May 29, 2010

Blue Screen of Death Troubleshooting Tips

Certain types of hardware and software malfunctions on Microsoft Windows based computers often result in what is commonly known as the blue screen of death or BSOD. The blue screen with its white text does serve a purpose in that it provides detailed information regarding the nature and possible source of the system halting error. Listed below are some suggestions for troubleshooting BSOD errors.

A common source of blue screen errors is newly installed hardware and driver software that conflicts with the existing system configuration. Remove the new hardware to determine if it is the source. If the system boots normally after removing the new hardware then you may need to check with the manufacturer regarding system compatibility and any possible driver or other related software updates.

Defective or failing hardware could also be at fault. Failing hard drives, overheating processors or even faulty memory can all contribute to blue screens and system freezing. A good indication that a hard drive may be failing can be detected through the computers Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology or SMART function. The SMART feature will usually declare "Eminent hard drive failure detected, backup your data and replace" during the computers initial boot up process. The other area that can reveal eminent failure is the Windows event log. In the Windows event log look for disk related errors noting "bad block" or "i/o read error" instances. Backup your data as soon as possible if computer exhibits any of these indicators.

Another blue screen inducing component is faulty memory. Process of elimination is the easiest troubleshooting method if your computer has multiple memory modules installed. Start up the computer with only one memory module installed at a time and watch to see which one produces blue screens. Most new computer manufacturers include built-in memory diagnostics utilities that help to simplify the troubleshooting process. The memory test can usually be initiated from the computers boot options screen during the startup process.
Overheating processors on the motherboard or video cards can lead to system instability and random blue screen errors. Check your hardware for temperature monitoring features. Overheating can be alleviated by keeping the inside of your computer dust free. Canned air is usually the best option for blowing out dust from within the computer.

Know more about Blue Screen of Death [BSoD]

image source: Wikipedia
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