Fix Win­dows 10 blue screen crashes

MAR­TYN CASSERLY ex­plains how to stop an­noy­ing crashes

Windows Advisor - - Contents -

Win­dows 10 is soft­ware just like its pre­de­ces­sors, so from time to time things go wrong. It hap­pens re­mark­ably in­fre­quenty in our experience but we’ve put to­gether this short guide to help you get back up and run­ning if you ever see the in­fa­mous Blue Screen of Death (BSoD).

There’s no magic bul­let so­lu­tion that fixes all ills, but if you work through the fol­low­ing tips you should be able to di­ag­nose, and hope­fully fix, your par­tic­u­lar is­sue.

We think that Win­dows 10 is an ex­cel­lent ver­sion of the OS, with a lot to of­fer – es­pe­cially now there’s the Cre­ators Up­date, which is another free up­date.

Back up be­fore you start

We store many im­por­tant files on our com­put­ers

– from fam­ily pic­tures and videos, to im­por­tant busi­ness doc­u­ments – and all of this can be lost very eas­ily if you don’t cre­ate reg­u­lar back­ups.

While you should be do­ing this all the time any­way, if you’re be­gin­ning to experience prob­lems with your PC then cre­at­ing a backup needs to be­come an im­me­di­ate pri­or­ity. It’s tremen­dously frus­trat­ing to lose pre­cious data need­lessly, and the whole process can be com­pleted in a very short time.

You can ei­ther use ded­i­cated back­ups so­lu­tions or take ad­van­tage of a cloud stor­age ser­vices.

Recre­ate the prob­lem

It’s help­ful to make a note of what you were do­ing and which pro­grams were run­ning when you ex­pe­ri­enced the blue screen. If you’re able to recre­ate the process and end up with the crash, then there’s a good chance that one of the pieces of soft­ware you are us­ing could be caus­ing the prob­lem.

In any case, know­ing that the crashes are not ran­dom, but in­stead caused by cer­tain ac­tions, can nar­row down the sus­pects.

For ex­am­ple, if you no­tice that when­ever you con­nect a printer via USB and try to print from Word you get a BSoD, but if you print to PDF you don’t, then it’s rea­son­able 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 for it on Google to see what the code rep­re­sents.

Know­ing what you’re look­ing for will cer­tainly make things a lit­tle clearer when it comes to di­ag­nos­ing the prob­lem.

What did you change?

One of the first things to in­ves­ti­gate is whether you made any changes to your sys­tem. Usu­ally this will be a new piece of soft­ware or an up­date to an ex­ist­ing pro­gram.

If the blue screen hap­pens while you’re us­ing a pro­gram, or load­ing one up, then it might be worth unin­stalling the soft­ware and then re­in­stalling it again.

You could also try us­ing Google to see if there are others hav­ing is­sues with that ver­sion of the soft­ware, and what so­lu­tions they’ve dis­cov­ered.

Up­date the driv­ers

We’ve seen sev­eral cases in the past where dodgy graph­ics card driv­ers have wreaked havoc on a PC. If you’ve up­graded yours re­cently, and since ex­pe­ri­enced crashes, then it might be worth go­ing back to the pre­vi­ous ver­sion

Al­ter­na­tively, head to the fo­rums on the man­u­fac­turer’s site to see if there are known prob­lems with the up­date. To unin­stall a pro­gram or driver you’ll need to click on the search area in the taskbar, then type view in­stalled up­dates and select the op­tion that ap­pears with that name.

Now you’ll be taken to the Con­trol Panel where you can check the dates of the driv­ers and unin­stall the ones that might be caus­ing the prob­lem.

Up­date Win­dows

Another ob­vi­ous thing to check is that Win­dows it­self is up to date.

To do this click on the Start but­ton and click the cog icon, then click on Up­date & se­cu­rity. When the Up­date panel ap­pears click on Check for Up­dates.

Check your hard­ware

If you’re on a desk­top PC, then it could well be worth open­ing up your ma­chine and en­sur­ing that the hard­ware is all seated cor­rectly.

If a card isn’t fully pushed into its slot then there is the out­side chance that it might cause the crashes.

Of course if you’ve up­graded a graph­ics card, or maybe your RAM, re­cently then this would again be a thing to in­ves­ti­gate, as the new hard­ware could be caus­ing the prob­lem.

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