Blue screen of death

Blue Screen of Death (BSoD)

A stop error, better known as a Blue Screen of Death (also known as BSoD), is an error screen displayed on a Windows computer system after a fatal system error, also known as a system crash: when the operating system reaches a condition where it can no longer operate safely.

What Causes Blue Screens of Death  

Blue screens are generally caused by problems with your computer’s hardware or issues with its hardware driver software. Sometimes, they can be caused by issues with low-level software running in the Windows kernel. Regular apps usually won’t be able to cause blue screens. If an app crashes, it will do so without taking the operating system out with it.

A blue screen occurs when Windows encounters a “STOP Error.” This critical failure causes Windows to crash and stop working. The only thing Windows can do at that point is restart the PC. This can lead to data loss, as programs don’t have a chance to save their open data.

When a blue screen occurs, Windows automatically creates a “minidump” file that contains information about the crash and saves it to your disk. You can view information about these minidumps to help identify the cause of the blue screen.

In Windows 8 and 10, blue screens appear like this:


By default, Windows automatically restarts the computer whenever it encounters a blue screen of death.

Troubleshooting BSODs

In Windows 7, 8, and 10, you can troubleshoot blue-screen information using the Action Center. In Windows 7, head to Control Panel > System and Security. In Windows 8 and 10, head to Control Panel > Security and Maintenance. In the “Maintenance” section, you’ll be able to check for solutions to existing problems.

Windows 8 and 10 actually perform this troubleshooting step automatically when your PC restarts after a BSOD. However, it may still be worth paying a visit to the Action Center to see if there are more details or other troubleshooting steps.

We do have some additional tips that might help you deal with many blue screens:

  • Use System Restore: If your system recently started blue-screening, use System Restore to roll its system software back to a previous state. If this works, you’ll know that it’s likely a software problem.
  • Scan for Malware: Malware that digs deep into Windows and gets its hooks into Windows at a low level can cause system instability. Scan your computer for malware to ensure buggy malicious software isn’t causing it to crash.
  • Install Updated Drivers: An incorrectly installed or buggy driver can lead to crashes. Download the latest drivers for your computer’s hardware from your computer manufacturer’s website and install them — this may fix BSODs caused by driver problems.
  • Boot Into Safe Mode: If your computer is blue-screening every time you turn it on, try booting into safe mode. In safe mode, Windows loads only the essential drivers. If a driver you’ve installed is causing Windows to blue screen, it shouldn’t do so in safe mode. You can work on fixing the problem from safe mode.
  • Check for Hardware Problems: Blue screens can be caused by faulty hardware in your computer. Try testing your computer’s memory for errors and checking its temperature to ensure that it isn’t overheating. If that fails, you might need to test other hardware components—or hire a pro to do it for you.
  • Reinstall WindowsResetting Windows—or performing a clean install. It will blow away your existing system software, replacing it with a fresh Windows system. If your computer continues to blue screen after this, you likely have a hardware problem.
If Windows can’t fix the problem on it’s own, your best bet for troubleshooting the problem is to contact us right away. There are more complex steps we can try, however sometimes it just can't be fixed.

A computer in proper working order shouldn’t blue-screen at all, but no software or hardware is perfect.
If you're dealing with computer issues, we're happy to help diagnose what might be causing it.
Contact us at any time at 
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