How to Interpret and Resolve Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) Errors in Windows

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is another name for Windows general protection fault error. The error is generated by the operating system and is generally followed by a system reboot. A BSOD indicates that one of your system processes crashed or terminated abruptly. It is divided into four parts, i.e. error name, troubleshooting advice, memory dump, and STOP code. The STOP code (displayed in hexadecimal form) helps to identify the cause of the error and the instructions above the STOP code (troubleshooting advice) are the recommended actions for identifying and fixing the problem.

BSODs can strike due to a number of reasons, such as applications errors, faulty device drivers, hardware conflicts, incorrect entries in system’s registry, hard disk corruption, and your computer’s memory. Such a screen may also show up if you have a bad processor or incorrectly terminated SCSI devices. When a BSOD is encountered, the operating system creates a memory dump. This is a file saved on your hard drive that contains information about the modules which were about to load before the crash. Memory dump is an important file for debugging purposes.

As a part of troubleshooting the problem, you should first recall the changes that you did to the system prior to receiving the STOP error. It is very likely that this change triggered the error. In this case, you need to undo those changes and then restart the system. You can undo the changes manually or use the ‘System Restore’ feature. In addition to this, check the available space on your Windows partition. If this partition contains insufficient free space, a range of problems can occur, including data corruption.

You can check for hardware failures by performing hardware diagnostics tests. Also, make sure that the drivers for the hardware are up-to-date. To fix hardware failures, you should replace the damaged hardware component and update the hardware’s firmware. If you find that the problem occurred due to a software issue, you should reinstall the program or try another best alternative. If you have no luck here and the error pops up again, boot the system using the ‘Last Known Good Configuration’ option. This will help you automatically undo all changes done since the last time the system rebooted properly.

If your PC restarts immediately after the occurrence of a BSOD, disable the automatic restart on system failure option in ‘Startup and Recovery’ section after double-clicking ‘System’ in Control Panel. In case all the above tips and recommended fixes fail, you should contact Microsoft Support.