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blue screen error fixIf you’ve ever experienced the blue screen error, affectionately called the “blue screen of death,” then you’ll know that it isn’t the greatest experience in the world. It usually means that there’s something somewhat seriously wrong with your system. The problem with trying to come up with a blue screen error fix is that so many things can cause it. For the average computer user, this can mark the end of the computer.

Well, I’m here to walk you through a few steps you can take to troubleshoot your computer whenever you experience this blue screen error. Sometimes, the problem isn’t quite as serious or complicated as people think. It could be as simple as the fact that some hardware you installed created a conflict. Maybe a virus messed up the registry. Or maybe a driver file is corrupt. I’m going to show you how you can check for the most common issues that cause this error.

Boot In Safe Mode

The first thing to do when you get the blue screen is to power down the computer. When you boot it back up, press the F8 key before the Windows screen appears. This will boot the computer into the Advanced Options screen where you can choose advanced boot options. Press the down arrow until “Safe Mode with Networking” is enabled and press enter. If you believe that you’re dealing with a virus that instantly connects to the Internet when you boot your computer, then go with just “Safe Mode” instead.

blue screen error fix

Keep a close eye on the screen after you press enter. The screen will scroll through each driver as it loads each one individually into memory. Many times, you’ll see the screen pause for a very long time at one of the .sys files before the boot fails and returns an error. Make note of the last file it was trying to load before it failed. Do a Google search (on another computer obviously) to determine what driver is failing and try reinstalling that driver.

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blue screen of death

If there are no driver problems, then determine whether there are any hardware conflicts by going into the Control Panel, clicking on System, and then Device Manager. Go through each device category and scan all of the devices for the telltale yellow accent icon that indicates there’s a device conflict.

If you do see that icon, open up the driver and you’ll see a message box that reveals where the conflict is taking place. If you can’t find any device conflicts, move on to the next step – scanning your entire system.

blue screen of death

Run Spyware, Adware, Virus & Registry Scans

While you’re in safe mode, perform all of your spyware, adware and virus scans. This is the best time to run these apps because any viruses that try to disable them in normal mode will likely be disabled at this point. I love Malwarebytes, which Jimmy reviewed Stop & Delete Spyware With Malwarebytes for Windows Stop & Delete Spyware With Malwarebytes for Windows Read More here at MUO before. Also run your virus scan software. If you don’t have one, you really should get one. Check out Justin’s list of the top 10 free anti-virus software The 10 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs The 10 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs Read More apps available. Install one and do a full scan.

blue screen of death

Another very useful scan to run is to check for any odd Registry entries or problems. A great open source app that can check your registry for any known problems is the Little Registry Cleaner which comes highly recommended by most users.

fix blue screen

If you’ve tried everything up to this point and can’t seem to find any problems, don’t despair. We’ve got a couple more tricks up our sleeve.

Things To Try As A Last Resort

Go ahead and reboot your computer and press the F8 key again. This time, instead of booting into safe mode, select “Last Known Good Configuration“. This will revert to booting Windows using the last configuration where a successful boot took place. Many times this will resolve the issue without any further troubleshooting.

fix blue screen

If that doesn’t work, reboot again into F8 mode and try selecting “Enable Boot Logging“. This boots Windows and logs every little detail of the boot-up into a file called “ntbtlog.txt” in the root directory, usually c:/Windows.

fix blue screen

Open up the text file and scan through it to see exactly what’s loading and when it’s loading. It’s quite possible that something obvious will jump right out at you. If you identify anything loading that you didn’t want to load, try uninstalling and see if it fixes the problem.

Last but not least, you always have the option to do a system restore. Just go to the Control Panel, System and Security, Backup and Restore, and select “Recover System Settings for your Computer“.

blue screen error fix

Choose a valid restore point from the list and follow the instructions. Usually doing a system restore back to a date where your computer was running fine will resolve the blue screen error.

Finally, if even a restore doesn’t seem to resolve the issue, you could be looking at a bad hard disk. If that’s the case, follow Guy’s instructions to do a Check Disk How To Get Data Off A Dead Hard Drive How To Get Data Off A Dead Hard Drive Read More . The solution may be to buy a new hard drive.

Have you ever had the blue screen of death? Were you able to figure your way out of it? Share your own experiences in the comments section below.

Image credit: stevenafc

  1. Ted Mieske
    September 12, 2016 at 2:43 am

    The Biggest offender is Video Drivers. And DON'T under any circumstances
    use those 'Driver Update" programs. The will SCREW your system up big time!

  2. Ted Mieske
    September 12, 2016 at 2:41 am

    Biggest offered are Video Drivers. And DON'T use any of those Driver Update programs.
    You will SCREW yourself Big Time!!!!!

  3. Carlos
    June 25, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Ok. mine is HP laptop almost 5 years, I had a free anti virus with Avasti , but wife bought a new one and we got for free "webroot" hat we could use in 3 devices. took free antivirus off and downloaded new one. Since then it had crashed 4 times.
    I think is a virus , although it has a sound when you put too much pressure on it , like streaming videos. Thanks very cool posting , will try this steps.

  4. Rajesh
    March 30, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    best way to resolve this problem is window formate.

    • Ted Mieske
      September 12, 2016 at 2:45 am

      Really, Format, (not formate). That's giving up to easy!

  5. Edgar C. DeCastro
    January 12, 2016 at 7:33 am

    My 3.5yrs samsung laptop (np530u3b) was twiced had samsung recovery me using back up files in between those dates of at least 1.5 years. Then this new window 10 came out and i only experiene few days of decent perofrmance before the BSOD happened...took me one week before i was able to surrender after finding hd recvery back up from a year ago and went back to window 7...for one whole day it went fine but has a pop message pertaining to some serious harddisk problem and i simply ignore thinking am invincble that am safe with window7, samsung recovery and external hd backup. Then again i was dead wrong went to Bsod again with no sight of answer but just initial (recommended) repair and then comatose black screen before endless waitng I get the blue screen curtain Of windows screen theme.(without the log in box).Tried rebooting again and had f2 but had a DOS like stream of Invalid Recovery Area.. a safe mode choice is not in the choice if i got oback to Window Error Recovery its either Launch Start up and Starts Normally ...can i still salvage the hard disk? Is this new OS glitch or simply bad hardisk or diabolical malware? i need real help before I make a loan financing to buy new hard disk from my low teachng salary. Can i trust the independent repair center instead of Samsung service center(warranty is already invalid) which means thrice the cost of service and hardware parts.

  6. PM
    December 29, 2015 at 10:39 am

    None of these worked for me but I don't think it's my hard disk as when I try to restore the my last working session it tells me I have to disable my anti virus for this to work. I am using Windowps 8.1 and it automatically reboots so I don't know how to disable anti-virus and restore the last working session all in the one cycle. Thanks for the article though and if anyone has the solution to my problem would much appreciate any help????

  7. rj
    March 4, 2015 at 5:47 am

    Only one step to fix that stupid BLUE SCREEN is change your RAM. Trust me this work 100% :D

    • gerson
      December 12, 2015 at 3:51 am

      I just cleaned them and relocated xD usually bsod is related to ram.

  8. Dion
    February 1, 2015 at 3:28 am

    what if you have a hardware conflict with teredo tunneling pseudo interface? would that cause a blue screen of death?

  9. Kokolo
    January 26, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I found this article pretty clear and helpful. Whatever the comments are and even the author wears the monocle or not he did a pretty well Job I think.Keep on...

  10. seenu
    December 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    System restore is the best option for Software error which cause Blue Screen

    • fnds
      December 17, 2010 at 6:15 pm

      Be advised that some malware will store itself in the system restore files. System restore would not work for those cases.

  11. Anonymous
    December 3, 2010 at 5:50 am

    I would check recommend BitDefender's free scanning tool - it's been talked about on this blog in other posts and is quite popular.

    We try to do a good job and BitDefender is a great tool.

    -Jason, BitDefender Community Manager

  12. Jason Harris
    December 3, 2010 at 6:50 am

    I would check recommend BitDefender's free scanning tool - it's been talked about on this blog in other posts and is quite popular.

    We try to do a good job and BitDefender is a great tool.

    -Jason, BitDefender Community Manager

  13. rdube02
    December 2, 2010 at 1:26 am

    You might notice that the "hard drive is toast" solution is at the very bottom of the article - and guess what, some times it actually boils down to that, and that is a last resort. Or did you miss the fifteen paragraphs of troubleshooting tips before that?

    Regarding relevance of the topic - it's not even an opinion worthy of acknowledgment.

    - http://social.technet.microsof...
    - http://www.blogsdna.com/7086/f...
    - http://commadot.com/windows-7-...

    Those are alll other writers/bloggers that have posted on this same topic within the past year. But while we have you here, I am curious - what motivates people to automatically attack writers...is it the the ease of the "post" button in the comments area? Bad hair day? Bad marriage? Poor self esteem?

    Seriously - it's like a epidemic online and I'm really interested in understanding why people are so quick to act like arrogant jerks.

    • Scarlet Red
      February 27, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Microphallus syndrome. .

  14. rdube02
    December 2, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Geez...just spotted another BSOD article at CNET dated 2010.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708...

    Crescentdave, trusty master of all that is current and trendy, please inform CNET that they are behind the times!

  15. Mark O'Neill
    December 1, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I think you need to calm down. No-one is censoring anything. See..there's your earlier comment up there...see it?

    Since your comment contained a link, Disqus flagged it as possible spam for a moderator (me) to look at. Hence the delay.

  16. Anonymous
    December 1, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Nice censorship Ryan Rube. Really great to know plain talking reader feedback is actively discouraged if it calls into question the utility of posts dealing with marginal problems. Listen to ??? ????? - he's miles ahead of your curve. And finally, thanks for the advice if the hard drive is toast ... buy a new hard drive. Brilliant.

    • Mark O'Neill
      December 1, 2010 at 12:14 pm

      I think you need to calm down. No-one is censoring anything. See..there's your earlier comment up there...see it?

      Since your comment contained a link, Disqus flagged it as possible spam for a moderator (me) to look at. Hence the delay.

    • Anonymous
      December 1, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      Glad to hear that. I'm not used to 9 hour delays on the intertoobs when it comes to comments. My apologies.

    • Anonymous
      December 2, 2010 at 12:26 am

      You might notice that the "hard drive is toast" solution is at the very bottom of the article - and guess what, some times it actually boils down to that, and that is a last resort. Or did you miss the fifteen paragraphs of troubleshooting tips before that?

      Regarding relevance of the topic - it's not even an opinion worthy of acknowledgment.

      - http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itproperf/thread/47ab81d6-2116-473d-b9fa-ab1fad13a18d
      - http://www.blogsdna.com/7086/fix-windows-7-blue-screen-of-death-bsod-error-stop-0x0000000a.htm
      - http://commadot.com/windows-7-blue-screen-of-death/

      Those are alll other writers/bloggers that have posted on this same topic within the past year. But while we have you here, I am curious - what motivates people to automatically attack writers...is it the the ease of the "post" button in the comments area? Bad hair day? Bad marriage? Poor self esteem?

      Seriously - it's like a epidemic online and I'm really interested in understanding why people are so quick to act like arrogant jerks.

    • Anonymous
      December 2, 2010 at 12:47 am

      Geez...just spotted another BSOD article at CNET dated 2010.

      http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10452064-245.html

      Crescentdave, trusty master of all that is current and trendy, please inform CNET that they are behind the times!

    • Anonymous
      December 2, 2010 at 3:27 am

      now, now, calm down doober. Let's all take Mark O'Neil's advice. I know I am. M'kay, dube?

    • Anonymous
      December 2, 2010 at 3:30 am

      Whatever you say Davey boy.

  17. crescentdave
    December 1, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Nice censorship Ryan Rube. Really great to know plain talking reader feedback is actively discouraged if it calls into question the utility of posts dealing with marginal problems. Listen to پیش ساخته - he's miles ahead of your curve. And finally, thanks for the advice if the hard drive is toast ... buy a new hard drive. Brilliant.

  18. Muo
    December 1, 2010 at 8:33 am

    One should be sufficient. Install Ubuntu and you'll get rid of BSoD forever!

  19. ??? ?????
    December 1, 2010 at 5:26 am

    If it cause due to hardware problem we can do nothing

  20. crescentdave
    December 1, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Yeah ... I had a bsod back in 1991. Been using windows ever since and haven't come across one. Thanks for the timely article on a truly significant current issue!

    Perhaps next week you can post an article dealing with this? http://osxbook.com/book/bonus/...

  21. Anonymous
    December 1, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Yeah ... I had a bsod back in 1991. Been using windows ever since and haven't come across one. Thanks for the timely article on a truly significant current issue!

    Perhaps next week you can post an article dealing with this? http://osxbook.com/book/bonus/chapter5/panic/images/panic_3.jpg

    • Guy
      December 1, 2010 at 4:35 pm

      I imagine you wearing a monocle while typing that.

    • Anonymous
      December 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm

      It's good to have an imagination, isn't it?

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