Blue Screen of Death: Explanation and Solutions

Blue Screen of Death (also known as Windows STOP error or bug check screen) means that Windows had to stop working because of a critical, non-recoverable error in order to prevent damage to the registry, software, hardware or data on your computer. The errors Windows cannot recover from are typically caused by a virus, trojan or other malware, system file or registry damage (including the damage caused by a virus), fautly hardware or driver.

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Blue Screen of Death is a ghost of crashed Windows. In fact, the blue screen, originally designed to calm down the user with the relaxing effect of the blue color, eventually became a color of stress for many users. So look at the image below, calm down and let’s start.

Blue Screen of Death

Understanding the Blue Screen of Death

The ill-famed Blue Screen of Death is often difficult to decode. Knowing the Blue Screen of Death details such as error name (capitatized words separated by underscores), error code (hexadecimal values, the main code and 4 values in parenthesis) and additional thechnical information that mentions specific files associated with the crash. If your computer is configured to do so, it will save a “dump file” to your hard disk with the error data for further analysis. By default, Windows NT based operating systems (Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Home Server,
and Windows 7) are configured to create the memory dump file when the Blue Screen of Death occurs.

Causes of the Blue Screen of Death

Blue Screen of Death occurs for various reasons: malware and damage done by malware to system files, registry errors, corrupt RAM, driver problems (outdated driver, a newly installed driver with a error, an incompatible 3rd party driver, etc), hard drive problems (bad sectors, hard drive failure, hard drive connection or compatibility problem).

How to Fix Blue Screen of Death

If Blue Screen of Death occurs randomly and you are able to logon Windows at least in Safe Mode, read the instructions below on this page. The Blue Screen of Death solutions and software found on our website are suggested by PC experts, the Microsoft company or the users who successfully resolved the BSOD.

Blue Screen of Death and Registry Errors

Blue Screen of Death is often caused by registry errors. Registry errors pile up in the course of computer use, installation or removal of software, opening or closing programs, especially if you install new programs over old ones not properly deleted. Obsolete keys can remain in the registry even after proper deletion because of software glitches. The registry may be corrupted during a power surge, or if you power off your computer when shutdown is not complete.

Blue Screen of Death and Malware

Most users believe that the Blue Screen of Death is associated only with driver or hardware issues and totally miss out malware, which in fact is a frequent cause of various PC problems, including BSODs. Malware may damage the registry, corrupt drivers and data on your computer, attempt to use the memory in wrong way or perfmorm an illegal operation, causing access violation errors, etc. Remember that BSOD is not the worst consequence of malware attack. Important data may be erased from your hard disk or your personal and finaciual information may be sent over the Internet as a result of a malware attack.

Blue Screen of Death and Drivers

Drivers are a pretty frequent cause of the Blue Screen of Death. Drivers may cause BSOD in diffrent ways. A driver may be incompatible with current Windows version, hardware, may conflict with specific programs or the registry may mistakenly address corrupt or non-existing driver causing a critical stop error. If you know which drivers were installed / removed / enabled / disabled, etc. before the Blue Screen of Death began to occur, undoing the changes will probably resolve the Blue Screen of Death. A specific driver’s name may be mentioned in the BSOD message after the error code, which makes it easier to troubleshoot the Blue Screen of Death.

Blue Screen of Death During Startup

The Blue Screen of Death that occurs during startup and does allow you access Windows at all is the most difficult of BSOD cases. Repairing this BSOD may require advanced computer knowledge and backing up your data to external hard drive.

Blue Screen of Death During Windows Installation

If the Blue Screen of Death occurs during Windows installation (the most difficult Blue Screen of Death cases) you’ll probably have to check the compatibility of your hard drive with Windows, motherboard, check the cables or make sure the hard drive is not faulty.