The BSOD is the main way for virtual device drivers to report a problem. The error description will state that Windows faced a problem (exception) at a particular memory address (a portion of the RAM) in a certain file, usually with the prefix VxD (virtual device driver), or the file name may have the DLL extension. At the minimum, it indicates that there was a problem with that particular file. Typically, this may have been caused by some action of the user that Windows does not allow—like accessing a document from a floppy and then removing the floppy before closing document. In other cases it may indicate that there is a problem with a particular software or hardware. If the BSOD repeats with the same message, then there is potentially something seriously wrong, and you should investigate further.
The basic approach
Use the file name in the error message to give you a clue as to what is causing the problem. Search the hard disk for the filename and look at the folder in which the file is located to give you an idea of which software program or hardware uses this file. Also search the Internet for any information on this file. Once you have identified the software or hardware associated with the filename, uninstall or remove the software or hardware. Verify that the software or hardware, as the case may be, is compatible with your version of Windows. Get updates if applicable and reinstall it. Also, see the Troubleshooting Startup, Shutdown and Power Management sections in this guide.
The BSODs are generally associated with five problems faced by Windows:
* Software or device drivers may have a problem
* A hardware device is malfunctioning, or was removed while Windows was running, or does not fully support Windows. On older machines, outdated BIOS information can also cause errors.
* Hardware or hard disk errors during installation of Windows.
* Corrupted startup files, hardware and driver software during Windows startup can also be the cause. This type of error will always require troubleshooting before Windows can start up normally.
* Intermittent errors that appear randomly. These can be caused by an overheating processor, a defective memory system, a dying or dead hard disk, or faulty software and device drivers.