Why do I get the "Blue Screen of Death"?



1.Started my pc and everything loaded fine.

2.After about 2 minutes my desktop vanished leaving a blue background with the arrow cursor still present.

3. rebooting doesnt help

4. ctrl+alt+delete works fine to bring up run command and all programs run just fine from this action.

5. Graphics, images, apps look fine and vid card doesnt appear to be over heating (old card)

6. Start-up programs are the same, display settings are the same

7. System restore is disabled

I'm baffeled, everything seems fine I just have no desktop

Thank you for your assitance :-)


This question was answered on December 14, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

It sounds like you have the "Blue Screen of Death" Is there an error code displayed at the blue screen? If you are fortunate, you may be able to simply cold boot, and pray the screen doesn't come back There are really only two things that cause most Blue Screens: hardware problems, or driver problems A good source of information is the Event Log Assuming that you can bring the machine up successfully, check the System Log and the Application Log for clues to problems immediately before the time of the crash

Since many BSOD's(Blue Screen of Death) are caused by driver problems, so it may help to keep documentation of what drivers were installed, and when If a solution can't be found, you can try uninstalling a driver that was installed before the crashes began You could also try booting into SAFE MODE, and disabling one driver at a time, trying to find the one that causes the problem Since many BSOD's are also caused by hardware problems, you might also try such things as swapping out the memory chips, to see if the problem still occurs.

If safe mode does not load correctly, and you get the same stop message upon attempting safe mode, it's time to try the "restore last known good configuration" option in the advanced options menu.

Restart your computer, pressing "F8" again to load the advanced options menu and select "last known good configuration (your most recent settings that worked)" This uses Windows XP's built in system restore utility to restore the most recent save point, which should be the last time you installed any drivers or other software If your system boots normally after this operation, hopefully your problem has been fixed

If you installed new hardware or software, and you think you know what it might be that is causing the problem, this gives you a boost in resolving the situation

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Posted by Henry of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on December 14, 2004