Dealing with the Blue Screen of Death in Windows

If you are a Windows user, then it is most certain that you have experienced the Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) every now and then. Blue screen in Windows is one of the most unsightful screens of all because it doesn’t show you what is wrong with your PC, and all your work in progress will probably be lost, unless you saved your work prior to the crash. In this tutorial, we will show the causes for BSoD and what you can do about it.

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Blue screens are known as Windows “Stop Error” and is a result of irrecoverable critical error. The general cause of blue screen in Windows is due to low level software crashing or a faulty hardware issue. Unlike normal application crashes, which usually lead to the termination of the application, low level software crashes occur inside Windows kernel and will cause the whole system to hang.

Besides from low level software crashes and faulty hardware, Blue screen can also be due to malware that is hooked into the Windows system kernel, faulty Windows updates, outdated or corrupted hardware drivers, outdated BIOS, incompatible or corrupted DLLs, corrupted registry, etc.

As the blue screen is an irrecoverable critical error, the user has no choice but to restart the PC, and this often leads to data loss and system corruption. Whenever there is a blue screen error, Windows displays a basic troubleshooting advice and the actual cryptic error message (which no one will understand) which can be used to get more details about the actual problem.

Moreover, whenever your PC encounters a BSoD error, Windows creates a memory dump with all the information regarding the error in your hard disk. These dump files can be used to debug the problems. You can find these memory dump files using the built-in Event Viewer utility, or you can also use a small free portable tool called BlueScreenView by NirSoft.

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There are a few steps you can take to deal with these types of errors, though none of them will stop the BSoD from showing up totally.

Scan for Malware: If the cause of the BSoD is malware, the best thing you can do is to run a deep scan with your updated antivirus solution (I hope you have one installed).

Use Windows Refresh Feature: For Windows 8 users, you can use the “Windows Refresh” feature to repair and reinstall windows while preserving all the application data. This is only required if your system becomes corrupted after the restart. If you don’t want to completely refresh your PC, then you can try the “System Restore” feature in Windows.

Reinstall Drivers: As discussed before, outdated or corrupted hardware drivers are also a major reason for blue screens. So always stay on top with updated drivers and hopefully you won’t receive any blue screens.

Check your Hardware: Hardware problems like bad memory modules, a faulty graphics card or overheating are also reasons for blue screens. So always test your hardware regularly using the tools provided by the vendors.

Reinstall Windows: If everything else fails, then you can reinstall the whole operating system as a last resort. Unless there are some hardware problems, this should solve any blue screen errors as you are replacing your existing system software with a new copy. As advice, back up your data regularly, so that even when you need to reformat your hard drive, your data is still intact.

Like anything else, Windows isn’t perfect . There are many reasons for BSoD on your Windows PC and often, the problem is not fatal. If you are receiving frequent blue screen errors, it is a good warning for you to diagnose your computer for the problem.

How do you deal with the Blue Screen of Death? Do share your thoughts and experiences using the comment form below.