Many errors on Windows can easily be surpassed, overridden, or dealt with in a minute because not every error affects everything on your system. If a video game malfunctions, you will only receive errors when you want to play the specific game and your computer’s performance probably won’t be affected if you don’t run the game.
Blue Screens of Death, on the other hand, are system errors which freeze your computer immediately and you are not able to continue using it until you restart. Some of them even persist after you restart your computer and you are not able to use it at all, being forced to start Windows by using a recovery DVD or USB drive. Let’s find out about this particular issue!
This error can be causes by a large variety of different things which means there are also multiple solutions to the problem which need to be checked in order to make sure there is nothing left to do. The problem is not impossible to solve and it’s often a result of poor handling of certain aspects of your PC. Follow the instructions below in order to deal with this issue.
1. Update Your Drivers
Users who have been struggling with the same issue you are dealing with usually ended up having to update one or more of their drivers because that is what the error message is usually related to. There are some methods of finding out which driver caused the issue so follow the instructions below in order to find out.
- Right-click on This PC, and then click on Properties.
- Click the Advanced tab, and then under Startup and Recovery, click Settings (or Startup and Recovery).
Under System Failure, click to select the check boxes for the actions that you want Windows to perform if a system error occurs:
- The Write an event to the System log feature specifies that event information is recorded in the System log file. By default, this option is turned on. To turn off this option by modifying the registry, type the following information at a command prompt, and then press the Enter key:
wmic recoveros set WriteToSystemLog = False
- The Send an administrative alert option says that administrators are notified of the system error if you have configured administrative alerts.. To turn off this option by modifying the registry, type the following information at a command prompt, and then press the Enter key:
wmic recoveros set SendAdminAlert = False
- The Automatically restart feature specifies that Windows automatically restarts your computer. By default, this option is turned on. To turn off this option by modifying the registry, type the following info at an administrative command prompt, and then press the Enter key:
wmic recoveros set AutoReboot = False
Under the Write Debugging Information, select the type of info that you want Windows to record in a memory dump file if the computer stops unexpectedly:
- The Small Memory Dump option records the smallest amount of information to help analyze the issue. To specify that you want to use this dump file by modifying the registry, type the following information at a command prompt and make sure you tap the Enter key:
wmic recoveros set DebugInfoType = 3
- To accept that you want to use the D:\Minidump folder as your Small Dump Directory by changing the registry, set the MinidumpDir Expandable String Value to D:\Minidump. For example, copy and paste the following information at a command prompt, and click Enter.
wmic recoveros set MiniDumpDirectory = D:\Minidump
- The Kernel Memory Dump option records only kernel memory. This option is capable of storing more information than a small memory dump file, but it takes less time to create itself than a complete memory dump file.
There are other options as well but we recommend you use the Small Memory Dump option as it’s small in size but it still contains enough information for you to solve your issue. Additionally, you will need to use this option in order to read and open the minidump file properly.
Let’s find out just how to open and read the minidump file. You will need to download a certain tool made available by Microsoft. Firstly, it was a part of the Debugging Tools for Windows but Microsoft decided to create a standalone package.
- Visit this website in order to download Windows Driver Kit. You can also download WinDbg as a standalone package which is actually the only tool you will need.
- Download the installer and follow the instructions on screen in order to install it properly.
- Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
- Change to the Debugging Tools for Windows folder. To do this, type the following at the command prompt, and then press ENTER:
cd c:\program files\debugging tools for windows
- To load the dump file into a debugger, type one of the following commands, and then press ENTER:
windbg -y SymbolPath -i ImagePath -z DumpFilePath kd -y SymbolPath -i ImagePath -z DumpFilePath
- If you decided to save the file in the C:\windows\minidump\minidump.dmp folder, you can use the following sample command:
windbg -y srv*c:\symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols -i c:\windows\i386 -z c:\windows\minidump\minidump.dmp
- Check the file for any errors and bugs related to system files and make sure you google each file next to the error message to make sure it’s a driver or a part of a certain third-party app.
If you actually find out that you are struggling with a specific driver, you may need to uninstall or update the certain driver, no matter what its purpose is on your computer, as long as you want to stop seeing the BSOD. Follow the steps below in order to do so.
- Click Start and type Run. Select Run, A Run dialog box will appear.
- Type “devmgmt.msc” in the run dialog box and click the OK button. This opens Device Manager immediately.
- In Device Manager, expand the category where you think the driver or device that is causing the issue is located. Make sure you perform a Google search of the problematic file in the Minidump which will probably show the exact name of the device. When you locate the device, right-click on it and choose the Uninstall device option from the context menu.
- You may be required to confirm the uninstallation process. Check the box next to “Delete the driver software for this device” option and click the OK button.
- Restart your computer for the change to take effect. After restarting, Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver and replacing it with the manufacturer’s driver.
- If Windows doesn’t replace the driver automatically, open Device Manager again, select the Action menu and click on the Scan for hardware changes option.
2. Disable or Uninstall Suspicious Programs
Sometimes the BSOD can be triggered by a program or an application which is not harmful or it was not created with that purpose but something simply went wrong and now it causes your computer to crash. It may not even be the application’s fault but yours actually because you didn’t update your PC or the app.
- Check your computer for recently installed programs. Some of the programs which are known to cause the BSOD are Malwarebytes, Kaspersky Anti-Virus and NetLimiter. If you have installed these programs or some of the ones which may have triggered the error, it’s time to remove them.
- If you are using Windows OS older than Windows 10, type “msconfig” in either the Search bar or the Run dialog box, and navigate to the “Startup” tab.
- If you are using Windows 10, use the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC key combination in order to open Task Manager and navigate to the “Startup” tab.
- Uncheck the program from starting and the Blue Screen of Death should seize to appear now.
If you don’t see the program in the startup windows, the best solution may simply be to uninstall it once and for all. Uninstalling the program doesn’t mean you can’t use it but it may be for the best to only use the latest version available.
Uninstalling Programs on Windows 10
- Click on the Start menu button located at the bottom left part of your desktop.
- Select the Settings app by clicking on the gear icon above the Power button in the Start menu.
- Select the Apps section in the app.
- Select the suspicious program from the list of installed apps and then click on its Uninstall button.
- Follow the instructions displayed on screen to complete the uninstall process.
Uninstalling Java on Previous Versions of Windows
- Click on the Start menu located at the bottom left part of your screen.
- Select Control Panel from Start menu and switch the View by option to Category.
- Select Uninstall a Program under the Programs section.
- Select the suspicious program from the list of installed programs by clicking on it, and then click its Uninstall button.
- Follow the instructions on screen to complete the uninstall wizard.
Note: The type of programs which trigger the issue most often are anti-virus programs, security scanners, etc. Leaving your computer unprotected is definitely not recommended so make sure you don’t forget to reinstall the previous anti-virus program or to find an alternative which won’t trigger the Blue Screen of Death.
3. Keep only one antivirus
This issue can be triggered if you have installed multiple anti-viruses on your system as they can conflict with each other. So we suggest you uninstall all the antiviruses and then install one antivirus that suits your needs. Keep in mind, that you will have to reinstall the antivirus you chose to keep.
4. Update Your Computer
This solution may look and sound simple but it’s something that needs to be taken care of before you start considering your issue to be quite serious. Other Windows OS users have reported that the error occurred to them on a regular basis even though everything else seemed to work for them and they didn’t overclock their system, their drivers were up to date, etc.
Updates on Windows 10 are usually handled and checked for automatically but you can also check for new updates from the Settings app.
You can check for updates manually by following the steps below:
- Use the Windows Key + I key combination in order to open Settings on your Windows PC. Alternatively, you can search for “Settings” by using the search bar located at the taskbar.
- Locate and open the “Update & security” section in the Settings app.
- Stay in the Windows Update tab and click on the Check for updates button under the Update status in order to check whether there is a new version of Windows available.
- If there is one, Windows should proceed with the download process automatically.
If, for some reason, Windows 10 does not supply updates to you automatically, you can always try using the Media Creation tool in order to update your computer while preserving all of your personal files, settings, and installed apps. This process can be somewhat advanced but it will probably solve your issue if you remain patient:
- Click on this link in order to go to Microsoft, and click on the Download tool now button located at the Microsoft’s site in order to download the Media Creation Tool.
- Download the MediaCreationTool.exe file to your desktop or some other convenient location and run it.
- If the UAC (User Account Control) pop-up message appears, click Yes and follow the instructions in order to install the tool correctly. It shouldn’t be difficult.
- The Upgrade this PC now option should appear immediately so choose it and click next. Windows 10 will start downloading if there are pending updates for your particular build.
- The Download and install updates option can be selected by choosing it and clicking on Next. You should read the license terms before clicking either the Accept or Do not accept option. Note that you will have to agree to the terms if you want to proceed with the install process.
- When the tool gets ready, you will be prompted with the option to choose the Install option which will start the repair install of your computer.
- The Windows 10 Setup tool will now start the update process needed to update your installation of Windows. Note that the process can sometimes be quite long, especially if you haven’t updated your device in a while.
- Your computer will proceed to boot to the login screen after the installation and reparation process is over. You will probably need to reset your time and date settings before proceeding with your device.