Although the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) has changed a bit in Windows 8, Windows computers still crash. Those messages have a bunch of cryptic phrases and numbers, and they aren’t very helpful. Maximum PC has a guide deciphering BSOD.
Each BSOD has certain key elements as Maximum PC explains:
There are many parts to a BSoD, but the most important is right at the top. The actual name of the error is presented in all caps with an underscore between each word. In some cases this will be all that’s needed to get to the root of the problem (thanks to the handy guide you are about to read). Most of the time, however, more information will be required.
Nearly every BSoD includes a portion of text with some basic troubleshooting advice, the first of which recommends restarting your computer. Gee, thanks for the tip Microsoft. Before you restart, copy the exact all-caps error code and hexadecimal values shown above and below this portion of generic text. The next paragraph provides sound advice, alerting the user to check to make sure their hardware is installed properly, or to undo any recent software or hardware upgrades.
Every BSoD is accompanied by a memory dump. What this means is when Windows crashes, it dumps whatever it is holding in system memory to a file, and saves the file on your hard drive for debugging purposes. If you contact Microsoft for technical assistance, they’ll want to know the contents of this file.
The “technical information” section portion contains the actual Windows stop code, in oh-so-easy-to-read hexadecimal form. Despite appearing unintelligible at first glance, this combination of numbers and letters is instrumental in determining the cause of the crash. Pay particular attention to the first set of numbers and letters. It precedes the other four, which are enclosed in parenthesis. If a specific driver is associated with the crash, it will be listed on the very next line.
Knowing what these mean is handy, but Maximum PC also has a big list of the most common BSODs codes, what they mean, and how to fix them. Check out the link for all the details.
Blue Screen of Death Survival Guide: Every Error Explained | Maximum PC
Photo by Jared Goralnic.
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