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BSOD- The Checklist

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BSOD, or blue screen of death. We see a lot of threads about users with this issue, so instead of going through and answering each one with the same "checklist" of things to do: I'm making a thread about the usual things to check and try to find your issue. This is just a small list of the 5 most common issues to cause a BSOD and the ways to repair them. More than 5 ways exist, but to list every solution to everything would take forever.


1- Overclocking.

Set your clock speeds back to factory settings. This is particularly important of CPU and RAM: as they are the most common culprit of a BSOD. This includes memory timings.

Also, resetting a GPU overclock may stop the issue.

If you attempt to overclock again: Do it one component at a time. Do not jump in and overclock CPU, RAM, and GPU in one go: You'll never figure out which one was the issue this way.


2- Bad memory.

Download memtest 86+, install it for use in BIOS.

Remove all memory.

Installing 1 stick at a time, test the memory for at LEAST a full pass of all 9 tests.

If a stick fails at stock speeds: It most likely needs replaced with a new one.


3- External Building.

Take your components out of the computer chassis.

Build the computer on a NON-STATIC surface such as a cardboard box or wooden desk.

Start the computer after installing EACH component by jumping the power pins with a screwdriver or similar conductive object.

Listen for the error beeps. If the computer boots without issue, then gives off an error warning after installing one component: That component is faulty.


4- Swapping. Motherboard-only diagnosis.

Try to borrow a motherboard or use an old one that works with your current components. Make sure it fits your CPU socket and memory type before doing so.

If it works now: Odds are your old motherboard could be the issue.


5- OS and file integrity.

Run chkdsk.exe (Windows 7 steps below)

Insert your OS install DVD.

Boot into it by selecting the proper boot device at POST screen.

Select your language.

Select "Repair your computer".

Select your operating system from the next menu.

Select "Command Prompt."

Type: "fsutil dirty query x:" x: stands for your boot drive (usually C)

Type: "chkdsk c: /f" This will run checkdisk and attempt to fix any errors.


Start Windows back up and see if the error repeats itself: Could've just been a dirty bit in a program you were running.


After any repeated BSOD's, it is advisable to install a fresh copy of Windows. How many times it crashes before you do so is up to you, but usually 5 BSODs in a short period of time is a good indication of OS corruption. Either way, it doesn't hurt to reinstall everything: Just takes a good bit of time.

Edited by dragonsdontfly

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