Resolving Blue Screen Issues

Most Windows users will have experience with the unpleasant and ominous Blue Screen of Death. It’s an intimidating nickname for a system failure – and often an inaccurate one. It doesn’t automatically mean that it’s time to go looking for a new PC. Understanding what causes these system failures and the solutions available will help to dispel the fear that this error screen can instill. We have collated our best troubleshooting tips for exactly that purpose. Read on to discover why the Windows Blue Screen of Death doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for your computer.

Understanding Blue Screen of Death Errors

The aptly named Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) is the name for when your computer system fails and leaves you staring, horrified, at a distinctive blue screen displaying error messages. It is a critical system error encountered by Microsoft Windows users, and is actually a safety measure. The BSoD halts the system to prevent potential data loss and any further damage than what has already occurred. When the BSoD appears it means the system cannot correct itself and is in need of further intervention.

How Common is BSoD?

You may be more familiar with BSoD if your computer is older and in poorer health. Considering the fact that it’s been a feature of Windows PCs since the 90s, the chances of running into it aren’t exactly slim.

The frequency with which this error happens can vary depending on your hardware configuration, software usage, and the general capabilities of your system. For many, it’s not an uncommon sight – especially if you clock a lot of hours on your PC, whether for work, personal use, or gaming.

What Causes BSoD?

BSoD errors can be triggered by a wide range of factors, from issues with your hardware to software problems. Common causes include:

  • Hardware issues – faulty hardware components can lead to BSoD either through being physically damaged, or being incompatible with other parts of your computer. Power supply units, hard drives and graphics cards could all cause BSoD in the wrong conditions.
  • Driver problems – if your device driver is dated to the point where it has become incompatible with the rest of your system, it can cause instability that will ultimately lead to BSoD.
  • Operating system issues – corrupt system files, configuration errors, and problems with your operating system can quickly lead to BSoD.
  • Overheating – excessive heat can cause hardware components to malfunction. Without an adequate cooling system in place, or in the presence of excessive dust and dirt, if your computer runs too hot BSoD is inevitable.
  • Memory problems – faulty modules or incorrect configurations within your random access memory (RAM) can result in an unwanted appearance of a blue screen.
  • Malware – viruses and malware infections can trigger BSoD by causing system instability or corrupting files. This is one of the many ways in which malicious software can be used to disrupt computers and extort their owners.
  • Power supply issues – outside of your computer itself, an unstable or inadequate power supply can also cause BSoD errors.

Troubleshooting BSoD

When you find yourself confronted by a BsoD, it’s important to diagnose and resolve the issue in a systematic way. Once you’ve discovered the cause, you can prevent it from happening again. Here are the steps we would advise you to take:

  1. Note down the details of the error event. What were you doing right before it happened? What error code is displayed on the screen? This information can act as clues to help you to piece together the cause of the error.
  2. Restart your computer. If the BSoD was a one-time glitch, sometimes this is all that is needed to get things back up and running the way they should be.
  3. If you’re still seeing the BSoD after your restart, shut down the computer again and disconnect any unnecessary USB devices (excluding your mouse and keyboard). Give your computer a chance to cool down if it feels too hot.
  4. Reboot your computer in safe mode and run hardware diagnostics. Make sure everything is properly connected.
  5. Make sure your device drivers are updated to their latest version.
  6. Scan for viruses or any other kind of malicious software with an antivirus program.
  7. Use the built-in Windows tools at your disposal to repair any system files that need servicing.
  8. If all else fails, use System Restore to restore your computer to a previous stable state – but brace yourself for potentially losing any changes you have made since then.

Advanced Solutions

In some cases, resolving persistent BSoD errors might require more advanced solutions or even professional assistance. One approach is relatively foolproof, though most people try to avoid it where possible; performing a clean installation of Windows. It’s a fresh start for your system and is a good option if you’re not particularly attached to anything on your PC. If there are things you want to try and save, consider a recovery software that can help to save data from distressed devices.

Another advanced solution involves meticulously testing your hardware components for any defects that might be bringing on the blue screen. Identifying and hardware issues can significantly improve system stability and performance. Plus, many hardware components are relatively easy to replace.

If you’re unable to resolve your BSoD error on your own, consider seeking outside help. There is a sea of online forums and other online communities dedicated to computer crashes, where users can discuss their experiences and give helpful advice in easy-to-understand language. Alternatively, contacting an experienced professional technician can also be useful. They will be able to talk you through solving your BSoD error step by step, and in some cases can perform diagnostics and provide solutions by accessing your computer remotely. Our   support can connect you with a technician at any time, ensuring that you can tackle your problem quickly and with professional support.

Approaching some of these more advanced solutions can be daunting – but once you’ve done it once, it will count as a learning experience you can keep in your toolkit for the next time you see blue.

Preventing Future BSoD Errors

It’s a relief to know that not all blue screen errors are insurmountable – however, preventing them from happening in the first place should always be the goal. If you’re proactive about the health of your computer, it can save future frustrations. Here are some tips for preventing BSoD errors in the first place.

  • Stay on top of system updates.
  • Use trustworthy software.
  • Maintain the health of your system.
  • Backup important things.
  • Practice safe computing habits.
  • Consider using a PC cleanup solution to keep it performing well.

By adopting preventative measures you can minimize the risk of a blue screen ruining your day and enjoy a more reliable computer.

Protect Your System With iolo

When it comes to keeping computers healthy and protected, we know what we’re talking about. With a wide range of products ranging from malware detection to password management, and ample resources for people to turn to for help, we want everyone to be able to enjoy an optimal computing experience. Get in touch today to find out more about the ways in which we can protect your computer.

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The Whole Home License® is iolo’s licensing policy that allows you to install and keep your software running on all of your compatible devices within the same home. Previously, users were allowed to install and license their iolo software simultaneously on a maximum of three PCs. Under the Whole Home License, a single activation key allows you to use your iolo software on all of your PCs, other than any PCs you use for business purposes. What you need to know about Whole Home Licensing

  • You, your spouse, and your relatives living within the same household may use the same license on any number of PCs that you own which are not used for business.
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You can view the Activation Key on the original computer from within System Mechanic > red menu bar > key icon > Activation Key.