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Poll: What was the cause of your last BSOD?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / August 14, 2009 6:08 AM PDT
The last time you encountered a Windows blue screen of death, what was the cause of it?

Software issue (Please explain what it was.)
Hardware issue (Please explain what it was.)
No clue as to what caused it. (Is it still a problem?)
What?s a BSOD?
I don?t do Windows
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by jean harrington / August 14, 2009 11:28 AM PDT

You did not give enough choices.

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by BunnyBuns / August 15, 2009 2:45 AM PDT
In reply to: BSOD

Exactly, Jean. I've never gotten the BSOD on any desktop or laptop I've owned, and I've owned computers for 15+ years, using them every day.

Whenever I've gotten a new PC or laptop, it's not because the equipment failed but because I wanted to upgrade to something faster and more powerful yet more compact.

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by jazzy5 / August 14, 2009 11:42 AM PDT

My last BSOD was..... Oh yes, Windows 98. Trying to get a new game I bought to run. The game needed extended memory to run and a special boot disk. It took me a while to get it going and then I found the game was not worth the hassle.

Since all my desktop are build by myself with quality parts and I do my own maintenance (Clean inside and out) I never had any problem, no BSOD.

Since I also repair computers of friends and family, I also found out that most of the problem with their computers are another error code with the ID Ten T (ID10T)

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BSODs, software vs hardware
by ramo89 / August 14, 2009 12:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Last BSOD

I won't lie, I have had a few BSODs that I know for sure were a result of software conflicts or inconsistencies. Who's to blame, the software producer or the creators of the operating system? Beats me... Although, since I've started using XP with SP3, I can't ever recall BSOD'ing from a software issue.

I do overclock my rig quite a bit though, and while I'm testing for stability, of course I'm going to get BSODs.. quite a bit actually, but that's totally normal, especially when you're pushing a Q6600 to do 4.0GHz on air + aftermarket HSF Happy ... for the record, I've only ever managed 3.75GHz (it was a B3 stepping); only stable enough to make a few runs of 3DMark06, ORTHOS and OCCT to set some benchmarking scores, but eventually it BSODs...

Besides overclocking, I've had some peripherals that for whatever reason will cause a BSOD with any system I connect it to. I think in someway the circuitry/board, or the data within the hardware in question (something like a usb key or mp3 player) is corrupted.

I think the whole thing about the BSOD is just so inflated and overhyped.. other OSs will hang, freeze and have catastrophic failures.. the BSOD, I think, just freaks people out because one minute you're looking at your desktop, and the next minute you have this bright blue screen with bright, scary old-school font, and I'm sure that sorta extreme transition freaks people out, whereas the screen just hanging or blacking out has less of a signature to it, people can't really call it anything, it's just a standard freeze, so you don't get this sorta infamous legacy with it...

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Don't know.
by mwooge / August 14, 2009 12:19 PM PDT

I clicked on "hardware", but I don't really remember. They should have included an "I don't remember" button.

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by sirpaul1 / August 14, 2009 12:26 PM PDT

Also my first BSOD on XPSP2. Apparently, Window screens don't like to be shut down before they load completely!

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A recent BSOD was ....
by leedoran / August 14, 2009 12:41 PM PDT power supply ! For a few weeks my computer (Gateway Quad Core Q6600, 3GB RAM, 500 GB HD, 8500GT) would run, then turn off and try to reboot. it would usually just 'correct itself' - i.e the PC would run, but recently it continued cycling, and would not boot completely. I did see the dreaded BSOD but was unable to read the details. I decided if it was a hardware failure, the first item I would replace would be the power supply, since the one that came with the system was a no-name PSU that was 19 months old and, worst case, I would have a better PSU to use if I needed to continue to find the cause of the problems. But immediately after replacement of the PSU with an Antec 650 watt (Earthwatts EA-650) the system booted faster and there have been no BSOD issues since. Cost of repair: 80 bucks plus shipping. Possibly worth it for continual BSODs on boot.

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bad connection
by paradis00 / August 14, 2009 12:52 PM PDT

BSOD happened at random. It was a hard drive connection that was just a bit loose.

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What's a BSOD
by ny2nv / August 14, 2009 12:55 PM PDT

Since using Vista (March 2007) I haven't seen BSOD.
Over 2 years with Vista.
XP was the last time.

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My Last BSOD(Blue screen of Death)
by BenShami / August 14, 2009 1:13 PM PDT

It was my first windows xp install. I rebooted and windows went into repair mode and the BSOD never came back... I was warned that might happen with my first copy of xp as a new product(it was way before any service packs). I have never had a BSOD since that time, I built the machine myself, and I have built 7 since then and refurbished 3 without a problem. I do check all my connections before I turn the power on and I generally test every part on my demo machine before I install it to make sure it works. I read all I can read on a part off the internet before I purchase a part including the retail page and manufacturers pages as well as reviews and test results from places like toms hardware and read all the instructions before I install. I check for current drivers, for instance I have a xp build that has a agp card, the manufacturer built a current video card build with legacy agp, the only driver that would work was the manufacturers edition, because it was an adaptation to a legacy video bus, great card by the way, and, if you ran the manufacturers driver it worked great... if you ran the designers copy that was made for pci e 2.0 you might have gotten a BSOD :-(.

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by grandam121 / August 14, 2009 1:15 PM PDT

Driver conflicting with windows.

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by ftyson1947 / August 14, 2009 1:30 PM PDT

Could be weak power supply or heat issue maybe cpu fan and heatsink is pluged with dust bunnies .

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by couke / August 14, 2009 1:46 PM PDT

the last bsod i got was on my old computer with xp and IE6 a/v avast...3 years was a virus in my temp folder...that i received when avast home rid of avast and started using another a/v...never seen it again

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by smit jones / August 14, 2009 3:29 PM PDT

It was a couple of years back. We were running a 4 year old computer from a well known company (name withheld). When we turned the computer on, it would immediatly (ie within 10 seconds) show a BSOD. you would restart it, and you had to leave it for a few minutes before you could do anything with it.

It turned out the capacitors in the processor were oozing - not healthy

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Reason for BSOD
by bionico_1 / August 14, 2009 4:47 PM PDT

Hardware, windows messages always to uninstall a jabra blue tooth device adapte as uncompatibility ,so had to reformat windows,and reinstall jabra bluetooth device and update its driver.
This fix system troubles.

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blue screen
by rksudhagar / August 14, 2009 5:23 PM PDT

i had a problem with my display dricer. after uninstalling and then i went for a driver update. i got it ok

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blue screenof death
by urs123 / August 14, 2009 6:33 PM PDT

I got this continuously for a year . Since getting rid of all the dust in my computer it has stopped . Open the computer and clear away all the dust . good luck

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BSOD in Vista 64
by Jelly Baby / August 14, 2009 8:55 PM PDT

Since installing 64 bit Vista I've had very few BSOD eppisodes. The recent one was caused by a Nokia software install causing a shut-down problem when it attempted to re-start the PC. The system recovered on powering up again and the software seems to have installed correctly.

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Cause of BSOD
by nastynick46 / August 14, 2009 9:41 PM PDT

In my case, the BSOD started sporadically. I formatted and reloaded. For awhile that seemed to solve the problem. Then it started again and increased in frequency. I finally traced it to a stick of memory going bad. Fortunately, it had a lifetime warranty. Haven't had a problem since then.

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by 9215rank / August 14, 2009 10:08 PM PDT

One computer I had to run check disk on drive that fixed BSOD error.
One computer had two Ram sticks took out one still error, took out second and replaced with first BSOD fixed (Just replaced the bad RAM stick and no more BSOD)

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by paulbrodie / August 14, 2009 10:25 PM PDT

There should be a response of haven't had a BSOD. I haven't had one since I purchased this PC about 5 years ago and use Windows XP Home Edition.

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by spines6969 / August 14, 2009 10:55 PM PDT

It was a problem with my memory slot...I changed the sticks around into different slots and the problem went away

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by ira_davis / August 14, 2009 10:57 PM PDT

Bad Motherboard.

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cause of last BCOD
by Bonniedean / August 14, 2009 11:04 PM PDT

Was caused by motherboard going out.

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Switch from Intel to AMD Processors
by gspal / August 14, 2009 11:04 PM PDT

The last time I had this blue screen phenomenon was on my earlier PC Pentium III with Win98SE and IE 5.5. On my new assembled PC I switched to AMD64 Athlon 3200+ using Windows XP2 Professional and IE 6. Though at times the computer does get slow, but no blue screen shuts a command. Now even this "New" PC is coming to be three years old. The next assembled one would have the AMD Quad with a proper cooling system. But would stick with Windows XP2. However, I may move from IE to Chrome or Firefox which depends on my home-based work providers of medical transcription on an online platform. If there is a better nonintrusive operating system, then I will be very happy to have dumped Microsoft altogether.

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Motherboard failure caused BSOD
by dawn_swe / August 14, 2009 11:43 PM PDT

My "like new" (i.e., factory refurbished) Dell Inspiron laptop experienced BSOD failures repeatedly right out of the box. After lengthy discussions with support personnel, reinstallation of virtually all software plus installation of a new CD/DVD drive and a new hard drive, they finally agreed (after about 2 months of trial and mostly error solutions) to let me send the unit back. It came back a week later with a new motherboard, and has worked fine since then.

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Blue/Black Screen of Death
by cvacinc93 / August 14, 2009 11:44 PM PDT

Trojan killed my motherboard-(BIOS)
Had to buy new computer. Had an upgraded Compaq which functioned remarkably well for an 8-year old machine until the Trojan. Now have a new Dell which I love, but miss the old machine.
Wsa running anti-spyware and anti-virus, so am not sure how this got through.

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by Marc Thibault / August 15, 2009 12:46 AM PDT

Broken network card. Literally--I could see the break in one of the printed circuit lines. Pop the card=no BSOD.

With four machines, two of them as old as Win95, I've never had a BSOD that didn't track to a hardware problem.

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by / August 15, 2009 1:01 AM PDT

Color card- Whoops gave away my age.... Source ATI video card and drivers. It was so long ago. The time before? One of Creative Labs' Soundblaster cards. Time before that? Bum motherboard.

Sometimes it's just a case of incompatible hardware due to compnent or part burn-out, before MTBF.

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Hard drive head crash caused it..
by hrlaser / August 15, 2009 1:07 AM PDT

I was using a Compaq Presario 2103US XP laptop as my main computer for a few years.. bought it brand new about four years ago.. it was on 24 / 7.. suddenly, one day, doing I don't remember what (nothing unusual).. the BSOD appeared.. "Can't read from [some obscure Windoze message]"..

I rebooted.. got the same BSOD.,. crap.. tried everything I could think of, and finally decided to try re-installing XP from the CD included in its box.. that didn't work.. tried reformatting it from DOS.. that didn't work either..

After multiple tries, it would only get about five or six percent into re-formatting the original 30 gb internal drive when it'd encounter hundreds of bad sector errors.. the drive would simply not format.. the hard drive was simply shot..

Luckily, I had used Acronis True Backup to make a mirror image of the entire C: drive about three months before the hard drive crashed..

I had work to do, and no time to deal with the problem, so I set the Compaq aside, and bought a new Acer Vista laptop..

A year and a half passes.. I decide "this is stupid.. I have what used to be a $1000.00 laptop, sitting over there, doing nothing.. I could use a "real" computer in the bedroom.. all it (hopefully) needs is a new hard drive, and I can restore it from the Acronis backup and resurrect it."..

So.. I bought a brand new Seagate 160 gb 2.5" drive from for under fifty bucks.. installation was simple (luckily, I had downloaded that Presario model's service manual from HP's site and had it stored on my newer computer.. but replacing the hard drive wasn't rocket science.. no cables, no jumpers.. just a few screws)..

So.. a jewelers screwdriver to get the old hard drive off the little slide-out sled, and screw the new one to it.. then I cabled the older laptop to the USB external drive on which I had stored the Acronis back-up of its entire former hard drive.. also had Acronis make an "emergency rescue CD" so it could boot into its own operating system and run the program itself (and its own operating system).. to do the restore outside of Windoze..

This older laptop only had USB 1.1 ports, so restoring a 28 gb file onto its new hard drive was glacially slow.. many hours.. but it finally finished.. I rebooted, all was fine (except a lot of registered software had to be updated to newer versions since the back-up was a year and a half old.. okay, so I'm lazy, and I put off replacing its hard drive that long..)..

So fifty bucks, fifteen minutes to CAREFULLLY remove and replace the hard drive, (those screws are *tiny*).. a number of hours to restore the whole original C: drive's contents.. and that old XP laptop now lives in my bedroom, fast internet connection from my router / cable modem over WiFi.. and that's that..

A long-winded way to say that the hard drive simply wore out after a few years of very heavy use.. hard sector errors were causing the BSOD.. and nothing else..

The Compaq was never abused, never dropped, any time I took it on a trip, it was protected in a padded case.. I had the foresight to back-up the entire thing a few months before it crashed.. so now it's resurrected and works just as well, if not better, than it used to, since its new hard drive is six times the capacity.. and a lot faster..

I'd much prefer a solid-state "hard drive" but those are still VERY expensive.. MANY times the price of a regular, mechanical hard drive of the same capacity..

And that's all I have to say about that.. except.. unless you want a lot of hand-wringing and sorrowful weeping, as long as your computer is working properly, get a reliable program that can make a mirror / backup of your entire system drive (not just data files, but the WHOLE system drive).. and do it.. unless you want to suffer through days and days of restoring installed software and files if you have no backup, and have to start from a comletely "naked" re-install of Windoze on a new hard drive..

I'm not wild about Acronis True Backup.. it has that "coded by Europeans so some of its English is kinda funky" cachet to it.. but it DID do what it was supposed to do..

Also, this may seem obvious to most, but I think it's worth mentinoing anyway..

NEVER use a back-up program to back up a hard drive to itself.. not even to a different partition.. no matter how much capacity it has.. if that drive crashes, your backup will go bye-bye along with it..

ALWAYS back-up to an external drive, or, if you're using a desktop, to a second drive in the same computer.. if you're using a laptop, you only have ONE hard drive in it.. so get an external USB 2 hard drive.. they've come down in price to insanely cheap levels.. like a hundred bucks for a 1 tb USB 2 external drive these days..

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