If you use your computer long enough, chances are you will eventually see the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), the error screen that Windows flashes before restarting when a serious issue occurs. There can be several causes behind the blue screen, but a few remain the most likely suspects.
To make sure you never have to see a BSOD again, caused by a “STOP error” and making you lose data in a split second, don’t bother fixing the error yourself. We have some easy methods to prevent a blue screen in the first place. In this guide, we will outline 5 must-know tips for avoiding the Blue Screen of Death.
Precautions That Can Help You to Avoid BSOD
Keep Your Hardware In Tip-Top Shape
Whether it’s your memory card, hard drive, keyboard, monitor, video card or any other hardware in your computer, a hardware malfunction is one of the number one causes of BSOD situations. BSODs usually occur when new hardware has been added but the wrong drivers for some reason were not, making it difficult for Windows to boot.
Overheating hardware can be a possible issue as well.
To avoid hardware-related Blue Screens of Death when it comes to the wrong drivers, always make sure your drivers are up to date. To make sure you have the right ones installed, go to the site of the manufacturer of your driver and look for updates; and make sure you do this every few weeks.
Also, if all else fails, restore the defaults on all hardware under the “Device Manager” in the “Control Panel.”
Make Sure All Software Is Compatible
Recently installed software that’s not compatible with your computer can cause the dreaded Blue Screen of Death as well. If you’ve recently installed software and are now seeing BSOD’s suddenly, you first should try uninstalling the software.
If that doesn’t work after uninstalling, reinstall the software and make sure it’s the right version this time around. Restoring your PC to a previous state can also help.
Try resetting the software update on whichever software you may suspect too. Look at any new software you may have installed and update any Windows updates too, which you can access in the “Start menu” and typing “update.”
Having the wrong software installed on your computer and not having it be compatible can cause the Blue Screen of Death on your PC quite easily. Also, always make sure you uninstall the software before reinstalling it.
Identify and Fix the Error That Causes BSOD
Often, you will see an error that causes Windows to suffer a critical error resulting in BSOD. If you know the specific error, you can try to fix it. Often, fixing errors as ‘critical process died in Windows‘ cause BSOD, but they are fixable.
You can also try to use the System File Checker and the sfc /scannow utility to run a thorough scan on the system to try and locate the problem.
Scan Regularly for Malware
Another way to monitor your computer for anything that may cause the Blue Screen of Death is to consistently scan for malware using an antivirus program and to do so regularly.
Malware has a tendency to dig deep into Windows, especially infecting the master boot record, and connecting itself to kernels and causing system instability.
Whether you use AVG, McAfee, Avira, Spybot or all the above, scanning your hard drive on a regular basis can make sure malware and a possible BSOD is a far off concern. It’s smart to take the possible threat of malware seriously since it can hide within the confines of your hard drive.
Install Up-To-Date Drivers
Making sure of the drivers are up-to-date for all software and hardware is another solid way to prevent the Blue Screen of Death. Oftentimes drivers will have updates, but if you don’t apply them the drivers can become unstable and cause your system to crash.
Please refer to our complete guide on how to install, update or remove Windows drivers for more details.
Instead, make a habit of going to the hardware manufacturer’s website (bookmark it too) and install the latest drivers when they become available. When you do this, make sure you uninstall the previous driver as well.
Conflicts between the new and old drivers can be severe and cause the Blue Screen of Death just as easily. Also, make sure your BIOS is up-to-date.
If you’ve done all the things above and are still experiencing the Blue Screen of Death, remember you can try “System Restore” or you can reboot your computer and go into “Safe mode.” Doing this lets you choose the “Last known good hardware configuration,” which can fix most blue screens issues if all else fails.
For information on recovering lost data, which can happen when you experience a blue screen, read our post – 5 Simple Tips to Recover Lost Programs or Apps from Windows Desktop
(Article updated on 23rd March 2020)