Dealing with Blue Screens

Typically, blue screens, sometimes called the blue screen of death, caused by an error in the Windows operating system that when occurs, a blue screen will be generated on the monitor connected to the computer, typically with some information about the cause of the problem. The cause of the nuisance varies but can be isolated with some patience and instruction from well-informed computer users — it’s recommended to be cautious in order to avoid augmenting the problem.  When the error occurs, it generates a core dump file containing the contents of the computer’s RAM memory at the time of the error, as well as some hints about any software involved.

Dealing with Blue Screens

However, whether to use this file as part of the troubleshooting process will depend on certain factors. Computers have a chain-like function which when one component malfunctions, another will. For example, if the power supply is not functioning properly, it could cause problems in various parts of the computer even though the core dump file says a specific software was involved — the power supply might not have been meeting the needs of RAM memory at the time a certain software was in use, causing a critical error. Furthermore, sometimes the problem might be higher up in the chain such as faulty RAM memory modules — even if the power supply is working correctly, faulty hardware could trigger errors somewhere else down the chain. Overheating, buggy apps or programs, and various other problems can be the cause of blue screens as well.

However, if ruling out faulty hardware is done and the core-dump file is accessible, it might help to shed light on the issue.  Assuming the hard drive is in working order, the computer will write the core-dump file to the hard drive at the time of the error, which can be retrieved in a number of ways. Sometimes, removing the hard drive from the faulty computer and connecting it to a working computer will enable the file to be retrieved — via the working computer. If successful, software called blue-screen readers can be downloaded for free which can decode the file and display helpful information.

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