So, you’re stuck at Windows blue screen telling you something about your problem being detected and windows shutting down and blah, blah, blah…
First of all, don’t panic if you’re looking at the dreaded BSOD. It’s just a temporary PC hardware or software problem, which can be resolved quite easily in more than one way. Well, it really depends upon your problem, but if there is no smoke coming from under the PC cover and you don’t smell anything suspicious – relax. I have dealt with the issue on XP as well as Windows 7 and never did I have to replace my motherboard, PS unit or anything else hardware like.
Blue screen errors are a common cause of hardware errors, which in turn are due to OS system errors. Here is the list of the most popular reasons and steps on how to fix the BSOD on Windows XP (some even work with Windows 7).
What causes blue screen of death:
1. Corrupted or missing system files.
2. Virus or any kind of malware infection that damages system files.
3. Accidental hardware malfunction or system error. It may occur during the accidental computer shutdown caused by a power failure. The reason could be anything from a minor glitch to a major OS system malfunction. Improperly removed hardware can also cause issues.
4. Newly installed hardware that is not supported by MS Windows. Graphics cards and RAM are the most common cause for this kind of fault.
5. Hard disk errors. It could be caused by bad sectors on your hard drive or minor software errors.
6. Removable devices. Anything from a floppy disk, SSD card to USB drives can cause the blue screen of death error.
7. Bad BIOS parameters. If you decided to “tweak” your BIOS, try to write down what you have changed, in case the BIOS tweaking scenario goes bust.
How to fix the blue screen of death on Windows XP; (Some will work even on Windows 7);
Fix no. 1
Restart your PC. If that doesn’t help, shut it down; take out the power cable along with all the keyboard, mouse, network, monitor and any other cables. Then press your power button for 10 seconds and put all the cables back in. If you have a laptop or netbook, try removing the battery, pressing the power button for 10 – 15 seconds and putting back the battery. Restart your PC – that should fix the problem.
Fix no. 2
If that won’t do, start your Windows XP in safe mode following the same steps with F8 or F5 or any other function key for the particular PC model.
After Windows XP loads up press “Start” – “All Programs” – “Accessories” – “”System tools” – “System restore”. Then check the option “restore my computer to an earlier time” and click next.
Select the second latest restore point date. If you’re not sure about the date the blue screen of death happened, you may choose earlier dates. Follow the onscreen commands and restart your computer.
Fix no. 3
If the second fix option doesn’t help, try using the windows XP recovery console. If you have it installed, then the option to use recovery console will be given each time the system boots up. Otherwise, you should use your windows XP installation disk.
Fix no. 4
Corrupted and infected files could as well be the cause of your PC not loading up. My recommendation is scanning your system with “Malwarebytes”, “Super antispyware” and “Spybot search and destroy”. All of them are free antivirus and antispyware programs which are pretty effective at what they do. As you won’t be able to start up your Windows XP from a hard drive, try using either a burned bootable CD for each of these antivirus programs or Hirens Boot CD. If you don’t have it, I recommend downloading it from here.
After the download:
- Burn it with Nero burner or whatever program you have and boot it from your CD-ROM at the PC start up. You should also make the CD-ROM the first boot device – just change the boot device priority in BIOS or by pressing F8, F11 or F5.
- When the Hiren’s boot CD loads up, select “Mini Windows XP” bar. Press enter.
- After the Mini Windows XP loads up, choose between the three mentioned antispyware and antivirus programs and run them to scan the system for possible infections and damaged files. You might want to update them, so make sure you have internet connection. Even if you don’t have it, run the scan anyway. There are dozens of other recovery and repair programs in Mini XP; you just have to use them smart. So far it’s been the no. 1 system repair tool for me.
Fix no. 5
Use the famous Hirens Boot CD and enter a DOS programs menu. This time choose the hard disk tools to perform a simple hard drive diagnostics. Most of the Hdd tools will also automatically repair your hard drive. You can use both the tools in DOS environment or in Mini Windows XP. A few repaired bad sectors may as well fix the blue screen error.
Fix no. 6
Shut down your PC, take out the power cable, open the side cover (if you’re using a desktop PC) and pull out the IDE or SATA cable from your hard disk. I would also suggest checking your RAM, video card, network and audio card slots. Take them out, clean the connectors with spirit and put them back in. Make sure you use proper RAM cards that are compatible with your motherboard. If your PC crashed during the new hardware installation, take it out and power your PC once again. Very often the problem is related to bad RAM cards, improper graphics or audio card installation.
Fix no. 7
I have been noticing not once that the malfunction would almost always happen with a newly bought computer hard drive or motherboard. I have managed to fix the problem just by changing BIOS hard drive controller settings to IDE/SATA compatible. It worked for me not once.
Fix no. 8
Check your existing drivers through device manager. If there are question and exclamation marks – maybe you just need to uninstall, reinstall or update your drivers. If the BSOD error ocured during the new driver installation – you got yourself the culprit. Uninstall the driver or try reinstalling it and powering up your PC once again. This may do the trick. Finally make sure that you are installing the proper drivers compatible with your operating system.
Fix no. 9
Perform a Windows XP repair install. The detailed instructions on that you may find in my later posts.
There may be other issues that I haven’t mentioned in my post, and if the problem still prevails after you’ve tried all 9 steps,, I suggest calling a computer technician and getting ready to dig in your pockets.