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The Blue Screen of Death

Photo Credit: leff via Compfight cc

Picture this: you’re sitting down at your desk at home putting the finishing touches on your last minute essay (which of course you had valid reasons for leaving this late). You’ve just finished writing a brilliant conclusion to your somewhat hasty rhetoric and are doing a final read-over for stupid grammatical errors when your face turns blue. Well, not exactly. The blue originates from the sudden blue tinge to your monitor’s perfect baby skin. Just as you were hovering your finger over the save button your computer gives you the infamous “Blue Screen of Death” or BSOD for short. Then it reboots and you lose all your unsaved work.

Even if you’re not a uni student the Blue Screen of Death can hit you, whether it be at home while playing your favourite game or at work when you’re trying to meet that pressure deadline. If you use a Windows computer (like most of the world, excluding those pesky Apple fanboys) you are at risk of being hit with the Blue Screen of Death, and understanding the possible causes and troubleshooting steps is important to keeping your computer in one piece. Many a hapless computer have ended up in pieces on the pavement having been thrown out of high storey balconies by frustrated computer users.

The first thing to consider is any changes that you may have made just before your screen turned bright blue. Changes which might not seem significant at the time could be behind your computer deciding to blue screen. Some of these can include trivial things such as updating drivers, installing new drivers, Windows updates, or plugging in a new USB device. If you did perform one of these actions just prior to experiencing the blue screen, chances are that it may have been the culprit. The solution then is to undo whatever change you made and see if you get another blue screen; if you don’t, you’re in the clear! The way you do this can vary depending on what you did, and ranges from a simple driver rollback to performing a System Restore or booting into Safe Mode.

If you didn’t make any such changes recently, you may unfortunately have a bigger more complicated issue to deal with. Generally application or software crashes do not cause a blue screen so if it wasn’t an obvious change listed above, then you may have a hardware fault. Meaning one of the components that join together to form a computer – commonly hard drive but can also be RAM or motherboard component – has stopped working properly and is causing your computer to blue screen. Depending on the type of computer you have this can be a very complicated and/or expensive issue to resolve, and unfortunately it is often more time and cost effective to just buy a new one!

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