Troubleshoot Blue Screen of Death Errors


The “blue screen of death” – or BSOD – is the popular term given to the error that appears when Windows shuts down unexpectedly. If you’ve ever experienced it – and it does still happen occasionally, although it is much rarer today – then you’ll know why it is commonly referred to in such a way. The error screen is a very basic blue background with some technical information shown in a simple white text. Often, this information is meaningless to the average user.

The BSOD is a defence mechanism that prevents any damage to Windows by shutting down its essential functions. Often it is a result of a hardware failure, sometimes called by a driver issue, and simply restarting your computer will make it go away.

On other occasions, the problem does not go away, however, and the BSOD keeps returning – which is frustrating , to say the least. It is then that this esoteric technical information shown on the BSOD page needs to be analysed, so that the cause of the problem can be identified. Instead of scanning through Windows error logs for clues, it is highly recommended to try out BlueScreenView, which pulls together all the information you need into an easy to read report.

Related Download: BlueScreenView

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. BlueScreenView is a portable application and requires no installation. All you need is the executable file, and this can be run whenever you want to analyse your recent BSOD errors. You can acquire the executable for BlueScreenView by following the related download link for this article.

2. Extract the contents of the ZIP archive to a safe location on your computer. To run BlueScreenView, simply double-click the BlueScreenView.exe file.

3. When BlueScreenView launches, it scans the known locations for minidump files (this varies between each version of Windows) and displays the results in the main panel of the interface. Each entry shows the date of the BSOD crash to help you distinguish it. Click any of the entries in the list for more information.

4. The current highlighted item contains additional data in the lower panel of the interface. This includes the filenames that were involved in the BSOD crash – these could be system, DLL or executable files – and the memory addresses where the failure occurred. All of this is extremely useful when you are trying to determine the cause of a recurring BSOD.

5. Double click any of the files in the lower panel to view a properties table for it. This drills right down to the Bug Check String and Code and individual parameters that caused the failure.  You can also view the Product Name, Company and File Version here.

6. Now that you have this information, you can use it to see if anyone else has experienced the same issue just by entering the name of the file into Google and searching for other bug reports. If this yields no results, you can send the information to a systems engineer for analysis. BlueScreenView allows you to output any of the dump files into a handy HTML report which will be easier to read (remember: most IT professionals charge by the hour). Right-click any of the dump files and choose HTML Report – Selected Items.

Tips & Advice

If you are dealing with a recurring BSOD error, it is a good idea to output each dump file to a separate HTML report so that you can build up a case history of the problem. This is infinitely easier than sifting through the original error logs, and anyone you hire to troubleshoot the problem for you will be able to do so much more efficiently with the information presented in this way.


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