BSOD

Why can't my computer read the hard drive?

Bluescreen of Death :(

Episode 1662

Ed from San Diego, CA

Ed's son is getting a bluescreen of death, and when he reboots, it's not reading the disk. Leo says it's obviously a disk failure caused by a failed or corrupted sector. It's the most common failure point on a computer. The good news is that you may be able to recover the disk using SpinRite. But for the cost of that program, you can simply buy a new hard drive. So if you have nothing critical on the drive, replace the hard drive. You can get a larger one for cheaper. And while you're at it, get a solid-state drive. It'll make the computer much faster.

What is a Blue Frowny Face in Windows 10?

BSOD

Episode 1598

Ben from Los Angeles, CA

Ben is getting a "blue frowning face," which Leo says is the new bluescreen of death. Leo says it's likely a hardware or driver issue. Modern operating systems don't BSOD when an app crashes anymore. But low-level errors like drivers or hardware will cause it. If it's just doing it when he's doing nothing, it could mean a failing power supply. Also, make sure the drivers are up to date.

Why Can't I Use a Computer?

BSOD

Episode 1581

Ann from Jackson County, GA

Ann is frustrated because she can't send email, while her family can. Her computers will also bluescreen when she touches the keyboard. And it doesn't matter what device she touches. What is happening?  Leo says that static electricity can cause issues like this. So make sure you're grounded by touching metal. Computer technicians use a grounding bracelet.

But that is a very uncommon thing to happen. 

How can I stop a blue screen of death in Windows 10?

Blue Screen of Death

Episode 1536

Simon from Yorktown, VA

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.

How can I get my apps off a failed hard drive?

Hard drives

Episode 1459

Gary from Castaic, CA

Gary can't boot up his computer, not even in Safe Mode. What can he do to fix it? Leo says it's probably the hard drive that's preventing the bootup, and that's why Gary is getting the blue screen of death. It can be one tiny bit or sector that can cause it. Gary could use his Windows Install Disk, and during the install process, it will give him the option of repairing the OS. It's worth a try.

Why did Windows give me a Blue Screen?

Windows Blue Screen of Death

Episode 1428

Diane from Chicago, IL

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.

What does a 'Blue Screen of Death' mean?

Blue Screen of Death

Episode 1412

Bobby from Plymouth, MA

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.

Why am I getting a blue screen of death?

Episode 1303

Rusty from Ardadia, CA

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.

Why do I get a bluescreen when unplugging my USB Headset?

Episode 1248

Camden from Mission Viejo, CA

Cam has a USB headset that causes a bluescreen of death when he unplugs it, and then his USB ports stop working. Leo suspects that the USB driver is corrupted. It could also be a bad USB port or short circuit in the headset. But he should always test the driver. He should remove it in Device Manger - Windows Key + X, then select "Device Manager." Then let it reacquire and install the drivers.

Why am I getting a blue screen after upgrading to Windows 10?

Windows 10 Start Menu

Episode 1230

Robbie from Scotland

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.