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Solutions to fix the Blue Screen Of Death error
Published  06/21/2011 | Troubleshooting Computer | Unrated
Solutions to fix the Blue Screen Of Death error

When a BSOD occurs, the first step is to note down the Stop number, the ‘friendly name’ of the error and also the name of the file that is reported as the cause of the problem. The Stop number will be in hexadecimal format—something like this:
STOP : 0x0000000A (0xDB000000, 0x00000001, 0x00000002, 0xB04FB0DB)
The friendly name will be something like this:
IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

If the error comes up very briefly, before you can note it down, and the system restarts, you will need to change a setting to tell Windows not to automatically reboot. Right-click My Computer, select the Advanced tab, and click “Startup and Recovery”, in  Windows 2000, clear the “Automatically Reboot” checkbox. In Windows XP, click Settings and clear the “Automatic Restart” checkbox. This, of course, assumes that Windows has rebooted normally and you are able to change the setting.

If you are not able to boot normally, restart Windows and press [F8] repeatedly during the POST cycle. This will take you to the Advanced Options menu. Choose Safe Mode. Windows will attempt to load with a minimum set of drivers. If Windows is able to boot into Safe Mode, this most likely means that the problem is with a particular software, and is not hardware-related. If Windows is not able to boot into Safe Mode, restart the computer, bring up the Advanced Options screen (by pressing [F8] during POST) and select “Last Known Good Configuration”. Windows will then attempt to load the last settings where everything worked normally. If that doesn’t work, then it most likely means you have a serious hardware or critical startup system file error. If this error has occurred after any recent hardware additions, remove the hardware and try to boot again.

If you are able to boot into Safe Mode, first perform a virus and spyware scan using a tool such as Norton AntiVirus and Spybot S&D. Uninstall any recently added software, and remove or roll back any updated device drivers. (To roll back device drivers, go to the Properties page of the device in Device Manager, select the Driver tab, and click Roll Back Driver). In XP, you can perform one additional step—running System Restore, as explained above for Windows ME. Restart the computer normally and check if the problem recurs. If it is an intermittent problem, and occurs at random, you can note down the error number the next time it occurs, since you disabled Automatic Restart after a crash. Boot into Safe Mode and see if you get the same random error. If you do, then the problem is likely hardware-related. Resolve the issue by following the hardware troubleshooting steps explained below. If the error only occurs in normal mode, then it is likely a software problem. Follow the steps for software and device driver troubleshooting described below. Look in Device Manager and troubleshoot any hardware device conflicts as explained in the Troubleshooting Hardware Device Conflicts in Windows section. You can remove or disable the device, or roll back its driver to a previous version.

If the BSOD is caused by a faulty program that crashes Windows at system startup, you can disable the software from starting up by using msconfig.exe. Type Start > Run, type in “msconfig” and press [Enter]. Select the Startup tab and disable any or all software you think may be the ones causing the problem. Better still, you could disable all the software in the list, enable them one at a time, and reboot the computer to identify the offending software. If the BSOD is caused by faulty hardware, remove any recently added hardware—after switching off the PC, of course! If the BSOD still occurs, or there are no newly added hardware, test the RAM for errors by using a memory diagnostic program such as Windows Memory Diagnostic (http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp). See the Memory section of this guide for further information. If the diagnostic reports errors, then you’ve found the culprit. Replace the defective RAM.

If the BSOD is due to corrupt system startup files, you can repair Windows by performing a Repair Install. Boot the PC from the Windows installation CD, press [Enter] to set up Windows XP, press [F8] to accept the license agreement, and then press [R] to start the Repair Installation. Windows will reinstall all the system files and redetect all the hardware. Note: You will have to visit the Windows Update site to reinstall any patches and Service Packs, since the repair installation will remove them.

If you are still getting BSODs, switch off the PC, open the cabinet and remove all but the essential hardware: the mouse, keyboard, hard disk, CD-ROM, display card and RAM, along with the PSU and processor of course! Now, first attempt booting into Safe Mode, and if that works, reboot normally. If you are successful, the problem is with one of the peripheral devices. Add all the peripherals back one by one till you get a BSOD again—the last added peripheral is the culprit. If you are getting BSODs during installation, then the problem could be with the RAM, hard disk, processor, or one of the peripherals. Test the RAM using a memory diagnostic tool as described above, check the hard disk for errors (most hard disk manufacturers provide software utilities that can diagnose errors), verify that the CPU is not overheating by following the instructions in the Motherboard section of this guide, and remove all peripherals and run the installation with the minimum configuration as described above. If the installation is successful, you can troubleshoot the rest of the hardware devices from within Windows.

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