We do not always have to suffer a BSOD or blue screen if we follow a series of basic tips: we protect ourselves from viruses, keep our operating system and drivers updated or take care of how our computer is not only in terms of software but also in hardware, temperature or in cleaning. But there are times when it is not up to us and that the error is more complex than “taking care of” everything, so we have compiled some of the causes and solutions of a BSOD and what to do.
What is BSOD?
Let’s go by parts, what does BSOD mean? BSOD is Blue Screen Of Death. The blue screen that you have been seeing for many years and that occurs in Windows to remind us that something is wrong with the computer. This is a bug or problem that causes the device restart unexpectedly or shutdown.
We have seen them everywhere … Not only have we suffered it ourselves on our computer but they have appeared on advertising screens, on the access screen to the parking lot or in stores, shopping centers, etc. Blue screens have been in Windows for many years, although it is true that they are becoming less frequent and generally, at present, we can go years without seeing one on our computer. The fatal mistakes They started showing up in Windows 95 even though there were already error messages before.
Even so, they have changed a lot until today: there are no technical messages or a large amount of information displayed on the screen. The screen has been much simplified and is limited to a sad smiley that will indicate that there is a problem in the computer and that it needs to be restarted. Also, from Microsoft’s Windows 10 version there is also a QR code that you can scan if you need more information and that will take you to a Microsoft website designed to help you in these cases.
Although there are many messages, the most common that have appeared are:
- CRITICAL PROCESS DIED: A critical process has been stopped
- SYSTEM THREAD EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED: Incompatible drivers or software
- IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL: Incompatible or poorly designed drivers.
- PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA: There are incompatible drivers or software or errors in the RAM or on the motherboard.
- SYSTEM SERVICE EXCEPTION: There are corrupt system files or the software is incompatible. There may be problems with a program or the graphical interface.
What are the causes?
There can be many causes, both hardware and software problems.
There are all kinds of hardware problems that can be to blame. Some type of RAM memory problem Your computer is usually one of the most common causes in case the issue is in the hardware. Also on the hard drive.
It could also be that there is a thermal problem somewhere in your computer or that some of the discs or memories you are using are defective, such as a hard drive that is forcing Windows to the blue screen. Another option is that there is two devices that have been in conflict, without the need for a serious defect in them. In that case the problem is easy to solve because it will be enough to disconnect and review them all.
The cause may not be inside your computer tower but in peripherals like a webcam, a keyboard, a mouse, a flash drive …
Heat and dirt
If your computer it has overheated Or if there is a noticeable buildup of dust inside it, this may be causing hardware damage and BSOD appears as a precaution to crash the system. Disassemble the computer, check the temperature and check the dirt. Clean as much as you can, ventilate.
You might not have the updated system drivers or you don’t have automatic update scheduled from Windows Update. In that case the drivers may be causing the blue screen problem.
Malware or virus problems
Some viruses may also be causing these blue screens of death in Windows.
There are also third-party software that can cause blue screen errors, as explained from Microsoft’s own support website.
Review recent Windows updates that you may not have made. Microsoft typically fixes serious software problems in the operating system with new versions that fix the bug. So it is essential to always update Windows. If it is not programmed to do it automatically, it is important that you do it manually on a regular basis.
Other software issues
The problems can be many different although the blue screen is always similar (similar in appearance but with a different root) so if you do not identify what it may be, we suggest some solutions.
What can we do?
One of the problems that we have seen is related to hardware so it is important that you disconnect as much as possible to see if the problem has been solved. Can remove all peripherals like printers, USB sticks or USB sticks or hard drives and reboot. If there is no problem after restarting, go connecting these peripherals to know which one is causing the error.
But you can also check what’s inside your tower removing RAM modules and connecting them after about half a minute. If there is excessive dirt in the computer case, you can also use it to clean it a bit in case it is causing a problem. Check for updates
As we have explained in previous paragraphs, Microsoft usually fixes serious Windows errors by releasing a corrected update. In that case, it is essential that you go to Settings Windows> Update and security and click on “Check for updates”. Also make sure that automatic search is scheduled so you don’t have to do it manually every so often.
Beyond Windows, you can check for any driver updates if you don’t have automatic update configured or if one has been left without updating and is causing some problem that leads to the Windows blue screen. You can find it by following the path above: Windows Settings> Update & Security> Windows update. You can go to “view update history” and a new window will open where you will see:
- Quality updates
- Driver updates
- Definition Updates
- Other updates
Here you will see what has been updated correctly and when. If you miss something, just go to Start and look for “Device Manager” where you will see all the components and you can click on them and on the button with a green arrow that you will find in the upper bar: “Update device driver”
Another recommended option is that you uninstall recent drivers that can cause these blue screenshots. From the device manager, as we have explained before, you can see if any one is having problems.
Have you installed something new?
Think about whether the blue screen appears since you have installed something new Or it has nothing to do with it because there may be a program that is causing it and it is recent. Or uninstall the latest that you have downloaded or installed to see if the problem may be here. Just look for “Add or remove programs” from the start button of your computer and uninstall.
It is unlikely that you did not realize that there is a virus infecting your PC to the point of reaching this point, to the blue background or Windows BSOD but check it out. Use an antivirus, paid or free, to check if something is affecting and causing the blue screen. It will also be convenient to leave this antivirus on your computer to avoid possible problems in the future.
Also check the antivirus
Although it is useful check that you do not have a virus, It is also useful to check that the antivirus software is not causing any problems. As we have explained in the possible causes, there are antivirus that may be causing this blue screen so temporarily uninstall it to check if the error is here.
Start Windows in safe mode. In most cases, this mode allows us to find the root of a problem. You can follow some simple steps to get there:
- Press and hold the start button for 10 seconds
- Press again to turn on the device
- When it starts, press and hold the Home or Power button for about ten seconds to turn the device off again
- Tap the button again to turn it on again
- When it restarts, hold the button down for ten seconds
- Press the button once more to turn it on
Let the device reboot for you to enter WINRE
- Go to Troubleshoot
- Tap on advanced options and Startup settings
- Press Restart
- Once it restarts, hit F5 to open safe mode
From safe mode you can uninstall what you need.
Restore the system
We know that it is not always the option we would resort to, but it may fix any software bugs that has been passed to us in the previous steps. Especially if it is an update problem that has been left unsolved. In that case, go back to the moment when everything was working correctly and the blue screen did not appear.