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Identify and Troubleshoot Windows Crashes and Restarts caused by Blue Screen (BSOD) errors on a Dell Computer



This article provides information and links for troubleshooting Microsoft Windows Crashes, Restarts or Blue Screen errors.


Table of Contents:

  1. What is a Blue Screen Error?
  2. How to disable Automatic Restart
  3. Troubleshooting Common Blue Screen Error Messages
  4. Analyze Windows Blue Screen Stop Errors, using BlueScreenView (By Nirsoft)

1. 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. The appearance of these errors is where the term "Blue Screen" or "Blue Screen of Death" (BSOD) has come from.

In a lot of instances, the screen only flashes up for a few seconds before re-booting. You can disable this process following the steps in Section 2 below, allowing further analysis of the error.

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.

The text displayed can either be text based (Figure 1) or graphical based as in Windows 8 and 10 (Figure 2)

Figure 1

BSOD text based

Figure 2

BSOD GUI based

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2. How to disable Automatic Restart

Whenever a critical error is detected in Windows, your Windows PC restarts itself to prevent any further damage to your computer.

This is a safety measure integrated into Windows. In order to further analyse the STOP or BSOD error, we need to know the Error code and information associated with the error.

This information is displayed when you turn off Automatic Restart on System Failure.

Here are the steps to disable Automatic Restart on system failure in Windows 8 and 10 (applies to Windows 10, 8 , 7 , Vista and XP)

  1. In Windows 10 in the Taskbar search Box, and on the Start screen in Windows 8 (Start menu in 7, Vista, XP) type System.

  2. Click on the System link displayed.

  3. On the list of links in the left pane, Click on Advanced System Settings

Advanced System Settings

  1. Click on Settings in the Startup and Recovery section

Startup and Recovery

  1. Untick the checkbox that says Automatically Restart

  2. Click on OK

  3. Click on Apply then OK

Next time your system crashes, instead of restarting, it will halt on a screen with an error code and some information associated with the error.

Note down this information so that you can troubleshoot the error.

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3. Troubleshooting Common Blue Screen Error Messages Depending on Operating System version

For articles concerning the various Windows versions please click on the relative link below

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4. Analyze Windows Blue Screen Stop Errors, using BlueScreenView (By Nirsoft)

As well as using the Windows Debugger tool from Microsoft contained in the above articles,
you can also use a tool by Nirsoft called BlueScreenView to analyse the Windows dump files.

For information on BlueScreenView (by Nirsoft) please click www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html External Link

To Download the tool from www.nirsoft.net click www.nirsoft.net/utils/bluescreenview.zip for ZIP file External Link

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If you require further assistance, please contact Technical Support

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Article ID: SLN179253

Last Date Modified: 10/17/2017 03:31 AM


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