How to fix the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) on a Windows PC

How to fix the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) on a Windows PC

The first Blue Screen of Death is often the scariest for a noob PC user……and maybe a persistent one when you’re working on an important project. The Widows 8 version is less confusing than its Windows 7 counterpart.  In Windows 7, all you see is a blue screen with large white fonts disappearing just as fast as they appear. Just before you come around to reading anything meaningful, its 100% and your PC is rebooting. So you not only don’t know what hit you but you also didn’t have enough time to have an idea, speak of having more questions than answers.

In this tutorial, we’ll be delving into the world on Blue Screen errors on Windows PCs so you no longer see the Blue Screen of Death as a problem but as a useful tip off. Now, say after me; “A Blue Screen is my friend. A Blue Screen will not bite me and throw me in the basement!”

What is the Blue Screen of Death?

The Blue Screen of Death (also known as the Stop Error) is Windows response to an unexpected / sudden error and this can cause it to crash, restart or shutdown. When this happens, Windows automatically creates and saves a minidump file (containing details of the error) to the hard disk.

What could cause the Blue Screen of Death?

The Blue Screen of Death could be caused by either a hardware of software malfunction. Some places to look when faced with the Blue Screen error are:

  • Incompatible software: Installing incompatible or poorly developed software could be a culprit
  • Loosely integrated / connected hardware: Loose connections between the PC and USB devices or even the power pack’s jack have been known to cause Blue Screen errors
  • Damaged / incompatible hardware component: The RAM, Hard Disk or other hardware components might be damaged
  • Incompatible / Outdated driver(s): Some drivers on the PC might be outdated or incompatible with more recent processes attempting to use them
  • Virus / Malware: A Malware might have corrupted some core files or be causing processor overloads which could eventually result in burnt out hardware
  • Overheating PC: The PC could be overheating or running processor intensive programs for too long

How do I resolve the problem of frequent Blue Screens of Death?

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Working fixes to consider when encountering the Blue Screen of Death are:

  • Uninstall recently installed drivers or software: Uninstall any driver or software installed shortly before the Blue Screen error
  • Disconnect all USB and CD/DVD devices: Remove any attached USB device and ensure the CD/DVD drive is left open
  • Boot into Safe Mode: Boot the PC into Safe Mode (keep tapping F8 on boot and select Safe Mode from the list). If the Blue Screen stops then you’re looking at a software / OS problem
  • Windows repair tools: Windows repair tools can help detect and fix problems that could be resulting in frequent Blue Screen errors. You could access these tools using either F8 on boot or the Repair your computer option while booting the PC from a Bootable Windows USB / DVD.
  • Run BIOS hardware diagnostics: Boot into BIOS (keep tapping F10 on boot) and run the hardware diagnosis wizard to identify any faulty hardware component(s).
  • Run a Hard disk Check: Right-click on Local disk (C:) > Select Properties > Click on the Tools tab > Run the Error checking and Defragmentation wizards. You could also launch Command prompt as Administrator and type chkdsk /f then press Enter
  • Reset BIOS settings to default: Boot into BIOS and reset to default. You could update if an update is available
  • System restore: A system restore should take the PC back in time to a point it was not popping up Blue Screen errors (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-do-a-system-restore-on-a-pc/ ) . Note that a system restore doesn’t affect your files, only installed programs and settings
  • Scan the PC for Malware: Ensure to install and update a good antivirus then scan the PC for Malware
  • Keep the PC’s temperature down: Ensure the PC is not overheating or the processor over worked (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-resolve-the-problem-of-an-overheating-laptop-pc/ )
  • Check for solutions using Action center: Any error which your PC encounters gets logged and action center is one place to get solutions to reported problems. To locate Action center, go to Control Panel > System and Security > Review your computer’s status > Maintenance > Check for solutions to problem reports > Check for solutions
  • Strip down the PC to only essential hardware components: The core components are the Motherboard, CPU, Keyboard, Hard disk, RAM and Power supply. If this combo works fine then you can start adding one hardware component at a time till you get the component causing the error
  • Do a Windows update: A Windows update could help fix corrupted / outdated drivers and OS files. To do a Windows update, go to  Control panel > System and Security > Windows update
  • Re-install Windows: Consider re-installing the Windows Operating System (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-install-windows-7-with-and-without-the-operating-system-cd-dvd/ )

I’ve tried all of the above but my PC still keeps ending up with the blue screen, what do I do?

You might want to take the PC in for a hardware check or have a Tech. savvy person take a look just in case you missed something while applying the above techniques.

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