Knowledge Base

Windows 10 crashes to a blue screen


Table of Contents:

  1. What is a blue screen error?
  2. Check Problem Reports for problems and solutions
  3. Run an online diagnostic
  4. Troubleshooting common blue screen error messages
    1. UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME and INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE
    2. NTFS FILE SYSTEM
    3. SYSTEM THREAD EXEPTION NOT HANDLED and KERNEL MODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED
    4. PAGE FAULT IN NON PAGED AREA
    5. DRIVER IRQL NOT LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO
    6. THREAD STUCK IN DEVICE DRIVER
  5. Look for information on error message
  6. Reset or reinstall Windows 10

This article is for Microsoft Windows 10.
Click below to change the operating system.


Video (English Only) - Troubleshoot Blue Screen Issues in Windows


What is a blue screen error?

When Windows encounters certain situations, it halts and the resulting diagnostic information is displayed in white text on a blue screen.

Blue Screen errors occur when:

  • Windows detects an error it cannot recover from without losing data
  • Windows detects that critical OS data has become corrupted
  • Windows detects that hardware has failed in a non-recoverable fashion

Check Problem Reports for problems and solutions

Windows 10 crash errors are collected in Problem Reports and referenced against other crash data that is available online. To access Problem Reports, follow these instructions:

  1. At the desktop, click the Search the web and Windows box and type "problem reports".
  2. Select View all problem reports to view a list of errors that have occurred on your computer and possible solutions for them, such as updating drivers, flashing your system BIOS, or checking for updates to software.
  3. Under the Source column, look for Windows and under Summary, look for Shut down unexpectedly.
  4. Right-click the line item and select Check for a solution.
    You will need to be online in order to view solutions.

Run an online diagnostic

Dell has created a set of online diagnostics that can identify problems with your computer hardware or configuration that may be causing the issue. Visit the Dell Online Diagnostics to get more information and run a scan of your computer.


Troubleshooting common blue screen error messages

If your computer reboots immediately after receiving a blue screen error, you can disable the automatic startup by following these steps:

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Properties.
  2. Select Advanded system settings.
  3. Click the Advanced tab, then under Startup and Recovery, select Settings....
  4. Under System failure, uncheck the box next to Automatically restart.

UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME

INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE

These two errors have similar causes and the same troubleshooting steps apply to both of them. These stop codes always occur during the startup process. When you encounter one of these stop codes, the following has happened:

  1. The system has completed the Power-On Self-Test (POST).
  2. The system has loaded NTLDR and transferred control of the startup process to NTOSKRNL (the kernel).
  3. NTOSKRNL is confused. Either it cannot find the rest of itself, or it cannot read the file system at the location it believes it is stored.
    When troubleshooting this error, your task is to find out why the Windows kernel is confused and fix the cause of the confusion.
Things to check
  • The SATA controller configuration in the system BIOS If the SATA controller gets toggled from ATA to AHCI mode (or vice versa), then Windows will not be able to talk to the SATA controller because the different modes require different drivers. Try toggling the SATA controller mode in the BIOS.
  • RAID settings You may receive this error if you've been experimenting with the RAID controller settings. Try changing the RAID settings back to Autodetect (usually accurate).
  • Improperly or poorly seated cabling Try reseating the data cables that connect the drive and its controller at both ends.
  • Hard drive failure Run the built-in diagnostics on the hard drive. Remember: Code 7 signifies correctable data corruption, not disk failure.
  • File system corruption Launch the recovery console from the Windows installation disc and run chkdsk /f /r.
  • Improperly configured BOOT.INI (Windows Vista). If you have inadvertently erased or tinkered with the boot.ini file, you may receive stop code 0x7B during the startup process. Launch the recovery console from the Windows installation disc and run BOOTCFG /REBUILD

NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM

This stop code indicates the NTFS file system driver encountered a situation it could not handle, and is almost always caused by 3 things:

  • Data corruption on the disk
  • Data corruption in memory
  • The system completely running out of memory (this typically only happens on heavily-loaded servers)
Things to check
  1. Reseat the memory and all drive data cables to eliminate data corruption issues stemming from poorly or improperly seated hardware.
  2. Run a complete memory and hard drive diagnostic. The quick test will not be thorough enough here. You need to run the full system diagnostic.
  3. If those diagnostics pass, run a full file system check from the Recovery Console (chkdsk /f /r) to detect and (potentially) fix any corrupted data.
  4. If none of the above solves the issue, reinstall Windows.
  5. If that does not fix the issue, replace the hard drive.


SYSTEM THREAD EXEPTION NOT HANDLED

KERNEL MODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED

These two errors indicate that a program running in the kernel encountered an unexpected condition it could not recover from. They have identical troubleshooting and resolution steps, and you will probably need to use the Windows Debugger to find out what caused the error.

Things to check
  • If the Blue Screen message mentions a driver or library file, figure out what driver or application that file is part of and update or disable it.
  • Update the system BIOS to the latest available revision.
  • Uninstall any recently installed programs, and roll-back any recently installed drivers.
  • Run diagnostics on the computer's memory.

PAGE FAULT IN NON PAGED AREA

This stop code means the system tried to access a nonexistent piece of memory, almost always due to:

  • A driver trying to access a page of memory that is not present
  • A system service (ex. virus scanner) failing in an exceptional way
  • Faulty or incorrectly seated memory
  • Corrupted data on the hard drive

Use the Windows Debugger to pinpoint the exact cause of these errors.

Things to check
  1. If the Blue Screen error mentions a driver or library file, figure out what driver or program the file is a part of and either upgrade to the latest version or uninstall the driver or program.
  2. If the error happens during the startup process, try booting to the Last Known Good Configuration.
  3. If the error started appearing after a program or driver was installed, uninstall that program or driver.
  4. Try running a full hard drive and memory diagnostic after reseating the memory and hard drive data cables.

DRIVER IRQL NOT LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO

This stop code indicates a driver tried to access a certain area of memory when it should not have, meaning there is a flaw in the driver itself. The goal of your troubleshooting is to find that driver and either disable or replace it. Use the Windows Debugger to troubleshoot this error.
Without the debugger, you are limited to uninstalling/updating/rolling back the driver that contains the driver file the Blue Screen mentions.

For more information, refer to Dell article, "How to repair the Windows Blue Screen error "STOP 0x0000000A: IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL""


THREAD STUCK IN DEVICE DRIVER

This Blue Screen error indicates that a device driver-almost always a video card driver-is stuck waiting for something (usually a hardware operation) to happen. Most of you have probably seennv4_disp.sys associated with this Blue Screen.

Things to check:
  1. Ensure the video drivers are updated to the latest Dell version.
  2. The system BIOS is fully up-to-date.
  3. If both the video driver and the system BIOS are fully up-to-date, check with the manufacturer for recent driver updates.
  4. As a last resort, try exchanging the video card.
Note: Reinstalling Windows is not likely to prevent this error from reoccurring.

Additional Information

If these solutions have not resolved your issue, try searching for additional solutions on the Web.
Click on your preferred search engine below, then describe your problem, including any specific error messages.

Note: The Microsoft Bug Check Code Reference site has an extensive list of blue screen error codes descripions and possible causes. If you have recorded your STOP 0xXXXXXX code and the above steps have not resolved your issue try looking it up on this site.

Search Dell Search Microsoft Search Google Search Bing


Reset or reinstall Windows 10

If the previous troubleshooting could not resolve your issue, it may be necessary to restore your computer to factory settings. To restore your computer's operating system and software to the original factory settings, refer to Dell Knowledge Base article, "Reset or reinstall Windows 10 on a Dell computer"





Article ID: SLN297928

Last Date Modified: 01/10/2018 05:19 PM


Rate this article

Accurate
Useful
Easy to understand
Was this article helpful?
Yes No
Send us feedback
Comments cannot contain these special characters: <>()\
Sorry, our feedback system is currently down. Please try again later.

Thank you for your feedback.