Budgetpc’s guide to recovering from BSOD (blue screen of death)
What does the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) mean?
The BSOD is a warning you see when your computer interrupts operations and displays this warning on a blue screen.
Also called a “Stop error,” this warning informs you of a critical issue that’s forcing Windows to reboot.
Before the reboot, Windows usually saves a “minidump” file on your computer which carries data about the error.
What is the main cause of the Blue Screen of Death?
The Blue Screen of Death on your Windows-powered laptop or desktop computer usually happens because of the following issues:
Computer drivers are files, typically developed by a hardware manufacturer, that help the hardware work in an operating system.
And according to this blue screen error resource from Microsoft, the cause of a BSOD error is largely due to third-party driver code.
Incompatible software like apps or programs may cause conflicts that will end in a blue screen error in the operating system.
Windows users may suffer from blue death errors due to having a faulty memory (RAM), hard disk drive (HDD), solid-state drive (SSD), motherboard, processor, or a power supply unit (PSU).
This can all be responsible for a blue screen problem.
4) Overheating issue
The computer may display the BSOD if it’s overheating due to dust, defective fans, or overburdened hardware.
Malware or virus that corrupts your critical files and folders, can be the reason for a Blue Screen of Death.
How do you fix a Blue Screen of Death?
An occasional BSOD that you never see again could be harmless as oftentimes your computer may resort to this as an automatic restart or automatic repair for multiple problems.
However, regular blue screens can be problematic and frustrating because they may indicate a deeper malaise and force you to lose data upon every reboot.
There are two things to consider when you see the blue screen error:
1) Software issues
This is due to bad coding, incompatibility, or malware in the windows system, operating systems, system files, or device manager.
2) Hardware issues
This is due to incompatibility or breakage from shock, ageing, or voltage fluctuation.
How to perform a bug check to fix the blue screen of death, or to avoid it?
1) Double-check the Drivers
Type “check for updates” in your Windows search bar to find Windows Update.
Use this feature to update your drivers and software and improve stability.
However, new drivers can sometimes cause system errors.
You could try rolling back the changes if a new driver triggered BSOD problems.
2) Uninstall updates, bad Software or reinstall windows
Software that’s not playing well with other programs can cause blue screen crashes.
Any newly installed application could be the culprit for system crashes and the death screen.
You can Type “add or remove programs” in your Windows search bar to find the Apps & features setting.
Then start to uninstall programs on top of your suspect list.
You can also resort to Windows Safe Mode if you can’t remove software normally because of blue screen errors.
Alternatively, use the System Restore feature if your computer has some restore points.
Type “recovery” in your Windows search bar and launch Advanced recovery tools from your Control Panel.
Click Open System Restore to restore your system to a potentially more stable state.
3) Get rid of Malware
Many different types of malware, like computer viruses, computer worms, some Trojans, and ransomware, can potentially create a BSOD by corrupting your essential files.
You can get a virus protector to find and remediate all kinds of malware to clean your system.
4) Check Peripherals and new hardware
You can check for recently updated or added peripherals that may be causing the BSOD.
Start by disconnecting printers, scanners, USB devices, and external storage from your PC.
Next, remove any new piece of hardware.
You can check your memory for errors through Windows or third-party tools.
Otherwise, you can search for Windows Memory Diagnostic in your Windows 10 search bar.
You can also use your storage drive manufacturer’s software to check your Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or Solid-State Drive (SSD) for errors.
Look for artefacts or computer slowdowns when running video games to see if your GPU is faulty.
You can also use video game benchmarking tools to check your graphics card for defects.
A faulty power supply can cause your computer to overheat, restart spontaneously, slow down, crash, or show the BSOD.
The easiest way to test a power supply is to try a new one.
Overheating can also cause blue screen errors.
You can try to check your CPU and GPU temperatures.
Alternatively, an Air Duster can clear up the vents and fans in a computer that’s running too hot.
This will help your system stay well-ventilated and cool.
If there are no more blue screen errors after slimming your computer down to essential hardware, start adding the hardware back one by one to isolate the problem.
Don’t panic if a fancy new piece of hardware is causing BSODs as it may not be faulty.
How to change how Windows manage BSOD?
You can stop Windows from automatically restarting after a blue screen error with a few easy steps.
Type “System Properties” in your Windows 10 search bar and hit enter.
Look for Startup and Recovery under the Advanced tab.
Click settings and uncheck the Automatically restart option under System failure to stop your PC from rebooting automatically after the BSOD.
Here, you can also modify how Windows writes a System failure event to the system log.
The software automatically repairs the found errors and sometimes this can permanently repair the blue screen of death error and in the process prevent this error from happening.
Is a Blue Screen of Death bad?
A BSOD is certainly not good, but it’s not the end of the world either.
Some BSODs only occur once and never appear again.
For persistent blue screen errors, try the steps above to identify and remediate the issue.