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Computer Crashes and Displays Blue Error Screen (Blue Screen of Death)
The Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) also known as a STOP Error happens when an issue is so serious, it causes Windows to stop entirely. The issue often occurs due to a hardware problem.
New Program, Piece of Hardware, Updated Driver, Installed Update
Often times the BSOD may be caused by a hardware malfunction. This is commonly caused by new drivers getting updated or installed. Try to restore your laptop to a previous date before you installed or updated the driver. This should resolve any issues you have with the new software, as the system restore will bring your computer back to the point when you didn’t have the software that was causing the problems. The BSOD may also be caused by needing to update a driver as well. So try to update any drivers if they are out of date.
Loose or Damaged Hardware
The most likely BSOD cause as mentioned above is a problem dealing with the hardware of your laptop. You can check the internal Hard Drive and the RAM in your laptop by unscrewing the back panels and checking to make sure that all wires and components are firmly connected. The back panel disassembly for this device can be found here: Back Panel Disassembly and the RAM and Hard Drvie can be found here: RAM Repair Hard Drive Repair
Not Enough Free Space on Drive
Blue Screens of Death and other serious computer issues can be caused by not having enough free space on the drive that Windows is installed on. You should check to make sure the drive has at least 15% free space or Windows recommendation of 100MB.
The blue screen of death may be caused by viruses or other malicious software that has gotten onto your computer. If you have an up-to-date antivirus software installed, run a virus scan to see if it finds any problems. In the case that you do not have an antivirus program, there are plenty free programs available online such as AVG.
Screen Turns Black or becomes Unresponsive
Upon startup your computer screen may begin to start up and then freeze. It may also get to the login page and then go black.
Brightness is too Low or it is Set in a Low Power Setting
You may think that the screen is not on when the display is just a low brightness. First, try to raise the brightness of the display, if that does not work it may be that your computer is in a low power setting. In which case you should plug it into a power source such as a wall outlet and is this is the issue the screen should come out of low power mode and the screen should once again be visible.
Computer may not be Booting Correctly
Ensure that the computer is actually booting up and the system is running, if it is not try restarting the computer. If a login screen is available and then the screen goes to black there may be an issue with the operating system in which case you should reboot in to see if the problem is fixed. If it is not, you should look to repair or restore your operating system through a recovery console, which is available on the OS disk. If you don’t have the disk you will need to reset your laptop to factory defaults or send it back to the manufacturer so that they may do it.
A Program May not be Allowing the Display to Work
If there is a program that is potentially stopping the computer from operating correctly on startup, start the computer in Safe Mode by repeatedly pressing the F8 button down once every second. From there start the program in Safe Mode. The screen should be displayed at this point in which you may locate any programs that operate on startup by typing “msconfig” into the Windows search bar and clicking on the startup tab to see if there are any strange programs that should not be operating on startup. The startup programs are also accessible by pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE and opening up task manager and clicking the startup tab.
Try an External Display
To ensure that there is not an issue with the graphics card, connect an external display via HDMI. VGA, or USB and run the computer. If the external display works there is an issue with your monitor itself. If the external display doesn’t work there is an issue with either the graphics card or motherboard in which case it would need to be repaired or replaced. This can be done at a computer repair shop if you don't feel comfortable enough doing the repair on your own.
Computer is Running Slowly
Your computer might be running slow while browsing the internet or performing other tasks.
The Computer May be Running Too Many Programs
If possible, close out all windows that are not absolutely necessary, if that does not work close out absolutely all tabs. If the computer is still running slow look below.
A Program May be Using Too Much Memory/Disk Space/CPU Usage
Open Task Manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE and look at the list of programs that are currently running. If a program is using too high of a percent of any of the categories, select the program and press End Task. Disclaimer: Be careful when ending tasks, ensure that the task that you are ending is not vital to the Operating System. Look for Applications that are causing issues rather than Background Processes
A Restart is Required
Sometimes a program may require a restart in order to effectively update, sometimes if the computer is without a restart for a while the program may be slowing down the computer. Go to Power Settings/Click the Power icon with a right-click and select Restart from the Dropdown Menu.
My Laptop Feels Hot
Overheating occurs when your laptop gets to a temperature that is too hot, and can be the underlying cause of other problems such a blue screen of death. Overheating can damage or destroy necessary components to your laptop, so it is an important issue to address.
Ventilation Path is Blocked
A block in the ventilation path will cause hot air to become trapped, and unable to escape. This leads to a buildup in heat and ultimately can cause overheating.
Object is Blocking Vents
If you are using your laptop for a prolonged period of time with it flush to a surface such as a bed or carpet, it can block the vents on the bottom. Simply take a break or elevate your laptop with a stand or other sort to create an air channel for the air to flow out of the vents and function properly.
There may be Dust in the Fan/Ventilation
Often the excess heat is caused by a blockage in the ventilation or fan, usually caused by a buildup of dust or other particles. You should locate where your vents are and then unscrew the panel to expose your fan. You can simply clean the dust out of the fan/ventilation system with a can of compressed air. The fan repair for this device can be found here: Fan Replacement
An old or dying battery can also generate a lot of heat. Batteries don’t last forever and it failing can simply be due to age or leaving the plug in your laptop all the time, which basically charges the laptop battery when it is already full. You can buy a new replacement battery for your laptop online just by knowing the model number of your laptop.