Windows Blue Screen Stop Errors

Windows Stop Error/BSOD MessageEncountering a blue screen error message on your Windows device? We understand how frustrating this can be, but don't panic, we're here to help! Check out of guide below to help understand why these errors may be occurring, and find out how you can go about trying to resolve the issue.

What is a Blue Screen Stop Error?

A stop error, commonly referred to as a Blue Screen Error or Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD), is a critical system error that can cause your Windows computer to crash and restart unexpectedly. 

These stop errors can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Hardware conflicts or failures
  • Software conflicts
  • Corrupt system drivers or BIOS
  • Malware or virus infections

Common Blue Screen Errors for Windows 10 & 11

  1. DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION: Usually caused by a device driver or system component that is not functioning correctly and causes the system to crash.
     
  2. CRITICAL PROCESS DIED: Occurs when the process which was needed to run the system ended due to corrupted or missing system files, bad device drivers, virus attack, compatibility issues, bad sectors.
     
  3. SYSTEM SERVICE EXCEPTION: Usually caused by corrupted system files or drivers.
     
  4. DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL: Caused by driver incompatibilities or errors.
     
  5. BAD POOL HEADER: System memory allocation issues when Windows tries to access a memory pool that is corrupted.
     
  6. PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA: Occurs when Windows tries to access a memory location that is not valid.
     
  7. VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE: This error occurs when the graphics driver stops responding.
     
  8. SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED: Occurs when a system thread encounters an exception that it cannot handle.
     
  9. MEMORY MANAGEMENT: Occurs when a component's operation is not handled appropriately.
     
  10. NO BOOTABLE DEVICE: Occurs when a boot drive containing the operating system cannot be found, or there is an issue with the operating system files.

Solutions for Resolving Blue Screen Errors

  1. DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION: Outdated drivers can be a cause of this issue. We recommend updating common drivers on your system, see our BIOS & Drivers Updates guide for more details.

    Note: If you're experiencing this issue when using a USB Wi-Fi dongle, and a Telstra branded Wi-Fi router, please follow our guide on how to disable Protected Management Frames (PMF) on your router
     
  2. CRITICAL PROCESS DIED: Repair Windows installation by running the DISM & SFC commands in Command Prompt. 

    Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM): Open Command Prompt as Administrator and type 'DISM /online /cleanup-image /checkhealth'. Once the tool has finished running, restart your computer. 

    System File Check (SFC): Open Command Prompt as Administrator and type 'sfc /scannow'. Once the tool has finished running, restart your computer.
     
  3. SYSTEM SERVICE EXCEPTION: Update the system's graphics driver. You'll likely have to visit the device manufacture's website to download the latest graphics driver. For more information on how to find the latest graphics driver for your device, please see our BIOS & Drivers Updates guide.

    If this does not resolve the issue, please run the SFC scannow command. Open Command Prompt as Administrator and type 'sfc /scannow'. Once the tool has finished running, restart your computer.
     
  4. DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL: Head to the Windows Update menu (press the Start key and type Windows Update). Check for any outstanding Windows Updates, including within the 'Optional Updates' menu. Download and install any outstanding updates.

    Update your system's network adapters: Visit the device manufacture's website to download the latest network driver. For more information on how to find the latest network driver for your device, please see our BIOS & Drivers Updates guide.
     
  5. BAD POOL HEADER: Start by disconnecting all of your external devices, including: USB Flash Drives, External Hard Drives, Webcam etc. Restart the computer, and see if the problem remains.

    If the issue remains, check for any outstanding Windows Updates, including within the 'Optional Updates' menu. Download and install any outstanding updates.

    If the issue remains after Windows updates have been installed, try running the check disk command. Open Command Prompt as Administrator, type 'chkdsk.exe /f /r' (without quotation marks) and press Enter. Then type Y. Windows will check for, and resolve any issues with the hard drive. 
     
  6. PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA: Run the check disk command. Open Command Prompt as Administrator, type 'chkdsk.exe /f /r' (without quotation marks) and press Enter. Then type Y. Windows will check for, and resolve any issues with the hard drive. 
     
  7. VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE: Update the system's graphics driver. You'll likely have to visit the device manufacture's website to download the latest graphics driver. For more information on how to find the latest graphics driver for your device, please see our BIOS & Drivers Updates guide.
     
  8. SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED: Disconnect any new peripherals or external devices that may have been added to the system recently. Boot into Windows, then uninstall and reinstall any recently installed third-party programs. Head to the Windows Update menu (press the Start key and type Windows Update). Check for any outstanding Windows Updates, including within the 'Optional Updates' menu. Download and install any outstanding updates.
     
  9. MEMORY MANAGEMENT:

    Run the Memory Diagnostic Tool: Open the Run dialogue box by pressing "Win + R" keys together. Type "mdsched.exe" and press "Enter". Select "Restart now and check for problems". The memory diagnostic tool will now run. Once complete, Windows will restart. After you sign into your Windows account, you should see the Windows Memory Diagnostic test results appear in the notification area after a few minutes.  

    If the Blue Screen Error Message continues, we recommend updating your system's graphics driver. For more information on where to find this graphics driver, please see our BIOS & Driver Updates guide

    If updating the graphics driver does not resolve the issue, try running the DISM repair tool in Command Prompt. Open Command Prompt with administrator privileges, type the "DISM /online /cleanup-image /checkhealth" command, and press "Enter". Once the tool has finished running, you can restart your computer.
     
  10. NO BOOTABLE DEVICE: 

       Check boot order:

  1. Access the BIOS menu by powering on the computer and tapping the BIOS entry key (Dell: F2, HP: F10, Lenovo: F1 or F2 or Esc + F1, other brands may use Delete key as well)
  2. Navigate to Boot Menu
  3. Check that the hard drive that has the Windows OS installed on it is set to the highest priority (position 1). If this hard drive is not top priority, re-arrange the boot order, then press either "Apply", "Save", or "F10" to Save & Exit.

       Repair the corrupt or missing Windows system files:

  1. Create a Bootable Windows USB
  2. Enter the Boot Menu by powering on your computer and tapping the F12 key until the One-Time Boot Menu opens. 
  3. Choose your Region & Language settings, then select Repair Windows Installation.
  4. Select 'Troubleshoot' > 'Advanced Options' > Startup Repair.
  5. The system will run the repair tool, and advise whether it was successful or not.
    • If not successful, repeat steps 2 and 3, then choose Command Prompt
    • Run the "dism /online /cleanup-image /checkhealth" command, then run the "SFC /scannow" command.

Stop Errors/Blue Screen (BSOD) FAQs

What causes blue screen stop errors to occur?

Blue screen stop errors can be caused by a variety of factors, including hardware problems, software conflicts, and driver issues.

How can I prevent blue screen stop errors?

  • Keep Windows updated by letting Windows automatically update your system
  • Keep programs up to date, you can set most programs to update automatically
  • Check for new BIOS versions & driver updates from the manufacturer of your computer/hardware.
  • Ensure the system Time & Date are set correctly.

What should I do if I get a blue screen stop error?

If you get a blue screen stop error, the first thing you should do is restart your computer. If the error persists, you can try the troubleshooting steps listed above. If you are unable to resolve the error on your own, you may need to contact a computer technician for assistance. If your device is under warranty from us, you're welcome to reach out to our support team for assistance.

What is the difference between DISM, SFC and CHKDSK commands?

  • DISM scans and patches corrupt or damaged files within the Windows system image. This tool should be used first to gather information for diagnosing and repairing system image issues.
  • SFC analyses and repairs system files. It's faster than DISM, however we recommend running "DISM /online /cleanup-image /checkhealth" command prior to the SFC command.
  • CHKDSK searches for and repairs errors relating to the hard drive partition

How do I open command prompt as an Administrator?

The fastest way to open command prompt with administration privileges: 

  1. Press the Win + R keys on your keyboard together. 
  2. Within the Run dialogue box, type "cmd" into the text box, and then press "Ctrl + Shift + Enter" keys together.
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