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Common Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death Errors and What They Mean

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Common Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death Errors and What They Mean 

The old-school BSOD that many of us already hate


The infamous Blue Screen of Death is one of the worst things that can happen on a Windows computer because the computer needs to be restarted, possibly with some data loss, as some applications may not be able to save your work.

As most long-time Windows users certainly agree, BSODs aren’t something that we see as often as in the days of Windows XP or Windows 7, and the release of Windows 10 and Microsoft’s focus on reliability turned them into nothing more than occasional errors that aren’t so difficult to fix.

And yet, BSODs still happen every once in a while not only on Windows 10 preview builds (where they are actually called Green Screen of Death / GSOD) but also on stable versions of the operating system.

Most users try to fix these issues on their own, albeit in some lucky cases, a BSOD is just a rare thing that requires no input on the user side. This could be an indication that the BSOD was caused by a third-party driver or app that has in the meantime been patched with fixes to resolve the fatal crash.

Each BSOD comes with some diagnosis information that’s supposed to help users determine the cause of the stop error and fix it when logging back to Windows. While there are many such messages that could show up on a BSOD, the seven most common are the following:

In most of the cases, resolving a BSODs starts with determining when the crash occurred.

If you received the BSOD while using the device, you need to begin inspecting third-party software that could cause such an error. Security software, like antivirus products and firewalls, should be checked first, as they could block critical files or processes from running, in turn leading to a fatal crash.

Then, you need to uninstall drivers and remove any peripherals that might have triggered the BSOD.

On the other hand, if the BSOD happened after installing an update, the only way to go is to uninstall that update.
The BSOD code can vary depending on its cause

Let’s begin with the CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED error. In this case, the message that you see on the BSOD reveals that a critical system process died unexpectedly, so the operating system responded with a bug check. There are several processes that could cause such as BSOD, including the following:

When it comes to SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED, the cause of the error is a bit more difficult to determine, as it signals that a system thread generated an exception that the error handler did not catch. There are several codes that come with this error message, including the following three:
0x80000002: STATUS_DATATYPE_MISALIGNMENT indicates an unaligned data reference was encountered.
0x80000003: STATUS_BREAKPOINT indicates a breakpoint or ASSERT was encountered when no kernel debugger was attached to the system.
0xC0000005: STATUS_ACCESS_VIOLATION indicates a memory access violation occurred.

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, on the other hand, is an error that’s typically caused by kernel mode device drivers using improper addresses and in most cases signal faulty hardware, a system service problem, or an antivirus error.

If your system crashes with VIDEO_TDR_TIMEOUT_DETECTED, you should check for newer drivers for the graphics card. This error indicates that the device encountered either a software or a graphics hardware problem.

Just like several other errors, PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREAis typically triggered by faulty hardware, bad drivers, or antivirus software. However, a corrupted NTFS volume can also generate the same error, so these are the first things you should check when trying to fix it.

SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION is an error that pretty much speaks for itself, as it signals that executing a code had an exception. This time, you should check the drivers and remove hardware that has been added recently to your system.

And last but not least, it’s DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION, an error that happens because of bad drivers which failed to complete a task within the allotted time frame. Needless to say, you should look for driver updates, as this is most often the easiest fix for the bug.

As you can see, the same workarounds are recommended for most of these errors, but IT pros can also check the System Log in Event Viewer for additional information in order to determine the cause of the problem or identify the driver causing the bug check.




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