Daniel's Thinkpad runs Windows XP and is experiencing the blue screen of death, or BSoD for short. Daniel can use the original install discs and go into recovery mode. That can fix anything that is going wrong. That will run the Windows System File Checker and replace any system files that are damaged. But it may also be a hard drive that is starting to fail. It would be a good idea to replace the hard drive. Luckily, it's easy to do with that Thinkpad.
Blue Screen of Death
Simon recently encountered the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. He suspected it may be his Chrome browser. Could it be? Leo says that modern versions of Windows don't really allow a program to call a BSOD these days. The operating system protects against it. But it could be a bad driver. Flakey hardware like a power supply or loose RAM can also cause it. But Chrome doesn't have system access to cause a BSOD. If he can replicate it, that could lead him toward the culprit. If it's crashing right away, that's usually a hardware issue.
Diane's laptop did an automatic update of Windows 10 and she got a Blue Screen of Death. Leo suggests that with her laptop being about five years old, there's a good chance that her hard drive has died. It could also be a motherboard failure or memory failure. But it's definitely a hardware issue. Leo suggests taking it in to IBM as a laptop that old could be at the end of the line. She should find out how much it costs to fix it, and if it's more than a few hundred, it's time to buy a new one.
Bobby has Windows 7 Home Edition and he's getting a BSOD. Leo says the blue screen is what happens when something goes terribly wrong and Windows can't go on. There's only two ways to get a blue screen these days: 1) A hardware issue failure, or 2) A Ring Zero failure in software, like a driver issue. Leo recommends updating all his drivers first. That's the easiest thing to troubleshoot. There's a wireless driver that Windows installs automatically that causes the crash, so that could be the culprit.
Rusty has a home built Windows 7 Desktop and he is getting a blue screen of death. Leo says that blue screens of death were common in the early days were because of system memory/driver issues. Programming has gotten better though, so most of the BSODs we get now are hardware related or corrupted driver problems. Leo says to make sure his fans are spinning. While he has his computer open, he should clean out the dust. Then he can try rebooting in safe mode. If that works, and it runs OK, then he'll know that the video driver is failing and he'll need to reinstall it.
Lee gets a popup that says his computer is infected and he can't get rid of it. Leo says it's a scam, and Lee should never call the 800 number that pops up. Lee went into the task manager to kill the popup, but it kills the browser as well. Leo says that Chrome should be catching the popups and stopping them. He's now getting a popup with a bluescreen. Leo says that's a clever ploy, but it's not an actual "blue screen of death." It's just a window.
Robbie upgraded to Windows 10, but he's having issues. Leo says that any Windows update can fail and that may be the case here. There is a way to reset Windows Update to go back to the previous version and try again. There may also be a registry key that is causing it, and Microsoft should have a Fix It utility that can get rid of it. GHacks.net has details on the fix for this as well.
Elliot updated to Windows 10 and now he gets a blue screen. Leo says that can happen when using the Windows Insider version and installing an update. It could be due to using Beta versions. Leo advises going into the recovery mode and rolling back. He can press F8 when booting up to do that. Then he can try to apply the update again. Windows 10 has an excellent recovery utility. If it's a hard drive error, however, he may have to start over and replace the drive.
Moses has been getting a blue screen of death (BSOD). What is that? Leo says that a BSOD is a crash that has forced Windows to not work anymore. Moses has reinstalled Windows, but it still happens. Leo says that points to a hardware issue. A hardware flaw like a flakey power supply, video card or hard drive. It also could be a driver, but with a spontaneous reboot, it's probably the power supply. Fortunately, these are easy to replace. He can even do it himself. Moses should make sure he matches the existing power supply in wattage.
David's computer started to get the dreaded bluescreen of death and he took it to the Geek Squad to get it repaired. They said it was a virus and sold him WebRoot. Leo says that the Geek Squad couldn't have been more wrong and just sold him an antivirus software he didn't need. Almost always, the problem with BSOD is either a driver or hardware issue. BSODs only happen as a result of accessing ring 1 memory on the computer and that's only drivers or hardware. Malware won't result in a BSOD.