How to troubleshoot BSODs
Blue is one of the most beautiful colors around. Most people associate blue with being the good guy, the protagonist, the hero, but when it comes to your computer or laptop, the one color you never want to see is blue (or black on Windows 11). Specifically, the blue screen of death or BSOD. The dreaded screen that tells you that your computer has failed or crashed.
It’s a problem that most of us have encountered from the earliest days of Windows up to now with Windows 11. There are a ton of reasons why people encounter this and here’s a little guide to help you out with what to do.
First off, when the BSOD happens to you, don’t immediately panic. Check the Stop Code at the bottom of the screen to see what failed on your computer.
The QR code is there also for you to scan and immediately head to Microsoft’s support page. But that Stop Code will help you see the specific problem that caused the BSOD.
After that, all you have to do is use the power of Google. Just search for the Stop Code that you saved and you will find all your answers on how to troubleshoot the specific problem.
Check for Windows and Driver Updates
First, check if your Windows is up to date. Make sure it is up to date as new versions can sometimes fix problems that the previous version had.
Up next is to check if all your drivers are updated or running well. From the Start menu search for Device Manager. Check first if you have any yellow exclamation points on any drivers or devices. Right-click on them and either update the driver or uninstall the device if it is unnecessary.
This feature is one of the most neglected but handy tools that Windows has. It’s a great tool to restore your system to a previous, more stable version if ever you mess up fiddling with settings in your current version of Windows.
From the search panel just look for Recovery and select open System Restore.
Then follow the steps to choose a specific restore point your system has. Usually, Windows has one automatically saved for you.
Scan for Viruses or Malware
Windows has a great built-in virus detection software and you can either do a quick scan or a more thorough one to make sure your computer hasn’t been affected by any virus or malware.
This is a bit more technical for people who don’t know how to fiddle around with the insides of their PC or laptop. If you can though, check if your RAM sticks aren’t failing. A failing stick can cause BSOD.
A failing hard drive can also affect and cause a BSOD. To check the health of your hard drives I suggest using something like Crystal Disk Info.
SFC means System File Checker. It will search your computer for damaged Windows system files and will attempt to fix them. Something as simple as this can fix your issues.
All you have to do is run a command prompt by clicking on the Windows Start Icon and type CMD to open a command prompt.
From there just type in sfc /scannow
Safe mode allows you to load a very basic version of Windows without anything you’ve installed running in the background. This is a great way to check if it’s something outside of the operating system that is affecting your computer. You will know if it’s either an installed app or service that is causing your BSOD.
To boot into safe mode all you have to do is search for safe mode in the Windows search bar. Then select Advanced Startup to restart now.
From the Advanced Options when your PC restarts, select start-up settings and select safe mode.
This is it. If nothing works and you still constantly get the dreaded blue screen of death then this is your last and only option. Reinstall a clean slate of Windows.
From Recovery just look for Reset this PC. Choose your options and then start the process. It may hurt to lose some files or some settings, but if it will clean up your computer and get it running well again then it’s well worth the process.
Seeing a BSOD is one of the worst things that can happen to any Windows owner. Most of the time they are super frustrating to deal with as they can happen constantly and not even allow you to troubleshoot any of the problems that are causing it.
Hopefully, with our tips here, you can slowly but surely pinpoint what is exactly causing your computer to crash or fail. At the end of the day, prevention is better than a cure, so make sure you are checking for any signs of failure, scanning for viruses, and overall taking care of your precious computer.
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