Blue screen errors are a series of severe errors in the Windows system. These errors are shown on a blue screen of death (BSoD) that doesn’t let you access your system as usual. The screen color will be green if you’re running a Windows Insider build. These errors happen when critical processes break and the system shuts down to protect itself.
It isn’t that easy to troubleshoot these errors since they require specific diagnosis. However, you can recognize a blue screen error as soon as you see it. What you need to look for is the accompanied error code and message that is shown on the screen.
Here are the most common error messages that you could run into:
- Kmode exception not handled
- DPC watchdog violation
- Video TDR timeout detected exception
- System service exception
- Critical process died exception
- Page fault in nonpaged area exception
- IRQL not less or equal exception
The error will prompt the system to perform a restart and try to recover automatically. However, if the issue is not resolved with this restart, you will be stuck in an endless loop of reboots until you can access the boot recovery options.
There are two instances in which you may encounter an unexpected BSoD:
- During a system update.
- When you are using your system as usual.
The methods to fix these errors vary depending on the error.
Fixing a blue screen error that occurred during or after an update
Sometimes updates may be released without proper testing, and this may cause a fatal error in the kernel systems. To fix this error, you just have to revert the updated software or apps to their previous versions.
Since a BSoD error doesn’t let you start the system normally, you have to boot the system in Windows Recovery Environment. Follow the steps below to access WinRE:
- Hold down the power button on your device for around 5-10 seconds to shut it down.
- Now, restart the system.
- When you see the Windows logo or manufacturer’s logo, hold down the power button again.
- Repeat the process about three times to access WinRE.
- In the options screen, click on Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
- After your system restarts, simply press ‘5’ or ‘F5’.
- Now, your system will be booted in safe mode.
Now, you can uninstall the update by going to the control panel as shown below:
- Type ‘control panel’ in the Windows Search Bar.
- Go to ‘Uninstall Programs’ under ‘Programs and Features’.
- Now, click on ‘View Installed Updates’.
- Right-click on an update to uninstall it.
Before restarting your system, ensure that you remove it from the safe boot mode (most systems will have this option set by default).
This should fix the error.
Three simple methods to fix a blue screen error that occured during casual use
1. Remove external hardware
If there is any external hardware connected to your device, remove that immediately. Sometimes, a damaged external device can cause a BSoD error. External hardware includes a mouse for laptops, USB drives, mobile phones, and any other device that doesn’t come with the system.
2. Uninstall third party software
Removing third-party software from your system can sometimes fix a blue screen of death errors. To do this, first, boot the system in safe mode through the Windows Recovery Environment as explained above.
Now, go to the control panel and follow the steps below.
- Click on ‘Uninstall Program’ under ‘Programs and Features’.
- Now, select the program you’d like to uninstall and right-click on it.
- Select uninstall.
3. Update system drivers
Follow everything mentioned above to boot the system in safe mode. Then, follow the steps below.
- Type ‘device manager’ in the Windows search bar.
- Click on the driver you’d like to uninstall.
- Right-click on it and select Update driver.
BSoD errors are notorious for their persistence and won’t let you use your system. However, it is quite simple to resolve this error through Windows Safe Mode. Just ensure that you’re running regular antivirus scans on your system to prevent any malware infection because those can also potentially cause blue screen errors.