Blue Screen of Death Basics

Blue Screen of Death Basics
I love the color blue and odds are, you do too. Blue is most of the world's favorite color. It is the color of sky and sea, the beautiful shade of our planet when it's viewed from space. It represents calm and peace and serenity... unless it's the color of your computer screen.

For long time computer users, a blue screen is an obvious – and annoying – problem with an oftentimes simple remedy. For novice users, however, a blue screen can be a terrifying disruption.

So What Is a Blue Screen Anyway?
A blue screen in Windows is also referred to as a Stop Code, Blue Screen of Death, or BSoD. It appears suddenly and is a bit jarring when you're in the middle of a game or typing a document. Rather than a pop-up window that can be closed, a BSoD is Windows' way of telling you that it has encountered an unresolvable problem that needs to be repaired before it can continue. In fact, Windows tells you just that, in the seeming gibberish on the Blue Screen. The gibberish is actually all of the information you need to both realize the problem and repair it. To decipher the error message Windows gives you, it's important to understand what you can use to diagnose and fix your computer.

The beginning of the message is always a bit scary sounding:
“A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.”

Next is the type of error, for instance:

This is followed by a few instructions and at the bottom, an error code number. This is a series of numbers that nearly always begins with 0x. This means that the code could begin something like this:
STOP: 0x0000000000 (...and so on)

So there you have it, a very basic breakdown of the terrible Blue Screen of Death. Although being faced with one is cause for concern, it doesn't necessarily mean that your computer is ruined. Many issues are relatively straightforward to repair, so don't panic! Remember that the dreaded Blue Screen is your computer working the way it should – letting you know that there is a problem.

As far as solving the problem goes, the answer can also be found right in front of you - on that same blue screen. Make sure to make note of the error code listed on the screen, as well as the type of error. This information is vital for the technician who diagnoses your problem, or for you should you choose to do the repairs yourself.

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