The Most Common Blue Screen Errors on Windows 7, 8 and 10

BSOD errors mean that a kernel-mode process tried to execute an instruction that is incorrect or unknown to the processor. This error handler is a default error handler that catches errors not associated with other standard error handlers in Windows.

BSOD Error

Sometimes the system throws this error with stop code, e.g. 0x000000EA or with more descriptive one e.g.Volsnap.sys Blue Screen Error, which points to a specific file. BSOD error usually occurs to avoid severe damage to the system.

They are many different causes for the occurrence of the BSOD errors but most common are RAM or Hard Disk issues, incompatible firmware, corrupt drivers or malware infection, etc.

The Blue screen of death errors can be solved in many ways. But before moving on, you should

  1. Remove any piece of hardware that is not crucially required to startup the PC, for example DVD drives, Wi-Fi cards, etc.
  2. You should remove mouse and keyboard and plug them back in when they are required to communicate with the PC.
  3. Also, if you have a laptop with a removable battery, then remove the battery & then proceed just using the AC power.
  4. If you have more than one RAM in the system, then keep one RAM and remove all others.
  5. Clear USB ports. Also, clear the SD card slot as well.
  6. If you have more than one storage drive either SSDs or HDDs, remove all of them except the one which has OS on it.
  7. If you have a separate Graphics card, remove it and use the integrated graphics card.
  8. When you have solved the problem, then add removed hardware one after another to identify if any of the removed pieces of hardware were also part of the problem.
  9. If the system is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from performing the solutions suggested below. In that case, try to remove the problematic PC from the network for troubleshooting and bring it back into the network after troubleshooting.
  10. Make sure you have administrator access to the system.

Also, when this issue rises, some users can boot in the system and use the system for troubleshooting but some users cannot even boot in the system. If you cannot boot normally in the system then troubleshooting OS is not possible for a common user. In that case, the user should boot into the system using safe mode with networking, which is now a part of Automatic Repair Mode of Windows 10.

Solution 1: Try Windows Automatic Repair & Enable Safe Mode

In Safe Mode, the PC starts with a minimum set of drivers, services & Software. Usually, when Windows does not start in normal mode, Safe Mode can start without any problem. It will be quite helpful in troubleshooting the system and diagnose the problematic modules.

To use Safe Mode in Windows 10, you should get into “Automatic Repair Mode” which is available when the system fails to boot three times. When Windows doesn’t boot correctly, this Repair Mode screen pops up & Windows will attempt to fix the problem automatically.

To turn on the “Automatic repair mode”, boot the system and press the reset button to perform a Hard Shut Down when you view the windows logo and repeat it three times which will then enable the Automatic Repair Mode. On the 3rd start, you will be taken into the Automatic repair mode and then to the Recovery Environment where you can access Safe Mode, System Repair, Command Prompt etc.

  1. Ensure your PC is off.
  2. Press the power button to turn on your PC and when you see the Windows logo hold the power button down until PC shuts down automatically.
  3. Repeat the above two steps thrice.
  4. With the first three steps, we will bring up the Automatic Repair screen. If you’ve seen this screen for the first time, then there is no need to repeat the hard shutdowns.
  5. Then wait for Windows to diagnose your PC.
    Diagnosing Your PC
  6. When the “Startup Repair” screen appears and says it could not repair your PC, then Click Advanced options. This will bring up the Windows RE (Recovery environment) screen. If Startup reports that it was able to fix some problem, then restart the system to see if the problem is indeed fixed. If it isn’t, continue.
    Automatic Repair
  7. On the Windows RE (Recovery environment) screen, click on the “Troubleshoot”.
    Troubleshoot in Windows RE
  8. On the Troubleshoot screen, click Advanced options.
    Advanced options in Troubleshoot screen
  9. Click Startup Settings to continue.
    Startup Settings in Advanced Options
  10. Click Restart which will restart the system and another screen of “Startup Settings” will show up displaying a list of different startup options.
    Click Restart in Startup Settings
  11. On your keyboard, press the 4-number key if you want to enter Safe Mode without network. And the 5number key if you want to enter Safe Mode with network access. We will recommend using Safe Mode with Networking.
    Choose Boot Options

Now, as you are in safe mode backup your essential data to someplace safe. Also, create a restore point. For detailed instructions on creating a restore point, visit our article on How to Create a System Restore Point.

Keep in mind that if you cannot access the installed OS, then you should use installation media to perform the above steps. To create installation media and boot from it, please consult our article on How to Clean Install Windows 10.

Remember that you will need BitLocker Key in safe mode if you’ve encrypted your device. After creating the restore point and backing up your essential data, move to the next solutions.

Solution 2: Perform System Restore

Microsoft System Restore is designed to create a snapshot of the device & save the working state at that point as a “restore point”. A restore point is then used in reverting the system to an earlier point of time when everything was working fine. So, reverting the system to a previous time when your system was clear of the Blue Screen Error can solve the problem. You can use any of the restore points but restoring to the latest restore point is recommended. For how to restore the system please visit our article on How to Use System Restore.

After the system is restored and you are still facing the problem, proceed to the next solution.

Solution 3: Disable Anti-Virus and Firewall

Sometimes your security software can catch a system’s service as a false positive for being malware. So, it is always a good idea to temporarily disable the Anti-Virus and Security software while troubleshooting BSOD errors. You firstly should disable such software and if the problem is solved then you should either create an exception for the service if known to you or otherwise replace the Anti-Virus. For complete details on how to turn off/temporarily disable the Anti-Virus please check our article on How to Turn off Your Anti-Virus. Also, you can disable the Firewall by following guidelines given in our article How to Turn Off Firewall.

After disabling the Anti-Virus/Firewall check if the problem is solved and if you are still experiencing the blue screen after intervals, you can re-enable the Anti-Virus and proceed to the next solutions. Although it is okay to re-enable the Anti-virus software at this stage, we still recommend to keep it disabled during the rest of the troubleshooting process.

Solution 4: Check RAM for Errors

RAM is typically used to store working data and machine code. If the RAM is experiencing problems then the system can throw the Blue Screen Error. Windows has a built-in RAM testing utility known as Memory Diagnostic Tool. This tool checks and automatically fixes any memory-related issues. So, using the Memory Diagnostic tool can resolve the Blue Screen Error. Follow the steps below to run it:

  1. Press Windows Key and type “memory” and then in the results click on the “Windows Memory Diagnostic”.
    Windows Memory Diagnostic in Windows Search Box
  2. In the Diagnostic Tool, two options will be shown:
    • “Restart now and check for problems (Recommended)”
    • “Check for problems the next time I start my computer”
      Options of Windows Memory Diagnostic
  3. Once the system has restarted, you can perform a basic scan or you can select the “Advanced” options such as “Test mix” or “Pass count”. Simply tap the F10 key to start the test. When you select the option of your choice, the system will restart.
  4. At the next startup, your computer will boot into the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool Environment. Wait patiently for the process to complete.
    Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool Environment
  5. If the scan confirms that you’re dealing with a RAM issue, you have no other alternative other than replacing the faulty memory.

If no problems have been found and you are still encountering the Blue Screen Error, try the next solution.

Solution 5: Run SFC, CHKDSK, DISM Commands

The missing/corrupted/damaged system files or hard drives can cause Blue Screen Error. There is a built-in System File Checker (SFC) that can check and repair any problematic files, using the SFC tool to fix missing or corrupt system files may solve the problem.

Also, CHKDSK is a built-in Windows tool that verifies the file system integrity of a volume and will fix logical file system errors. So, running the CHKDSK tool may help solve the issue & fix it.

Moreover, Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM)is a tool that is used to scan and resolve issues of corrupted system files as well, and thus DISM can fix the Blue Screen Error if anything was missed by SFC and Chkdsk scan. We usually recommend users run the DISM command after they are done with the SFC and CHKDSK scan.

Firstly, we will run the SFC command and if that does not solve the problem, we will run the chkdsk command and then DISM command.

  1. Boot system in Safe Mode.
  2. Type cmd in the search bar on your desktop and right-click Command Prompt& select Run as administrator.
    Run Command Prompt as Administrator
  3. Copy & paste the following command in Command Prompt & press the “Enter“.
    sfc /scannow
    Run SFC Command
  4. Wait for the process to 100% complete.
    Completion of SFC Command
  5. Please be aware that this step can take time, so please be patient and let it complete. And then Restart the system and check if the problem is there.
  6. If the problem is still there then Boot the system in Safe Mode and Open Command prompt as Administrator (as explained in steps 1 and 2).
  7. Type (or copy and paste) the following command in Command Prompt. Then press Enter on your keyboard.
    chkdsk.exe /f /r
    Run CHKDSK Command
  8. Type Y in Command Prompt to confirm that you’d like to perform the disk check next time you restart your computer. Then press Enter. Then restart the system.
    Confirm to Run CHKDSK at next system restart
  9. The disk check will start after the system is booted. This disk checking scanning will not take time to complete but once any errors are detected then the fixing procedure can take HOURS to complete. Make sure you have enough time to spare.
  10. Once the disk check has completed then Restart the system and check if the problem is there.
  11. If the problem is still there then Boot the system in Safe Mode and Open Command prompt as Administrator (as explained in steps 1 and 2).
  12. Copy and paste the following command on the command line:
    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
    Run DISM Command
  13. If the DISM command can’t get files online, then you can use your installation USB/DVD, insert the media and then in the command prompt type the following command:
    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:RepairSourceWindows /LimitAccess
    
  14. Ensure you replace
C:RepairSourceWindows

With the path of your DVD or USB.

After the execution of the DISM command, reboot system normally and see if the problem is solved. If not, move to the next solution.

Note: If you cannot log into the OS, use the command prompt in the recovery environment of Windows.

Solution 6: Uninstall Conflicting Update

If the problem started to happen right after a particular update, then uninstalling that particular update can solve the problem. Windows is notorious for releasing unstable updates to the computer and then releasing a fix later on. We also came across some instances where a specific update was clashing with some applications/programs in the computer causing it to crash and displaying the Blue Screen of Death. To uninstall an update on your Windows, follow our article on How to Uninstall a Windows Update.

After uninstalling if you are still facing the Blue Screen Error, proceed to the next solution.

Solution 7: Rollback the Faulty Device driver

If the Blue Screen Error started to occur right after you updated your drivers, then rolling back that driver to its previous version may solve the problem. For this purpose, we can also use the built-in Windows utility to rollback faulty drivers.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys, type devmgmt.msc. This opens up the Device Management Console.
    Open Device Manager via Run Command
  2. In the Device Manager, expand the faulty Driver e.g. if we are having a problem with NVIDIA driver, then expand the Display adapters, right-click on your NVIDIA Adapter under this category and click Properties and then click the Driver
    Properties of Device in Device Manager
  3. In the Driver tab, click Roll Back Driver.
    Roll Back Driver
  4. If the confirmation dialogue comes up, click Yes to confirm the rollback. After this process is done, restart your computer to fully effect the changes.

Now after rolling back the driver see if the problem of Blue Screen Error is solved if not try the next solution.

Solution 8: Update Windows to the Latest Build

Many BSOD error messages that are encountered can be contributed to an outdated Windows Operating System. Checking Windows for updates can be a way to fix the issue of the Blue Screen Error. Even if Windows offer an optional update, install it.

  1. Press the Windows button and type Check for updates. Open the settings icon which returns as a result.
    Check For Updates in Windows Search Box
  2. Now, click on Check for updates.
    Check For Updates in Settings
  3. If updates are available, then install them.

If Windows Update failed to resolve the problem, please try the next solution.

Solution 9: Update Device Drivers

A missing/outdated/corrupted device driver is usually the most suspected to create a BSOD error in the system.  This faulty driver cannot communicate properly between the device and the system’s kernel, which will result in the BSOD error. To avoid this, you must keep your system’s drivers updated and it is an excellent practice to update your system’s drivers as soon as an update is available. So, to make sure that is not the case, let us update the device drivers of your system to the latest version.

  1. Follow the instructions on our article on how to boot your computer in safe mode.
  2. Once you are in safe mode, press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  3. Once in the device manager, expand the drivers one by one and click on Update Driver.
Update Driver in Device Manager
  1. Now there are two options. Either you can automatically update the drivers using Windows update or update them manually. Automatic update will search the Windows database against your hardware and download any latest drivers available for you.
Options for Updating Drivers in Device Manager
  1. Select the first option Search automatically for updated driver software for automatic updates and the second option Browse my computer for driver software for manually updating. If you are updating manually, first download the driver to an accessible location and browse to it to install.
  2. Restart your computer after updating all the drivers and see if this fixes anything.

Hopefully, the BSOD Error is solved, and you can use the system without any problem.

Expert Tip

The Most Common Blue Screen Errors on Windows 7, 8 and 10

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Reimage Plus which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage by clicking the Download button below.

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