The blue screen error is a severe fault in Microsoft Windows operating system. It refers to the screen image with white words on a blue background displayed when the operating system encounters the underlying fault that it cannot handle in the process of operation. Blue screen errors are more harmful than other software failures, causing immeasurable damage to the operating system itself and the data stored in the computer.
This article describes 15 solutions, most of which are very simple to operate. But it also provides a way to diagnose blue-screen errors by analyzing dump files, which requires advanced computer skill. With these 15 solutions, you will be able to solve most of the blue screen problems.
The principle of blue screen error
The blue screen is the result of Windows executing a crash function called “KeBugCheckEx”. When Windows encounters incompatible hardware and drivers, problematic software, viruses, etc., it faces a difficult choice. In order to avoid a greater risk, it will stop running Windows and performed the function. Then Windows will switch to VGA graphics mode with the lower resolution, and then draw a blue background, display stop code, and follow behind some helpful diagnostic error of key information to the user. At this point, what is shown to the user is the “blue screen” interface commonly known as.
Reasons of blue screen error
The causes of the blue screen of death fall into two broad categories: hardware and software.
Bad hard disk sectors, Memory fault, or even bad contacts, unstable power or current, and OVERHEATING of the CPU can all cause the blue screen of death. Hardware that needs to be connected through an external interface, such as a USB network card, can also create a blue screen. Part of the blue screen caused by hardware failure can be solved by restarting and replacing the hardware.
There are more cases of blue screen caused by software. Let’s categorize them as follows:
• System files are damaged, missing or find errors, including DLLS, SYS, DAT, etc., which can be solved by replacing or repairing files;
• Some system updates cause a blue screen, which can be resolved by uninstalling the update;
• Hardware drivers, the most common are video card, sound card and network card drivers. These drivers may cause blue screen due to design defects. The blue screen caused by drivers can often be solved by rolling back/updating version. The blue screen can enter safe mode to unload abnormal drivers. If none of the safe modes can enter, you can cooperate with Dism ++ to unload through Win PE environment.
• The operating system itself has defects and errors. In the preview version of the Windows 10 operating system, for example, the addition of new features caused some compatibility glitches, causing the blue screen
• Third party software. Some third party software may conflict with system tasks, resulting in the interaction of blue screen or two software, which can generally be solved by uninstalling or changing Settings.
• Defects and errors in the design of third-party software. It’s called a BUG.
Overall, third-party software and drivers account for most of the blue Screen of death.
Solutions to solve the BSOD
The causes of the blue screen error are complex, involving advanced knowledge of Windows OS, resulting in ordinary users can not deal with. You may need professional software or direct help from a professional technician. But there is a pattern to most blue screen situations.
In this article, I will provide 15 solutions to help you understand the reasons for the blue screen, and to get their own solutions. As mentioned above, most blue screen errors are caused by incompatible or faulty hardware, drivers, or applications. We can try some general solutions first. In addition, you can seek help in some professional forums. If you can’t solve the problem, you can also turn to after-sale service.
1. Disconnect all non-essential peripherals
You can unplug non-essential peripherals before adopting any of the following solutions, as many of the Blue Screen of Death problems are due to hardware corruption or incompatibility.
We can unplug the non-essential hardware first, such as an external DVD drive, a USB wireless card, an external hard disk, a separate video card, an external sound card, etc.
Then check if the blue screen problem occurs again. If not, it indicates that there is a problem with one of the hardware. You just need to replace the hardware.
2. Go to Windows Recovery Environment for repair
For the majority of blue screen errors, you can fix them without booting into WinRE. However, If you also happen to be unable to access your computer after a blue-screen error, these solutions are available.
We can first try the automatic repair feature. If you’ve ever been unable to access your operating system after multiple reboots, you’ve probably seen this interface before.
Generally speaking, you will see this interface after you have repeated the forced shutdown three times. So today we can also use this fix mode to handle blue screen errors.
1. Turn off your computer and turn it back on. As soon as you see the Windows logo, press the power button until the computer shuts down.
2. Repeat the previous shutdown and boot operation three times.
3. After turning the machine on and off several times, you will see a message on the screen saying “Diagnosing your PC“. You just have to wait for the diagnosis to complete, and generally for minor errors, they can be fixed. If you’re lucky, the blue screen problem can also be solved this way.
But when the repair screen says “Automatic Repair couldn’t repair your PC“, click on the Advanced options and go to the Windows Recovery Environment interface.
For Windows operating system, in order to diagnose and fix various problems when the system cannot be started properly, the Windows Recovery Environment tool has been enabled since Windows Vista, and it is installed in the hidden partition before the system partition by default.
WinRE has a number of important features that can help you restore your system, repair startup issue, fix damaged system files, reset your system, and uninstall update patches.
There is also an easy way to get into the Windows recovery environment. If you already have a Windows installation media or USB boot disk, you can restart the computer and then set the BIOS option to boot from the USB boot disk. Click the “Repair your computer” option in the lower left corner, so that we can also enter the Windows Recovery environment.
Then click Troubleshoot.
In the Troubleshoot screen, click Advanced options.
Here you can then see various tools for diagnosing and fixing computer errors, such as System Restore, System Image Recovery, Startup Repair, Command Prompt, and Startup Settings.
2.1 Perform System Restore
If you have System Restore enabled on the computer, you can use this feature to undo any previous changes that might cause a blue screen error.
We click the System Restore option and go to the next screen.
We can see here that all the system restoration points have been saved. We can choose the nearest one. In addition, there is a “Scan for affected programs” option to determine which applications will be affected after system restoration. After confirming the changes, we click Next and then click Finish. The system then automatically restores all changes to the system settings, applications, drivers, and so on to a specified point in time.
2.2 Enter Safe Mode for repair
If system restore does not solve your problem, there is another common solution to the blue screen problem. We can go into Safe Mode to uninstall any drivers that might cause Windows blue screen errors and undo some system changes.
Safe Mode is a built-in Windows mode that starts a computer using only the core drivers, system services, and the necessary software. In other words, it doesn’t load a lot of unnecessary drivers or programs, so we can check for blue screen errors caused by drivers in this way.
As for how to get into safe mode, please refer to the operation to get into the Windows Recovery environment mentioned earlier. Then in the Advanced Options screen we select the Startup Settings and click Restart.
The computer will then automatically restart to the Startup Settings page and display a list of different boot options.
We usually choose ‘4’ to go into safe mode, but you can also choose ‘5’ to go into safe mode with network if you need. Then type in the corresponding number.
The computer will then automatically boot into safe mode. Then we can do the following. To better identify the problem, it’s a good idea to recall what you did before the blue screen happens, such as whether you updated the system, drivers, installed new apps, or made any major system changes. In this way, we can take more effective measures for different situations.
2.2.1 Uninstall the latest system updates.
Enter the Control Panel in the Start menu and enter the Control Panel program.
Select uninstall a program.
Click ‘View installed Updates’ in the main pane.
Then find the latest system update, and right-click to select Uninstall.
2.2.2 Uninstall the faulty driver
Sometimes the updated drivers may be incompatible with the system or have bugs, so we can uninstall them first.
1. Press Win + X keys. Select Device Manager from the menu that pops up.
2. Among all the devices, we select a device, expand that branch, right click on the device, and select Uninstall device from the menu.
It should be noted that most of the blue screen errors are related to the graphics driver, so we have priority to uninstall the graphics driver. Finally restart the computer to see if the problem has been solved.
2.2.3 Uninstall the problematic application
Sometimes you have applications installed, but they may conflict or be incompatible with Windows. When we launch these programs, the blue screen will appear. Normally this blue screen will not cause the system to fail to boot, so it is easier to solve, we just need to uninstall these applications
1. Open Settings > Apps, and then click Apps & features tab.
Select the most recently installed application that you find problematic, and click Uninstall.
2.2.4 Uninstall quality or functional updates
Some quality or feature updates of Windows often cause blue screen errors. We resolve the blue screen problem by uninstalling these updates. More conveniently, the Windows Recovery environment provides the option to uninstall these updates. Of course, if your computer is still running, follow the steps above to uninstall these updates in the control panel.
After we enter the Windows Recovery environment, select Uninstall Updates.
Then there are two options: Uninstall the latest quality update and Uninstall the latest feature update. We can choose one of them to continue. Then see if the blue screen problem has been solved.
3. Disable Anti-Virus and Firewall
In most cases a blue screen problem does not cause the system fail to boot. So we can also try these common solutions to blue screen errors.
Antivirus and firewall programs are very important to protect the system, but because these programs involve the bottom layer of the system, often cause some programs or services can not run normally and blue screen problems, we can disable these antivirus and security software.
The antivirus program installed on most users’ computers is Windows Defender. Here’s how to turn off Windows Defender and the Firewall.
Click on the Start menu and go to Settings > Update & Security,
Then go to Windows Defender, and then we need to toggle to Off under the Real-time protection section and that’s it.
How do I close the Windows Firewall? Click the Start menu, then type firewall, then select Windows Defender Firewall, and then select Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off Option in the left pane.
Then, in the following screen, check the firewall to close both private and public networks.
4. Check RAM for Errors
Memory is usually used to load various applications and system services, and in some special cases, memory problems can occur, which can cause the system to suddenly have a blue screen error. Windows also provides a very convenient memory diagnostic tool to test the memory.
We click the Start menu, then type memory, and select Windows Memory Diagnostic from the candidate results.
Two options appear on the pop-up screen, one to Restart now and check for problems, and the other to Check for problems the next time I start my computer. We can choose the first one, remember to save your various working files, the system will automatically restart next.
This process may take a long time, and you can see the progress bar for the diagnosis.
In general, diagnostic tests are done with the default options of the tool. Of course, you can also select “Test Mix” from the execution screen by pressing F1:
• Basic: The basic tests include MATS+, INVC, and SCHCKR (cache enabled).
• Standard: Standard tests include all basic tests, plus LRAND, Stride 6 (cache enabled), CHCKR3, WMATS+, and WINVC.
• Extended: Extended tests include all standard tests, plus MATS+ (cache disabled), Stride38, WSCHCKR, Wstrid-6, CHCKR4, WCHCKR3, ERAND, Stride6 (Cache disabled), and CHCKR8.
After the execution, Windows will automatically restart and return to the login screen. We can view the diagnosis in the system log.
1. Press Win + X keys or type EventVWR in Run to open the event viewer.
2 Navigate to Windows Logs > System, and click Find in the right pane
Type MemoryDiagnostic in the find box and click Find Next. Then double-click any result to see the details.
If the system log shows that there is no memory problem, then we need to look at other problems, but if there is a memory error, then we can only fix this problem by replacing the memory.
5. Run SFC, CHKDSK, DISM Commands
In addition, lost and damage system file or disk error, can also cause blue screen problems. Windows provides several tools for fixing system file and disk problems.
One is the SFC. SFC is a system file check tool that can fix most system file corruption problems.
1. Open the Start menu, search for the command prompt, right-click it and select Run as administrator.
2. Enter the following command, then press Enter.
After that, the SFC will scan all the files in the system and repair all the damaged system files. This process usually takes a long time and you need to wait patiently.
The second is DISM (Deployment Servicing and Management), which is also a tool for scanning and repairing system files. It supports repairing system files both online and using Windows installation media.
Enter the following command. DISM will then connect to the Windows Update server and download and replace any corrupted files in the local image for Windows.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
However, if you cannot use this command to get the normal system files online. You need to have a local image or a Windows boot disk. We can load a local image with a virtual CD drive or insert a USB boot disk.
Then enter the following command, taking care to replace the partition symbol with the symbol of your local image or USB boot disk.
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:D:RepairSourceWindows /LimitAccess
In addition to system file corruption, another common error is corruption of the hard disk file system or sector errors. We type the following command at the command prompt, and then click Enter.
chkdsk.exe /f /r
Then type Y, and the computer will check the disk itself the next time it reboots. If it detects a disk error, it will fix it automatically.
Of course, it is important to note that disk checking takes a lot of time, sometimes even hours to complete, at which point you need to be patient.
6. Update Windows to the Latest Build
Although Windows system is very stable, there are still some uncertain issues in some versions, which can cause blue screen problems, especially in some Windows 10 previews. We just need to upgrade to the latest version of Windows.
Click the Start menu, select Settings, and then select Update & Security.
After you click Check for updates, Windows will automatically search for updates, download and install them.
7. Update Device Drivers
In some cases, after updating the system, the old drivers may not be compatible, and we usually need to update the device drivers.
If your computer doesn’t start properly, refer to the safe mode above to install driver updates.
Updating the driver is also very simple, you can refer to the steps above, go to the Device Manager, select a device and right-click to select the update driver.
Then two options will pop up, the first is to automatically search for the latest driver, the second is to browse the local computer driver folder, we usually select the first can be.
8. Doing a clean installation
If your computer still has a blue screen after using all the above solutions, the best solution is to reinstall Windows. Remember to back up all important data before doing so. Then follow these steps to reinstall Windows:
1. Make a Windows boot disk. You can do this using the Windows Media Creation Tool. It’s often easier and faster to make Windows installation media using USB.
2. Insert the Windows boot disk, and then set the BIOS to boot from the boot disk.
3. After entering the interface of Windows Installation program, click Next.
Click Install Now.
Then enter the product key or you can click “I do not have a product key”, and activate the Windows computer after installation.
4. Select the version you have already purchased, and then click Next.
5. Check I accept the license terms and click Next.
6. Click Customize: install Windows only option.
7. Then you will see all the partitions in the computer, we just need to delete the partition where the Windows system is located, so that the data of other partitions will be preserved. You can then select the drive marked Drive 0 Unallocated Space and click Next. Of course, if all of the partitions are backed up and you want to recreate the partitions, you can choose to delete all of them and create a new partition. Finally, install.
The installation process takes some time and you just have to wait for the Windows to be installed.
9. Search for help online
The blue screen that appears on our computer is almost certain to have been encountered by someone before, and most of the problems that have occurred have solutions, so searching online or asking for help is a very effective way.
The search keyword is termination code, and in forums, especially Microsoft’s official community, there have long been a number of excellent posts to help the seeker answer all sorts of strange blue screen questions. These posts analyze accurately, have detailed steps, and have been discussed for years.
10. Accurate analysis of dump file
Since a termination code can contain dozens of error causes, sometimes it is difficult to fix some problems through online tutorials. In this case, if the Dump/ DMP file is used to analyze the cause of blue screen, it will save a lot of time and solve the problem as soon as possible. With more accurate information, solutions are easier to find.
Dump/DMP files: Dump files are memory images of processes with the suffix “.dmp “, and can be used to debug drivers by storing the execution state of a program in a Dump file via a debugger. The Windows Blue screen instant also generates a DMP file, storing the time, termination code, possible triggers, memory address, and other information associated with the blue screen.
Most of the DMP files generated by the blue screen are stored under the path of “C:\Windows\Minidump”. There are many tools to analyze the DMP files. Here we share the most representative two: WinDBG and BlueScreenView in turn. Each can load a DMP file, read parameters such as stack information, and analyze key parameters to roughly or precisely infer the problem.
Although the basic functions of the two software are the same, there are also differences.
The following will be compared in terms of the degree of graphics, operational convenience, intuitiveness, ease of use and so on.
Take the DMP file found on my computer as an example to see the use and analysis process of these two software.
After the software is installed, open the software as follows.
(2) Set up symbol table
Symbol table is the equivalent of WinDBG “database”, WinDBG symbol table can hardly analyze much valid information. After running the software, click [File→Symbol File Path…] Or press the shortcut key [Ctrl+S] to pop up the setting dialog box to address the symbol table.Paste the below code in and click OK.
Note: The red font is the symbol table local storage path, which can be customized.
(3) Load DMP file
We know that the DMP File generated after the blue screen is stored in the path of “C:\Windows\Minidump”. After running the software, you can Open a DMP File by using the shortcut key [Ctrl+D], or click [File→Open Crash Dump…]. To open.
If you want to open the second DMP file but the previous file has not been analyzed yet, you can use the shortcut [Shift+F5] to close the analysis record of the previous DMP file.
(4) Analysis document
We select one of the DMP files to open with WinDBG.
After opening, the following data were obtained through analysis:
Let’s interpret a few sets of data that are easy to understand and relatively critical:
System Uptime: System Uptime. This data tells you how long after the crash occurred. As shown in the figure above, there is a blue screen of death at 0 minutes and 48 seconds on 0 days. Based on the current boot time of the new computer, about ten seconds can be judged as the basic boot blue screen, otherwise there is a crash in the process of use.
BugCheck: Error check code. Also known as a shorthand for termination code or error code, 0x00000139 on MSDN is often denoted as 139 or 0x139. Because of early software development, it doesn’t match the descriptive termination code of Windows 10, but it’s useful information.
Probably caused by: Not every DMP file analyzes this item to make sense, but this time it’s lucky that the data value is a driver file called rndismp6.sys. This means that it is very likely that a driver problem has caused the blue Screen of death. After inquiry, it was found that the blue screen was caused by the driver error when the mobile phone Shared the network through RNDIS device. After updating the driver and making some compatibility changes, it was solved.
! Analyze – v: Analyze the command in detail. Of course, not every analysis will result in a value that can be inferred directly from the cause, but if you get a value that is unknown or does not have much reference, you can use this command to further analyze the cause of the error. Can be directly clicked to run.
The results after operation are as follows:
The result of running this command contains the previous result, along with some more detailed data to help determine if the crash count, crash process name, stack text information, and so on.
At this point, combined with the data obtained from the first analysis and the second detailed analysis, we can solve the majority of the blue screen.
Compared with WinDBG display data in the form of text, BlueScreenView is more straightforward, “to class database query”, through the form of the data shows, the enumeration collapse the stack memory address, may lead to the collapse of the driver, the module will be the red appear above, and version information, such as product name, file version, company, and the file will be extracted. You can also load DMP files in other locations by changing the path to the folder in [Options → Advanced Options].
Double-clicking on the DMP file in the list above will bring up information similar to WinDBG, and double-clicking on the file name in the lower pane will do the same, making the operation easier.
BlueScreenView is more intuitive and convenient, and the data obtained is mostly the same as WinDBG.
What’s more, BlueScreenView is particularly interesting because it simulates XP blue screen graphics, but because the software hasn’t been updated for a long time, Windows 8 and beyond doesn’t support blue screen graphics.
10. Reset the system
After doing almost everything you can, the final solution is to reinstall or restore the system. Even though it is expensive to reinstall a system that has been in use for a long time, it can be reinstalled, migrated, installed, and customized in one night. Cloud synchronization is faster. In the face of frequent blue screen errors, the reinstallation system can solve 90% of the problems. Also, remember to back up your data.
11. Ask for help from after-sales service
If you try everything, including reloading, and it still doesn’t work, or it’s almost certain to be a hardware problem, leave it to the aftermarket.
Contact the way of after-sales service is very simple, the body or packaging box will generally have after-sales contact, directly to the store is also possible; If you search “brand + support/Support” on the Internet, you can also easily find the brand technical support interface. There must be after-sales contact information. If you tell or fill in SN code on the web page, you can automatically determine the type and date of warranty, and then apply for corresponding after-sales service.
Lenovo, Dell and some brands of high-end products are very good after sales, the products with door-to-door are basically 24-hour online/telephone customer service, 24 hours will also be arranged to the door. Most of the other brands also support personal repair, if there are after-sales outlets in the city is a good thing, if there is no repair can be sent. This approach may be less time-sensitive, but it will certainly solve the problem, and save time.
12. Switch from Windows to Mac [optional]
If you can’t stand the blue-screen problem, here’s an alternative: Switch from Windows computer to a MAC since the blue screen error won’t show up on Mac.
At the end
A blue screen failure can be fatal to both users and the operating system. Whatever the cause, it can lead to unpredictable losses. The operating system can be reinstalled, but the documents lost or damaged during the period cannot be recovered. Therefore, it is suggested that users who have encountered blue screen failures pay special attention to it, and seek help in time when the system has blue screen failures, and use various auxiliary tools to solve the problems, so as not to let blue screen failures happen again