Why Does Windows Crash? The 9 Most Common Reasons

Ben Stegner Updated 16-06-2020

Windows crashes—whether they come as a blue screen of death or totally locked-up system—are extremely frustrating. Not only do you lose the work you had open, but troubleshooting the reason that Windows crashed can be difficult.


When crashes happen, you’ll probably wonder how to prevent these issues in the future. Let’s look at the most common reasons for a Windows crash, and what to do when Windows keeps crashing.

1. RAM Problems

RAM inserted into computer

Because your computer keeps important data in RAM, issues with your memory can cause Windows to crash. Error names like Fatal Exception Error usually pop up when Windows tries to retrieve data from memory but can’t do so properly. If this keeps happening, your RAM may be failing 5 Signs and Symptoms That Your RAM Is About to Fail If you're having computer problems and you can't pinpoint the cause, faulty RAM may be the cause. Here are some signs to look out for and how to diagnose dying RAM. Read More .

You can use a free tool like MemTest86 to see if there are problems with your RAM. It’s also worth making sure that your RAM sticks are seated properly in their slots. Note while insufficient RAM can cause your system to grind to a halt, it usually won’t cause Windows to crash.

If you’re sure that RAM isn’t the culprit, sometimes a motherboard problem can result in similar issues.


2. Driver Issues

Drivers are specialized pieces of software that allow Windows to interface with the various hardware connected to your computer. Most of the time, drivers install and update automatically when you connect a new peripheral or run Windows Update.

However, when drivers go bad, they can cause serious problems. Manually installing the wrong driver, or updating to a buggy version provided by the manufacturer, are common ways for this to happen.

When troubleshooting the blue screen error 11 Tips to Help You Fix the Windows 10 Blue Screen Error What is a blue screen in Windows? How do you fix blue screen errors? Here are several fixes for this common Windows problem. Read More , keep an eye out for mentions of any specific hardware, as it may be the culprit. It’s also a good idea to open the Device Manager (accessible by right-clicking the Start button) and check for any warning symbols, which represent hardware conflicts.

3. A Failing Hard Drive

An open and exposed hard drive
Image Credit: Vincent Botta/Unsplash


If the storage drive (whether a hard drive or solid state drive) in your computer is going bad, you may experience Windows crashes. This might manifest itself through crashes that only happen when you try to open specific files, which indicates that a certain section of the drive is dying.

For an older HDD, a clicking sound is another telltale sign of a failing drive. Because Windows needs to access files across your storage disk to run properly, it can crash if the disk can’t read those files. If this sounds like your problem, find out what to do about a dying hard drive 5 Signs Your Hard Drive Is Failing (And What to Do) Since a majority of people today own laptops and external hard drives, which get dragged around quite a bit, a realistic hard drive lifetime is probably around 3 - 5 years. This is an extremely... Read More —certainly back up your data as soon as possible!

4. An Overheating Computer

Too much heat causes major problems for the sensitive components inside your computer. A system that runs too hot for a long period of time might become permanently damaged. To combat this, your computer will often shut itself down when it gets too hot, usually resulting in a Windows crash.

An overheating problem can have many sources. If you have a desktop, make sure that your case has enough ventilation. You should also check to make sure that all fans inside are working properly and that the heatsinks aren’t loose. Be sure to clean your computer regularly to remove excess dust, too.


If you use a laptop, try to avoid placing it on your lap or on surfaces like blankets, which can block the system’s cooling sources. See our tips on preventing computer overheating How to Prevent Computer Overheating and Keep Your PC Cool An overheating computer can lead to hardware damage. Use these tips to keep your PC cool and maintain a safe temperature. Read More for more advice.

5. Malware Infections

Malicious software, including viruses, Trojans, and other unwanted junk, can wreak havoc on your system. While troubleshooting Windows 10 crashes, it makes sense to run an anti-malware scan to rule out any foul play.

Scanning with the built-in Windows Defender is a good first option. For a second opinion, we recommend installing the free version of Malwarebytes and running a scan. If you find any malware, hopefully the crashes will subside after removing the infection.

6. Registry Damage

dcom error 10016 windows registry ole


The Windows Registry is a huge database of information where Windows and programs store data. Because of regular addition, removal, and changes to Registry entries, there’s potential for its contents to get screwed up.

Some Registry misconfigurations are minor, but others can completely crash Windows. This is why we recommend avoiding Registry cleaners, as they most often cause more harm than good. And if you ever read a guide that recommends changing a Registry value, be careful that you don’t change anything else while inside.

If you suspect that a damaged Registry is the source of Windows crashing, there’s unfortunately not much you can do aside from resetting Windows 10 4 Ways to Factory Reset Your Windows Computer Want to know how to factory reset a PC? Here are the best methods to reset a Windows computer. Read More .

7. Software Conflicts

Most software errors don’t bring about a Windows crash; they only affect the app in question. However, sometimes particularly bad software crashes can lock up the entire system. If Windows crashes when you open a certain app, you should try reinstalling the software to see if it fixes the problem.

In case you think Windows 10 itself is freezing your system, find out what to do when Windows 10 locks up Does Windows 10 Freeze Your Computer? Try This! Does Windows 10 freeze or hang in the middle of your work? These troubleshooting steps can help you resolve the problem. Read More .

8. Power Issues

If you’ve eliminated other possibilities, there’s a chance that your Windows crashes are happening due to the power going into your PC. Typically, this is caused by a faulty power supply.

If your computer’s power supply is damaged, the flow of power might fluctuate or become too weak. This can, of course, cause your computer to crash. Replacing the power supply is the best way to troubleshooting this.

Another power-related issue is the setup in your home. An overloaded circuit, faulty wiring, or having your computer plugged into a bad power strip can all cause crashes due to power issues. To test this, try moving your machine to another room and see if the problem persists.

9. Running an Unsupported Windows Version

Windows XP

We’ve assumed that you’re troubleshooting Windows 10 crashes above. However, if you’re running an older version of Windows, that may contribute to your problem. Windows 7 and older are no longer officially supported by Microsoft, meaning they don’t receive updates for security and stability any longer.

Because of this, you may find that older Windows versions crash more often. You should update to Windows 10 as soon as possible so you’re on a supported platform.

Speaking of this, for best results on Windows 10, you should make sure to install Windows updates, which can often fix stability problems that lead to crashes. However, sometimes installing the latest major update for Windows 10 right away can lead to instability on its own.

If you recently updated Windows 10 and started experiencing crashes, head to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. There, you can go back to the previous version of Windows 10.

Why Does Windows Keep Crashing? Now You Know

We’ve looked at what causes Windows 10 to crash most often. As you’ve seen, a lot of them are related to hardware, whether it’s an incompatible driver, failing component, or too much heat. It’s often difficult to diagnose these issues, but by checking them against these causes, you can hopefully nail down your problem.

If you experience crashes specifically while gaming, find out what to do when games crash in Windows Why Your Games Keep Crashing: 10 Reasons and How to Fix Them Working out why your favorite game is crashing can be tricky. Here's why your games keep crashing and how to fix them. Read More .

Related topics: Blue Screen of Death, Computer Maintenance, Hardware Tips, Troubleshooting, Windows Tips.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. dragonmouth
    June 27, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Sounds plausible. However, while running on the same hardware in a dual boot environment, Windows crashes much more often than Linux? Shouldn't/wouldn't failing RAM, hard drives, overheating and power issues affect both O/Ss equally?

    As others have said, "Flawed design" and "Failure comes bundled with MS products".

    "2. Driver Issues"
    How can that be? As Windows fanbois never cease to point out Windows doesn't have driver issues. Only Linux does.

  2. John Smith
    June 18, 2020 at 1:06 am

    Flawed design. Weak isolation and protection between kernel, hal and the device drivers.
    Not to mention userspace security memory protections are all flawed.

  3. bishwanth
    August 19, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Very use full article,thanks for sharing it. Best Interview Guide for Active Directory(

  4. Sandip
    November 14, 2015 at 8:09 am

    I was always curious why my windows crashed about 2-3 times a year, regardless of the fact that I am a very basic daily user (browsing and watching movies). Then I realized that I had nothing to do with it except my total hardware configuration is in plain words CHEAP. And it was not one particular component. It was altogether bullshit.

    • Mike Walsh
      May 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      Windows doesn't NEED a reason to fail. (lol) Failure comes bundled with your Microsoft product.....

      (The biggest cause of problems can nearly always be traced to the sheer amount of background services it has running. ALL THE TIME. And every piece of software you install wants to add another one...? *Sheesh*)

      Wise up, boys & girls. Go FreeBSD.

  5. Anonymous
    July 21, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    so informative subject
    as the thing that i see i have 3 old pc in my home but all of them have such problem
    i got some time angry and wanna to put down my all pc in to yard with violence
    therefore i read that article and find that may some of failure my detail hardware of my pc cause
    repeated hang and break down but i wouldn't been gray and i do your recipe pace to pace
    and take some detail test of my pc to solve this problem
    thanks to you

  6. Bryan
    May 11, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    I am consumer !!!!!
    That is who I am !
    I have little or limited knowledge of home computers, when you talk about software and hardware I really don't know what the Hell you are talking about.
    I have been around these PC s for a long time, I have bought millions of laptops and pads and tablets and even Desk tops ..
    These seem to be a must have in everyday life especially if you own a business..
    We are the main consumers of these devices..
    Not computer heads ..
    The producers and makers of these devices know us very well , they know we must and like having these PCs ..
    We are kept in the Dark on how they work and function.
    What I'm saying is. They are made to fail.. I would say like the Cell phones are made to fail every two years. Or close too.
    No one really knows all the answers to why they fail.. Your not supposed to..
    You are supposed to run down to Best Buy or Dell or Asus or Apple and quickly buy a new one. And you need to buy a better one than what you had ..Faster w/ more hard drive and all the Bells And whistles ..
    You paid $400. For the last one ? Well you need to spend $600. For the next one .. Or $900. For the Best or $1500. For the Bestest ..
    Can't afford one ? Take out a loan .. Or go spend $$$$ on getting your old one fixed. Either way it's just about the money.
    Follow the money trail... Hasn't anyone figured it out yet.
    How long have they been making these PCs ? And they just can't quite ever get it right... Maybe the hackers work for the antivirus company's
    Like Norton, etc.
    why when your PCs take a dump the computer really can't quite figure out what is really wrong with itself.. ?
    Your car can !!!! Maybe when we start paying $25000. For a PC it could actually tell you what is wrong with it Self. .? Oops. Gotta go " Windows has not recovered from an unexpected shutdown.
    A problem? Has caused Windows to stop working correctly.
    Windows will notify me if a solution is Available. BS

    • Sandip
      November 14, 2015 at 8:11 am

      It's the money that talks at the end. Buy expensive hardware and u don't have to worry.

  7. TK
    February 15, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    This website's font makes the type almost undreadable.

  8. omar elshal
    February 2, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Great article, i think the problem in my lap is overheating..any way to know how to make sure of that ?

    • Charles
      April 18, 2013 at 5:33 am

      My wife's PC w/ win 7 takes 5 - 6 tries before it boots completely. Even worse if off over 1 hour. We won't talk about power outages. It stays on 24/7. Since she was to cheap to buy a computer instead of a toy I refuse to touch/repair it. But I am getting tired of bitching and moaning when acting up. Also complains about latency when playing WOW.

    • Anonymous
      October 15, 2015 at 11:03 pm

      use CPUZ or Speccy, and search up your CPU (like the Pentium P6200). look at the temps in speccy and compare it to the Tcase, if the temps ever reach or go over the tcase temps, than that means that it is an overheating.

      How you can fix it (each step should fix the problem, if step 1 does not work, move to the next step):
      1: Make sure your not blocking any vent's.
      2: Turn on your computer and see if the temps are down
      3: if the above does not work, Take apart your computer until you reach the CPU cooling fan, than take the fan off and clean it.
      4: Put it back together and see if the temps go down
      5: if the above does not work, buy some arctic silver, take apart your computer until you get to the cpu fan, take out the CPU fan, and on the CPU, apply a small amount of arctic silver.
      6: Put your computer back together, and see if it the temps are down.
      7: (Desktop Only) buy a watercooler (like this one:
      8: Put your computer back together, the temps should probably be down.

  9. Car accident attorney Austin
    January 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I am very thankful I came across with your blog because it is very informative. highly recommend.

  10. Car accident attorney Austin
    January 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I am very thankful I came across with your blog because it is very informative. highly recommend.

  11. Rama moorthy
    January 24, 2013 at 3:12 am

    Go for Linux ...!

  12. Ian Lewis
    January 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    great article thanks for the tips

  13. Anonymous
    January 22, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Too many devices like cd drives connected to the power supply can also be a cause

  14. Efi Dreyshner
    January 22, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Thanks :)
    You also can use Who Crashed to analyze a BSOD:

  15. Scott Nunyadamnbidness
    January 22, 2013 at 2:41 am

    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. XP Pro in an 8-year old computer, have never had a BSOD. Not once.

  16. Sam Elliott
    January 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Is this article a joke? This must be a parody, no?
    Hey... I think you forgot Video issues...
    Well, not really. Most video devices are on-board now.
    So... Read this back to yourself.
    You could've limited this article to one line!

    Well... it's either Hardware or Software; Hope that helps!!!

  17. David Breeden
    January 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Crashes? Updated Zonealarm firewall the past week, computer crashed five times before I came to my senses and uninstall Zonealarm. Most of the problems I have had were solved by resetting the programs which ZA ddn't like.

  18. Benny Teo
    January 21, 2013 at 7:45 am

    never knew about the overheating error. Will listen out the next time,.

  19. Patrick Jackson
    January 21, 2013 at 5:54 am

    The best part of all is that most of the problems can be detected and even solved using a Linux live CD, depending on the distribution and the fact that your computer can boot using a CD/DVD/USB.

  20. Kimberley Matthews
    January 21, 2013 at 2:36 am

    I can't believe that in this day and age, the trolls are still arguing OS's. They all do the same thing - move ones and zeros around so that I/O will produce the desired output.

    If you have a laptop which crashes regularly, vacuum out the vents. Even though many advise against it, I suggest using a little compressed air at the same time to loosen things up a bit. Use with vacuuming.

    Next, bad software. Or more correctly running too much crapware at the same time. I service servers - mostly Windows - for remote customers and the ones who don't load them up with a bunch of stuff that isn't needed don't have problems or need to reboot for years. Same goes for xNIX systems, Solaris systems, or any other OS. Geez people, smarten up and realize that these are basically glorified adding/substraction machines and will only do what you tell them. If you feed them a lot of garbage, you'll get garbage out.

    Hardware problems ( other than overheating and memory leaks ) - yeah, they happen but when troubleshooting, KISS.

  21. Anonymous
    January 21, 2013 at 2:35 am

    I clean out malware for a Major Telecommunications company and this is a good article to keep around to show other what can cause the BSOD. This way they can explain it to customers on the phone. Thanks for being so informative!

  22. Charles Orlando
    January 21, 2013 at 2:02 am

    This was a great article. I have an old Dell with XP. It gets all the updates and has a proxy security suite provided by my ISP. I think I've traced the problem to a heating issue. I'd never have thought to look there, but its always hot in the desk enclosure. Thanks for bringing this to light. Yes, windows has problems, but for those of us who cant afford better, know-how can cover the spread.


  23. Mitesh Baran
    January 21, 2013 at 12:17 am

    This article is my personal favorite, has helped me fix my own PC and many other PCs

  24. Mike P.
    January 20, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Basically, the author sounds like a Windows apologist, rather than a useful and productive critic of their stubbornness, ossification and lethargy. Apple kicks PC's butt up, down and sideways...and that's just for breakfast...every day...before the eggs are served. And that's because, oh yeah, Bill Gates is not a world-class programmer...he's stole the code! So what do you expect?

  25. Mike P.
    January 20, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    By the way, the author here is totally unhelpful. He included in his list things like hardware and software and suggesting you clean your registry, fix bad drivers and run anti-virus.

    Gee, that's basically a catch all.

    Thanks for the advice...NOT!

  26. Mike P.
    January 20, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    The main problem with Windows is not BSOD or a total crash.

    The main problem with Windows is latency.

    Windows easily gets caught in an infinite loop, Task Manager seldom accurately identifies which app is responsible.

    If a particular browser tab is the culprit, as is often the case, the browser never identifies which browser tab is hogging the memory.

    Also, Windows is so dumb...I said Windows is so dumb is it?

    Windows is so dumb that it does not identify infinite loops pro-actively and restrict them to 5% of CPU, as any intelligent operating system would (with the full understanding that, unless you are a graphic artist, hard-core 3-D gamer, or a NASA engineer, you almost NEVER require more than 5% of CPU for any app--and NEVER urgently require it).

  27. Ashok Kumar
    January 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Sometimes running incompatible programs(most likely running two antivirus programs at the same time) will result in BSOD.

  28. Anonymous
    January 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    My windows 7 after two years have never crash. However, I do see lots of failures in laptops from overheating or hard drive failure.
    In one case we had a gigantic lightning storm that ripped through the island and destroyed quite a bit of equipment. My thing is dual boot with linux---ubuntu or mint works

  29. Crazie Flawed Narcissistic-VampDoll
    January 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Not that i am looking forward to my next crash but when it happens(and it will) I am better armed at dealing with it than just yelling out MF! and a whole slew of other lol bad words at the top of my voice. THANKS

  30. Laurance Draves
    January 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    These tips may be obvious to some of us, but not to others. The only thing I didn't see mentioned about disk issues is that a simple defrag may fix the problem. If you run Win 7 and leave your PC on over night, defrag gets run automatically at least once a week. It will also ensure that you get timely updates from Microsoft.

  31. Ned
    January 19, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Good stuff. I think that it is easy to neglect the heat issue. IC's last longer if they are run cool- that is not just popular tech dogma. Allowing the computer to radiate heat is an important point and yes the operating surface can make a big difference. Example. If it is sitting on a thick cloth or a blanket, the computer will heat up substantially. These are insulating materials and if there are standoffs on the bottom of the computer they will also be blocked from allowing air flow.

  32. Yogesh Unavane
    January 19, 2013 at 4:06 am

    Dual-Boot OR UBCD Live USB is the solution for me.

  33. Fabrice Soopramanien
    January 19, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Nice Article !! :P !!

  34. Patti Hogey
    January 19, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Great job covering the issues and pointing me in the right direction for solutions.Oh I am So glad I found MUO. Many useful comments as well.Thank you

  35. jim smith
    January 19, 2013 at 1:49 am

    The list, covers about everything that could ever happen to a computer.

  36. Zoe
    January 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I had a new video card be the cuplrit. But, didn't think that was it til after OS reinstall, 2 different Motherboards, hard drives, Memory, Power Supply, Audio, fans (thinking heat issues), mouse, drivers, etc. Even tried diagnostic software and PC fixing tools. The only left that was common to all was the then name-brand High-end video card.

    Tried different setups including different Bios settings, minimal setup and normal setup to try and track down the cuplrit and things would work fine, for several days.

    However, randomly the BSOD appears. It didn't matter what I was doing. (BSOD and memory dump which is annoying after first time seeing it.) There would be next to no warning. You'd maybe notice a screen-freeze and BSOD. I've seen video cards fail in different ways and you may get a warning, but not like this. So random. I'd take notes of the BSOD when possible and search but yielded no usable results. Last thing to try was a different Video card. Did that and it's been smooth sailing ever since.

  37. Larry
    January 18, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    If you want to find out about your BSOD, go to and download Bluescreenview. Its free and so are hundreds of great programs in most areas. This program will give you a huge amount of info on your BSOD.

  38. Edward Bellair
    January 18, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Good info and things to look at.

  39. Larry
    January 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Linux is for us tinkerers. Windows if for people who like to bootNgo. I like to experiment with software, so Linux is on a dual-boot with WIn7. Best of both worlds.

  40. Theresa Banks
    January 18, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing this information. This is a ongoing issue with my laptop. I've got to locate the problem. At times when I am searching the web, I receive an error message with a triangle/!, and my computer freezes to the point I have to remove the battery.

  41. earl
    January 18, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Linux doesn't crash, and pigs fly. All operatings syatems since they were developed by mankind have flaws, don't kid your self. The Wintel world jut has too many vendors of software and hardware and that is difficult.

    If you take Linux out of it's ,"Tested hardware," environment you'll get a real good idea of the instability that is no different than Windows. Linux users will just say well it's not supported. That is true but a crash is a crash.

    I will say though that even tested & approved hardware configurations of Windows crashes too much but when you are 98% of the market why would you commit resources and fix it, how is that going to make a profit?

    Instead you go out a nd do games, create an MSNBC, create a browser, create virtualization software, create, phones, create tablets, starrt manufacturing your own products to competer with your own customers, you know to put them out of business because therre are no more oportunities.

    The DOJ should have broken up MS years ago, and they would have focused on quality, they would have been forced to.

    Me I don't prefer LINUX & derivatives because it is way way to limited and requires lots of expert technical assistance to get it working. Though when you get it working it is the most reliable OS out there with the exception of Solaris. I will say this yes I have gotten Linus & Ubuntu installed on some hardware and it worked although it had strange things to resolve to get it to work. In other words, the installer was a HACK!

    Most consumers if all they want is e-mail and spreadsheets, word processing, web surfing could easily uses a Linux or Ubuntu box, but the integration becaomes an issue because most software doesn't run on it, that's the problem

  42. Mohit Agrawal
    January 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    And Also the overusage of the Memory can crash the windows...

  43. Paul Crousel
    January 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    multiboot can also cause Windows to crash, also perhaps installing virtual OS in Windows?

  44. Dale Miller
    January 18, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    The Overheating solution should be moved up the list. As the article stated power problems are last on the list. If the system is overheating it could just need a dusting out with some canned air. As one other poster mentioned periodic maintenance would keep this problem at bay.

  45. Antonio Iacobone
    January 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    While Win7 was absolutely stable, Windows 8 has some freezes with this error in the event log:
    Event 219, Kernel-PNP
    The driver \Driver\WudfRd failed to load for the device WpdBusEnumRoot\UMB\2&37c186b&0&STORAGE#VOLUME#.

    I want to underline that I switched to it from a few days...and yesterday I used windows update and did all updates available. Until now it seems stable...but I found this workaround on this site:

    - (opening an elevated priviledge command prompt and typing)
    bcdedit /set disabledynamictick yes

  46. Christine St Syr Griffin
    January 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Slap me and call me silly, I knew it, our old pc had many issues and I kept tellin everybody it started going crazy after a neighborhood blackout,I did not know to unplug everything and when the power came back it was like a mini explosion of power. Thank you for the other helpful tips also. Now I just have to figure out how to email this article directly to someone so I can say " ha, in your face". Christine

  47. Keith Swartz
    January 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Awesome, Good, GREAT Stuff!

  48. Larry Spiteri
    January 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I just downloaded CrystalDiskInfo on my computer running Windows XP. When I went to execute it I received the blue screen of death. I cannot uninstall it now because it's not in my add or remove programs. How do i uninstall it ? Please advise

  49. Bud
    January 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    ...............any wonder why people are going to other OS's ? MS IS the greatest "rip-off" in history !!! I dumped my PC 2-1/2 years ago and purchased an Apple iMac, except for a few "early-on crashes" due to my learning curve, it's humming right along, like a fine-tuned car! My monthly required updates in comparison to Windows, is like the difference between a distinct Mammoth and an ant in size. Zero bloat with my iOS.............thank you Steve Jobs..........belatedly !!!

  50. Arxadius Stark
    January 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I've found all the topics covered on this article the reason for BSoD. People really need to pay attention to their system.

  51. Anonymous
    January 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    (Why the f*** won't this site take blank lines, EVEN IF I've filled them with spaces????)

    • Tina Sieber
      January 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm


      You only see a preview of your comment right after it was submitted. When you reload the page, you'll see the properly formatted comment, including the lines. That's if it was auto-approved. If it went into moderation you won't see it until it was approved by a moderator (me). :)

  52. Anonymous
    January 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    One thing you're forgetting to mention on "motherboard problems" is that "capacitor plague" can cause windows to crash, or even not install at all. Windows, due to it's already inherent instability, will exhibit symptoms of capacitor plague before any other OS, but in the end, all will fail. It is possible to repair the motherboard (one deskside support group I was with did this on a regular basis), but it is a PITA process of replacing the bad capacitors, which is never fun on a board that was meant to be wave-soldered. Other than that, your only option is to throw the board out (and probably replace the entire system, as you likely won't find a replacement board that uses the remaining processor, memory and components).

  53. Shmuel Mendelsohn
    January 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks to MUO I know where to start looking!

  54. Michel Czerniuk
    January 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    So basically, everything.

  55. Daniel Dorilas
    January 18, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    i have this blue screen issue recently , i just change my ram memory and everythings is Ok now.

    Daniel Dorilas

  56. Kshitij Verma
    January 18, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Yes. In windows you spend half of your time installing updates, running system checkups and removing viruses.

    If you are trying to be productive on windows, you are going to have a bad time

  57. Kaal Dewar
    January 18, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Why Does Windows Crash? Because it's Windows! There's a good reason why the MacOS Logo is a Smiling face!

  58. Junil Maharjan
    January 18, 2013 at 7:26 am

    This is a great article that will help a lot of people in identifying their problems. But i haven't seen a blue screen in a long long time.

  59. Fakhruddin Ahmad
    January 18, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Those problem are basically happened on all OS, except the registry and viruses issues.

  60. Kirby
    January 18, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Could you add OS to the list? I have a laptop with XP installed and not once did it crash but when I started using Win7 I started experiencing blue screens once every two weeks or so running the same apps as before.

    • Imran Muhammad
      January 18, 2013 at 8:34 am

      Thank God. Windows 8 is here.

  61. Márcio Guerra
    January 18, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Nice article... Switched to Linux, but still need Windows for design software (or Mac) and this is a post to take note...


    Márcio Guerra

  62. Scott Macmillan
    January 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I agree.Likely a motherboard problem.

  63. Mike Case
    January 17, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Just remember- with Windows 8 now instead of the "Blue Screen of Death" it's the "Turquoise Screen of Death". Incomplete with no error codes and a frowny face.

  64. Mihovil Pletikos
    January 17, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    i didn't see blue screen for years now, except when i tried something too wild (too much overclocking etc....)

  65. Doc
    January 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    One important point was left out: Faulty software (and not drivers). Any badly written piece of software can cause a crash, BSOD or otherwise. A program that writes to memory that does not belong to it, or calls system APIs with faulty parameters, can cause any number of faults, from corrupted screen images to force closes ("This program has performed an illegal action and will be shut down.") to corrupted files, corrupted memory, or the dreaded BSOD.

  66. dragonmouth
    January 17, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Why does Linux run with no problems on the exact same hardware that Windows crashes on? Is it possible that an Operating System developed and maintained by volunteers is better written than one that is developed and maintained by highly paid hirelings?

  67. Stoyan Deckoff
    January 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    8 out of these 10 problems could be fixed if one goes he linux way. I have 4 PC, 3 ubuntu, one dual-boot. I dual-boot for gaming only, and this is changing, too :) LInux is the synonym of rock-solid, if you dont game, these is no reason to use windows.

  68. AP
    January 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Ofcourse you have pointed in right direction because twice I have faced this problem . For first time due to corrupt hard disk and second time due to a software problem.

  69. Nicola De Ieso
    January 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I have a four years old computer and in four years I had ten bsod at maximum. But sometimes the computer doesn't start and so I will change my computer in few months.

  70. Hélder Ricardo Pereira
    January 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I have Windows 7 crashing on a weekly basis so this article comes in good time. I'd love to know what going wrong, though I'm a bit sceptical about it being the hardware's fault. The same computer works just fine with Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc) without a single crash whatsoever, so it can't really be a broken RAM module or something like that, can it?

    • Florin Ardelian
      January 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      Smells like a broken driver, but I don't know anything about finding the exact issue and fixing it.

    • Dany Bouffard
      January 17, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Did you analyse the screen DUMP or use Bluescreenview and check the error message it give on google. Bluescreenview is a small utility that let you vew the content of the screen dump.

      • Hélder Ricardo Pereira
        January 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm

        Thanks, I will try Bluescreenview. I have already performed a memtest86+ and the RAM is fine, I have a Intel GMA with the updated Intel driver, and I installed a chipset driver Intel Driver Utility recommended just yesterday, so I'll see how it goes.
        The GNOME disks applications on Linux says my hardrive is OK, albeit with 80 damaged sectors.

        • Hélder Ricardo Pereira
          January 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm

          I tried Bluescreenview and Eureka! bdselfpr.sys, a process of my BitDefender antivirus is the culprit. I will uninstall it now and I'm thinking of downloading Microsoft Security Essentials. But I never thought that anti-virus messed up so much with the NT kernel. Thanks to everyone for the help.

      • Florin Ardelian
        January 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        Such a program exists? Thanks for the heads up, Danny!

  71. Paul Hays
    January 17, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    IMHO, the first bullet should be two - "Bad Memory Or Motherboard" goes two distinct directions. Should be discussed as such. Otherwise, good article.

  72. Paul Hays
    January 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    IMHO, the first bullet should be two - "Bad Memory Or Motherboard" goes two distinct directions. Should be discussed as such. Otherwise, good article.

  73. mahmoud elbanna
    January 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    the solution is to install linux

    • Carlo Vincente
      January 17, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      The solution is to do a periodic and good maintenance of your system. In 2 years using the same Windows 7, I´ve had not a single reinstall or blue screen.

      • Morgan Gibson
        January 17, 2013 at 9:21 pm

        Carlo I get a black screen sometimes when I do things that windows 7 does not like.

        • Andy Liu
          January 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

          Go Windows 8 then. Haven't seen BSOD so far.

        • Morgan GIbson
          January 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm

          I crashed it a few times the first day. I am not what you would call nice to OS I like to see how easy to kill. So I will just stick to my Win7 Ubunutu dual boot

        • Caroline West
          January 23, 2013 at 9:27 am

          My Windows 8 crashed and got the BSOD a few times within the first couple of days. But, touch wood, I managed to stop it and have been blue-free since. I did have it a lot on my Vista machine but never on my Win 7. I do think maintenance is a high must.

      • Thor Ulling
        January 23, 2013 at 12:10 am

        Good maintenance is important, but it will not rescue from a bad driver update, a HDD crash an so on. Got my HTPC messed up big time just a few weeks back because of a bad driver update. Got it back on track, but it took me a few hours to isolate the bad one.
        Regardless; - it happens least than once a year on my W7 64 bit, so I'm not messin' up a good OS by bringing in W8 before I'm 100% sure it's better than W7.

    • Florin Ardelian
      January 17, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Because Linux doesn't crash when your memory or disk are corrupt or when there's a broken piece of software installed or on when you get viruses or there are power issues. Right?

      The only thing that is particular to Windows in this article is the registry, everything else would fuck up any operating system.

      tl;dr You don't know what you're talking about.

      • RG
        January 18, 2013 at 1:49 am

        Not just registry, viruses too ;)

        • Florin Ardelian
          January 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm

          No. It's is wrong and very dangerous to say that. While the chances of getting a virus while running Linux are lower than the chances of getting one while running Windows, the viruses are still out there. I've tested this myself using a honeypot and was amazed how intelligent the rootkit was.

          tl;dr There are a lot of viruses for Linux, too, and it's not OK to joke about it being impenetrable to them.

        • Nothere
          January 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm

          All so, most Linux users don't use the root account for daily work (sudo su -). Almost every windows box I have had to work on, some user added themselves to the Administrator group, hence every program they ran had access to the lower parts of the OS.

          Before you can compare Linux to Windows, you first have to compare the users. There are race car drivers and then there are Sunday drivers, neither mix very well.

        • Florin Ardelian
          January 18, 2013 at 6:39 pm

          The Nothere comment is nested too deep and I can't reply directly to it. Since Windows Vista, the operations that need to access the "lower" parts of the system ask for permission from the user.

        • Nothere
          January 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm

          Florin, edit your hosts file and get back with me. This was a permissions problem in windows 7 - I'm on Linux now and unable to test, but sure the problem is still there, since I have heard others complain about it as well.

      • Carlos Llamacho
        January 18, 2013 at 4:17 pm

        Well, yeah Linux could crash but the chances of that happening are incredibly lower, and still then, there is, most of the times, a way to go around and fix whatever caused it.

        We don't see people on the Linux Help Forums about screens of death, or hangups... we usually see them talking about how to make something work.

        That should give a hint about stability.

        • Florin Ardelian
          January 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm

          Usable Linux distributions crash more often than Windows 7. The advantage of Linux is that if anything goes wrong there's always a way to fix it without the need for a reinstall. The main disadvantage to this is that if it breaks you need to be an expert to fix it. The second biggest disadvantage is that there are many distributions so most fixes may not work for you unless you're using a very popular distribution.

          I am a Linux user which happens to love Windows 7.

        • Dale Miller
          January 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm

          Well your some what correct. IF there is a hardware problem Linux will be more likely to crash. But it depends on the hardware problem. For the most part Linux is a very stable OS.
          Other than hardware problems I've never had my Linux systems crash, and I've been using Linux since before Ubuntu was thought of.