Dealing with Blue Screens

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 21 April 2005 / Last Updated on 21 April 2005]

Handling a blue screen is more about common sense than being an uber-geek.

Ever got a had a Windows 2000 or later system blue screen? The information displayed in such "STOP messages" can be cryptic to decipher to say the least. Not many of us are geeky enough to use a kernel debugger to analyze a memory.dmp file and figure out what went wrong. If you're not inclined to do that (and don't want to pay Microsoft PSS to do the same) then try out some of the following steps and you may be able to resolve your problem:

  • Uninstall the last device you installed.
  • Roll back a device driver you updated recently.
  • Open up your box and reseat PCI cards and memory.
  • Run diagnostics on your hard drives.
  • Uninstall a recently installed hotfix or service pack.
  • Roll back the configuration of your system using Last Known Good or XP's System Restore.
  • Reconfigure your BIOS settings to their original values.

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see www.mtit.com .

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