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What is Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)?

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Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is a Windows error screen shown to indicate system conflicts and the possibility of a crash. The term takes its name from the fact that these critical messages were displayed on the blue screen.

BSOD errors include system hardware, temperature, time, resources, corrupted registry or viruses. The BSOD error is used as a warning to prevent further damage to the computer and system. BSOD blocks Windows and requires the system to reboot before it can continue.

Blue screen has become less common now that operating systems can handle many errors with no interruption.

The Blue Screen of Death is also known as a STOP error.

What Causes the Blue Screen of Death?

Blue screens are usually caused by issues with computer hardware or the hardware driver. More often than not, they can be caused by problems with low-level software running on the Windows kernel. Normal applications usually cannot cause blue screens. If an application crashes, it does so without having to bring your operating system with it.

A blue screen appears when Windows detects a “stop error”. This critical failure is the reasons why Windows stops working. The only option for Windows this time is to reboot your PC. This can lead to loss of data as programs are unable to save their open data.

When a BSOD appears, Windows automatically creates a “minidump” file containing lock information and saves it to disk. It can display information about these minidumps to help you determine the cause of the blue screen.

BSODs also look a little different depending on the version of Windows you are using. In Windows 7 and earlier versions, the blue screen looked a lot like the terminal screen, where all the necessary information was displayed.

You can see some of the most common stop error codes below:

  • CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED
  • SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED
  • IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
  • VIDEO_TDR_TIMEOUT_DETECTED
  • PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
  • SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION
  • DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION

Note: You may also see numerical error codes, such as: 0x0000000A, 0x0000003B, 0x000000EF, 0x00000133, 0x000000D1, 0x1000007E, 0xC000021A, 0x0000007B, 0xC000000F

What do you do when Blue Screen Happens?

You can start by taking note the important parts of the error message. These error messages are usually long, as they indicate the location of the error, which is usually not required. You do not need to write anything if you have a digital camera or smartphone, and you can take a picture of the error message.

  • If this is an exception error, write down the error and the first position. For example, “Exception 06 occurred at 0028:c183ADC”.
  • If the error contains underlined text, pay attention to the underlined message. For example, on the second image, “BAD_POOL_HEADER” should be checked.
  • If there is a STOP: error, the first part of the STOP: error should be marked. For example, “STOP: 0x00000019”.
  • If there are no dozens of files in the list, write any mention of SYS,.EXE,.VXD files in the error message.

Try to remember what you did on your PC before you see the blue screen. Were you playing a game or just opening a document? Have you watched videos or attended video conferences? Answering this question can be a good indicator of why the blue screen appears. Write down your last action in the best possible way. Ideally, you should also know which programs have been opened.

Check the temperature of your PC. Abnormally high temperatures may cause insufficient ventilation. This may be because there is not enough space for air circulation. For example, dust pollution also has a significant impact on the temperature and performance of the system and can therefore cause damage to equipment. In this case, the blue screen is often used as a “precautionary measure”.

Remove unnecessary equipment such as external hard drives, headphones, cameras, USB drives, etc., as well as any other unnecessary equipment. Sometimes blue screens are triggered by faulty devices or operators of faulty devices.

How do you Restart your PC with a BSOD Error?

If the computer does not restart automatically when a blue screen error occurs, press and hold Ctrl and Alt, and then press Delete repeatedly to restart the computer. If the computer does not respond to these buttons, press and hold the power button for a few seconds until the computer shuts down. After the computer is turned off, you can press the power button again to restart your PC.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix BSOD Problems?

Since the blue error screen offers no choice but to restart, troubleshooting may be difficult. Luckily, almost all these errors include a hexadecimal stop error code that can be used to find a solution.

How Can you be Protected from BSOD?

There is no way to fully protect yourself from the Blue Screen of Death, as internal errors may also occur through no fault of your own. This can be due to a faulty update or spontaneous device failures. However, there are several methods that you can use to avoid losing important data and reduce the likelihood of a blue screen.

Back up your files and documents. Since blue screens are often indicators of hardware failure, including hard drive, you should back up all important data to the drive externally. Back up your files to external drives or in the cloud so that potential system failures don’t cause as little damage as possible. The fastest way to do this is with the Windows Backup Tool. You can then create a recommended or configured backup of the files on the selected hard disk.

Always update Windows, device drivers, and system drivers. Usually, these updates take care of themselves. Updates errors rarely lead to a blue screen. In general, however, updates are always recommended to avoid possible compatibility problems.

Use up-to-date antivirus software with an active scanner or firewall to protect against viruses, malware, etc. For most of the time, these malicious apps cause critical system failures, forcing Windows to respond with a BSOD. There are also instances where malware imitates the blue screen to mislead and deceive the user.

Keep your computer clean at all times. Make sure that the fan runs smoothly to avoid malfunctions of the device. Turn off your computer when not in use. Remove unnecessary software and monitor processes in the background. Do not click on suspicious links on the Internet and, if possible, download only from trusted sources. Careful handling of your computer and its contents will significantly increase its lifespan and reduce the likelihood of system failures.

Conclusion

Blue screen errors are very disappointing, especially since they can stop you from effectively troubleshooting the error. These errors can shorten the life of your PC if the neccessary actions are not taken.

As already mentioned, there are many BSOD error codes that indicate the cause of the blue screen. If you are looking for a solution to any BSOD errors you might encounter, you can do so by browsing through our posts.

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