General Question

rojo's avatar

Why do I keep getting a blue screen on my computer?

Asked by rojo (14839 points ) 3 months ago

A few weeks ago my screen began to seize up, glitch, go black, come back and then give me the message that my display driver had stopped responding. It would do this several times a day.
A few days later my computer began to turn black, try to come back, then I would get a blue screen with all kinds of messages on it then go to black until I got a message asking me about how to I wanted to restart windows. The first time I restarted in safe mode, scanned for malware, found none, rebooted into normal start. Now I just go ahead with the normal restart when this happens.
It used to happen only after it had sat unused for a while so I thought that it perhaps was a problem with the sleep mode. I turned it off but it did not solve the problem.
It has gotten worse over time. Yesterday it crashed about eight times, most of the time while in use. In addition, I still have the problem with my display driver not responding. Today I am not halfway through the day and it has gone down three more times. Also, windows will stop at odd times and I will have to sit and wait for it to “catch up” for lack of a better term before I can proceed with whatever I was doing.
As I said, I have checked for viruses and malware using three different programs.
The system is a Dell OptiPlex 330 using Windows 7.
Any ideas?

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16 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How much stuff is on the computer? I ran in to that one time when we tapped out the memory.

rojo's avatar

make that four times today
I just checked and it looks like I have 83.5 G available on a 232 G drive (64% filled, 36% free).

rojo's avatar

One other note, this was originally an XP machine upgraded to Win 7 but that was over three years ago.

elbanditoroso's avatar

More than likely it is a memory chip going bad (your RAM).

Much less likely to be disk space. Silicon can, over time, lose its ability to act as RAM.

Symbeline's avatar

Oh no, the blue screen of death. I thought that was over with XP though…egh. I’ve had that problem years ago, exact same thing as you mention, only I never had the black screen. Blue screen, auto reboots, crashing…
But since your issue is on W7 and not XP, I don’t really want to say anything, but now that you know that it’s called a blue screen of death, you can look it up online to see if there are solutions that you can do yourself before bringing it in, or replacing something. It’s hard knowing what causes the screen exactly though, as to my knowledge, many different problems can do it. My problem was the hard drive…I think…that was so long ago.

Here’s a site with some trouble shooting. Hopefully you can at least pin point the actual problem.

Blue screen of death.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I think you have some hardware or hardware driver issues. Video cards are the biggest culprit but it could be ram, or hard drive, cpu or mb. It can be hard to find these problems. I usually remove all non essential hardware and if it goes away i start adding it back slowly until the problem resurfaces.

Crazydawg's avatar

Do a full back up. When the same thing happened to me the hard drive soon after failed.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Is oit a laptop? What kind of computer?

My laptop used to do that too, until i realized it was overheating and got a Cool Lift cooling pad.

No more Blue Screen ever.

ragingloli's avatar

Something similar happened to me. My display driver would often reset, and at one point, I got the BSOD as well. After a few days, the monitor began to flicker, then shut off, and finally it died completely. After replacing the monitor, no more driver resets.
I think it might be possible that the faulty monitor is causing those problems.

rojo's avatar

@Symbeline thanks for the link. Went there, followed their suggestion. Was told you have 82 unreported errors and Windows needs to see them before we can tell you how to fix it. Sent them. Was told (basically) we don’t know WTF is wrong and then asked “How helpful was this page”.
@Crazydawg Am doing a full backup as I type this (on a different computer). This is the second attempt today, the first Bluescreened about ⅓ of the way through.
@Dan_Lyons It is a desktop. I guess it is possible the cooling fan is not working but I hear it when it reboots so probably not.
@ragingloli will try the monitor solution tomorrow.
Thanks to all. Sounds like time for a new computer.

Symbeline's avatar

@rojo Wow…but go figure, MS. When I had that happen I took it to a repair shop. Either the hardrive or motherboard needed to be changed, I forget which. (I’ve had to replace both a few times) Depending on your problem, it may still be salvageable. A professional may need to look at it though.

josie's avatar

What ever it is, it is never a good sign

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

Without knowing what the messages say, we can’t really diagnose the problem.
That said, it’s probably the RAM, as @elbanditoroso suggests. You have a backup already, right? If you don’t, make one NOW. Stop reading this and go do it. I’ll wait.

You can test the RAM by booting with a live CD of some sort, many of them come with the memtest86+ application which performs a pretty exhaustive test of the RAM. Try this one: http://memtest86.com/download.htm (I have never tried it, because most Linux live CDs have memtest on them and I usually have one of those around.) Do it AFTER you back up.

It’s quite possible that you have one bad stick of RAM, and replacing it will put you back in business. Running a test will tell you for sure.

Or, if you can afford it, treat this as an excuse to buy a new computer :^)

rojo's avatar

@rexacoracofalipitorius :

additional info from this mornings crash:

Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.256.48
Locale ID: 1033

Additional information about the problem:
BCCode: a0000001
BCP1: 0000000000000005
BCP2: 0000000000000000
BCP3: 0000000000000000
BCP4: 0000000000000000
OS Version: 6_1_7601
Service Pack: 1_0
Product: 256_1

Files that help describe the problem:
C:\Windows\Minidump\051614–20170-01.dmp
C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Temp\WER-77969–0.sysdata.xml

Crazydawg's avatar

@rojo I found this how to fix minidump/BSOD issues

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