One thing that I’m certain we can all agree on as Windows users is that experiencing a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) error for the very first time can be quite worrisome, frustrating and frightening.
What Are BSOD Errors?
BSOD or stop errors are errors that occur when there is an issue with either hardware or software on your computer. The computer will immediately shut itself down, which will result in loss of unsaved data.
Fortunately, there are many different things that you can do to fix these types of errors. After you have experienced a stop error, you should still be able to boot into your computer to fix what caused it.
Over the years, I have repaired countless PC problems, so I can say with much authority that the vast majority of blue screen errors are caused by the following:
- Hardware drivers
- Faulty or damaged memory modules
- Heat issues
Those are the three primary reasons, but there are many other things that can cause these stop errors, such as a faulty power supply units, but for the vast majority of you, it will be one of the three above.
BlueScreenView is a really handy tool that you can use to display BSOD dump files, which are error reports that you can use to see what caused the error on your system. When you load up this program, it will immediately scan for minidump files (C:\Windows\Minidump) on your computer. So you may want to try using this tool, if you want a more in-depth look into the cause of your system error.
When it comes to fixing these BSOD errors, the first thing you’ll want to do, before anything else is make sure your hardware drivers are all up-to-date, as this will solve the vast majority of such problems.
There are many automated driver updater tools that you can use; these tools will regularly keep your hardware drivers up-to-date, making them very handy, especially for beginners to intermediate users.
Alternatively, you can conduct manual searches on the internet for the latest drivers attached to your computer. A very painful, drawn out experience, but if you know what you’re doing, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Run Internet Security Software
Software issues, due to malicious files are another main culprit for these kinds of errors, so you’ll want to run malware, spyware, adware and virus scans of your computer. You may need to boot into safe mode to remove them sufficiently, as there are those viruses that prohibit scanners from removing them while they are in use.
Malwarebytes is a very popular antimalware tool; you should definitely try using that, as it is very efficient and proficient at removing a large number of malicious files from our systems.
You may also want to check your system for old and redundant registry entries, as the build up of these entries can cause issues on your computer. Ccleaner is another free tool that you can use to scan your registry.
If after attempting all the methods above, you’re still unable to get rid your system of the BSOD error, there are many other things that you can try below.
Remove Unsupported Device
If you have hardware device installed in your computer that is not supported by your operating system or is conflicting with another device, it can result in a BSOD error. The best solution for individuals in this position is to simply remove the hardware component. Using Device Manager, you may be able to determine which device is causing the problem.
1. First, boot into your computer with a user profile that has administrative access.
2. Then press Windows Key + R, to open the Run Command box, and type devmgmt.msc into it and click on OK.
3. When Device Manager loads up, look for any device that has a red or yellow icon on it. These are indications of problems.
4. You will need to shut down your computer and manually remove the device from your computer.
Issues with your memory modules are also capable of causing BSOD errors. In order to determine whether or not your memory is the cause of the errors you’re currently experiencing, you will need to test them.
I recommend you use MemTest86; you will need to run it for at least 12 hours, so put it on, just before you go to bed. If the software detects any problems with your memory, it will display an error message.
Defective memory must be replaced; fortunately, memory today is fairly cheap just be sure to purchase the right type.
Use System Restore
If you’re unable to pinpoint the exact thing that you did on your computer before the BSOD error started to occur, then you can use system restore. This tool is designed to set your system back to a previous state, ideally a state before you started to experience these errors.
Keep in mind that System Restore is limited, in that it cannot restore previously deleted files, but it can restore system settings. To run this tool, simply do the following:
1. First, boot into your computer with full administrative privileges.
2. Then press Windows Key + R, when the Run Command box appears, type rstrui.exe into it and click on OK. For Windows XP users, type %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe and click on OK.