been solved. Prepare to have your complex drive contents wholly erased. Every program you download and install on your hard drive will disappear. This includes any saved videos, photos, documents, bookmarks, and other information. Prepare to reinstall all of these programs again. To perform this function, go to the search box in Start, and click on the Reset this PC option. It will take you to the Get Started option and provide instructions for reinstalling Windows. You will also have the opportunity to keep some desired files. Finally, take your time and be selective about any non-essential hardware/software installed until the issue has been identified.
When Nothing Else Works
If none of these troubleshooting tips solve the problem of the Blue Screen of Death, there is one more option. You can take your PC to a licensed technician for diagnosis and possible repair. In most cases, users can solve the problem of a Blue Screen stop on their own unless the catastrophic failure has caused irreversible damage. If the motherboard is damaged, it can be replaced, but it's expensive, and most users opt for a new machine when damage of this nature occurs. The Blue Screen of Death doesn't always indicate total calamity, as it can arise from a simple miscommunication in hardware or software and your operating system. Instead, perform the recommended troubleshooting steps before you throw your hands up, and ask for professional advice if necessary.