This simple guide on how to fix blue screen of death (BSOD) will hopefully put you in the right direction for putting a stop to, perhaps the most annoying crash of all. Blue screen error messages are typically thrown up when an illegal operation has been performed in which Windows can’t recover from.
Dissimilar to other error messages that you may encounter such as DLL, l sass.exe and Dr Watson errors etc, the BSOD does not allow you to exit the error message without restarting the computer.
You will get a message at the top of the screen stating that ‘Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer’ – This is fair enough, but it means that you won’t have a chance to save any data to your hard drive prior to the error. Below that message you should see a message that looks like the following:
The number of different error messages is numerous, but this as well as the STOP code you see two-thirds of the way down, are essentially what’s going to help you fix blue screen of death. The alternative is to check the system event log, but reading the minidump may need a little more expert knowledge.
An example of a blue screen error message followed by possible fixes:
If you see this error message after installation of new hardware/software, try first installing an updated driver and secondly (if it doesn’t work), removing the hardware/software and see if this fixes the problem. An incompatible or faulty device driver is usually thee culprit. Ironically an updated driver could actually be the cause for a BSOD. You should always update device drivers, but on some occasions they can cause problems.
If you’ve been running a piece of hardware/software and it’s never caused issues and then all of a sudden you start getting problems after an update, try rolling back the updated driver. Don’t worry, Windows should automatically keep a previously installed driver and it should revert back to that one automatically.
Hardware and software issues account for most instances of BSOD. Windows is designed to work with tons of different hardware and software, so it’s hardly surprising that something can go wrong. Device driver errors and invalid registry entries cause incompatibilities since they are the operating system’s way of communicating with hardware and software.
If you’ve tried manually updating or rolling back a device driver that you suspected was the problem and you are still getting error messages you can try the following:
1) Changes to the BIOS settings can cause timing issues. A full BIOS reset to their default settings may rid any problems. In addition, you may also want to check if there are any updates available from the manufacturer.
2) Is your OS up to date? Check that you have the latest service packs installed. If not, you can download and install the latest updates from Microsoft’s website.
3) Revert back to a Last Known Good Configuration. This should be considered only as the last line of defense as you will lose any changes you’ve made since then. You could also reinstall your PC from scratch!
This is not meant as a full-proof guide on how to fix blue screen of death. Make sure you back up anything important before you make any changes to your computer. If you plan to make any manual changes to your PC, you do so at your own risk.