Nobody wants to see the famous blue screen of death, but with the help of these tips, it won’t be long before you return to normal
As the most popular desktop software on the planet, Windows 10 is vulnerable to problems from time to time.
One of the most important is the so-called ‘blue screen of death’, where ‘your PC has a problem and needs to restart’. This is very frustrating, as you know it will take time before you can start using your device again, if at all.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution here, so a combination of the following will most likely help you fix the problem.
Back up before you begin
We store a lot of important files on our computer – from family photos and videos, to important business documents – and these can all be lost very easily if you don’t make regular backups.
Even though you have to do this all the time, if you start having problems with your PC then making a backup should be a priority immediately. It’s frustrating to lose unnecessary valuable data, and the whole process can be completed in a very short time.
You can use a special backup solution – as found in our guide to the best backup software – or take advantage of one of the best cloud storage services.
Remake the problem
Very helpful to make notes about what you do and which programs run when you experience a blue screen. If you can rebuild the process and end up with a crash, then there is a high probability that one piece of software that you are using could cause problems.
However, knowing that the collision was not random, but caused by certain actions, can narrow the suspect.
For example, if you notice that every time you connect a printer via USB and try to print from Word you get BSoD, but if you print to PDF you don’t, then it makes sense to assume the printer is involved.
Check the code
With a blue screen there will sometimes be an error code displayed at the bottom of the message. Write this down, then search Google to see what the code represents.
Knowing what you are looking for will certainly make things clearer when diagnosing the problem.
What did you change?
One of the first things to investigate is whether you are making changes to your system. Usually this will be new software or updates for existing programs.
If a blue screen occurs when you use a program, or load it, it might be a good idea to uninstall the software and reinstall it.
You can also try using Google to see if there are other people with problems with the software version, and what solutions they found.
We have seen several cases in the past where Dodgy graphics card drivers have wreaked havoc on PCs. If you upgraded recently, and because of a crash, it might be worth returning to the previous version
Or, go to the forum on the manufacturer’s site to see if there are any problems with the update.
To delete a program or driver, you need to click the search area on the taskbar then type see the update that is installed and select the option that appears with that name.
Now it will be taken to the Control Panel where you can check the date of the driver and uninstall which might have caused a problem.
Another thing that is clear to check is that Windows itself is current.
To do this click on the Start button and click on the gear icon, then click Update & security. When the Update panel appears, click Check for Updates.
Check your hardware
If you are using a desktop PC, it might be a good idea to open your machine and ensure that all devices are installed correctly.
If the card is not fully pushed into the slot then there is an outside possibility that it can crash.
Of course if you have upgraded your graphics card, or maybe your RAM, more recently it will be something that needs to be investigated, because new hardware can cause problems.
If you are still experiencing problems, Microsoft has a guide to help with this specific problem.