The Blue Screen of Death – or BSoD – is the worst kind of error a computer can have. There are many reasons why a computer can blue screen but all are the result of either a hardware failure of a low-level software error. Blue Screens are typically very unpleasant for a user as they usually cause you to lose whatever you were working on at the time of the crash, and can often lead to a computer not starting back up.
Hard Drive Problems
Hard Drive failure is a common cause of blue screens during start up or whilst trying to open a file. Issues with your hard drive may arise for a variety of reasons such as damaged hard drive, a loose cord or corrupted files on the hard drive. Such problem may lead to loss of all the data on your hard drive as well, so it is always a good idea to keep a regular backup of any important files you may need.
In situations where your computer is repeatedly blue screening, it is sometimes the case that there is a power supply issue. This can be caused most commonly by a faulty power supply unit not supplying your hard ware with sufficient voltage, or less likely can be caused by faulty power cables in your house. When you have a power supply issues, the only solution tends to be replacing your power supply unit.
Bad Memory or Motherboard
Many blue screens can be caused by a RAM or motherboard issue preventing your computer data from being retrieved causing a Fatal Exception Error. In these cases, motherboards often come preloaded with a set of memory diagnostic tools to test if your RAM is functioning correctly. If your RAM is the issue, then replacing it is usually fairly cheap, however if your motherboard is the issue then it can be a lot more costly to replace.
A common source of blue screens can be hardware conflicts caused by faulty hardware or incorrect BIOS settings. This causes Windows to receive conflicting information from hardware which then makes it blue screen. The exact cause of hardware conflicts can be difficult to ascertain, and as such solutions can vary widely.
Overheating can be a dangerous problem if it arises - it can lead to damaged computer components or even fires. Normally hardware has built in controls to prevent it from overheating and instead it will shut down, this causes a blue screen. Often you’re computer may make a series of beeps to indicate that parts of it are overheating before it blue screens. The sources of overheating can vary greatly; it can be as simple as a damaged fan or placing your laptop on the wrong type of surface.
Although Windows is a lot more stable than it used to be, software issues can still sometimes cause it to blue screen. Normally it is easy to diagnose at it will only occur when a particular piece of software is used. However if it is software that runs in the background that is causing the issue, it can be harder to find the cause. These issues can normally be resolved by not using the software or disabling the software with msconfig.
Most motherboards come will default settings that are broadly compatible with most computers. However in some cases vendors may alter these defaults to suit your computer. Normally these settings stay, however, if your motherboards battery dies, then these settings will be reverted to factory defaults and as such may no longer work with your computer causing a blue screen.
Corrupt or Incorrect Drivers
Drivers are what informs your computer how to handle the hardware that is installed on it. Should one of these drivers be faulty, the hardware may not work correctly and this can cause a blue screen. Blue screens of this type usually are accompanied by the name of the faulty driver, and fixing it can be as simple as updating that particular driver or downgrading it to a previous version.
Your computer registry stores all the settings for your operating system and all your software and if the files in your registry are incorrect or corrupted then this may cause a blue screen. It is not recommended to attempt to fix the registries manually, however there are a handful of programs that can automatically fix registries for you.
Virus or Trojan
A Virus or Trojan can cause a lot of damage to your system by altering vital system settings, deleting drivers or removing important system files. Any of these can cause a blue screen to occur on your computer. If you have managed to get a virus or Trojan affecting your computer in such ways it is important to run a virus scan with a powerful antivirus program to rid the infection. However, if the antivirus program is unable to remove your virus, then you would be forced to wipe your hard drive and reinstall your operating system from scratch, to avoid this happening, it is always good to have a firewall running, and keep regular backups.