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"Blue Screen of Death" (BSOD) Error Messages

Sometimes your computer will stop working suddenly and display a blue screen with white writing showing an error message. This screen is often called the "Blue Screen of Death" (or BSOD for short) because once you've got it your computer has "died" and needs to be restarted. This may mean that you have lost whatever you were working on - so make sure that you save your data often.

Typically the BSOD will be broken down into several sections - the first is usually the most import and it will look similar to the screen shot below

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*** STOP: 0x000000D1 (0x00000000, 0xF73C120ADC, 0xc0000008, 0xD0045C00)

A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage
to your computer

DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
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You need to write down the details of the error message (ie the *** STOP: 0x000000D1 (0x00000000, 0xF73C120ADC, 0xc0000008, 0xD0045C00) bit and the DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL bit as this will tell us the nature of the problem.

This will usually be followed by a generic error message which Microsoft thinks might be helpful!!!! An example of this part of the message is shown below and, because it doesn't specifically relate to the error that you just got, you can usually ignore it (especially if you are going to get us to try to solve it). If YOU made changes to your system then read it as it may help you undo those changes and get your system working again.

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If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error error screen, restart your
computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a
new installation, ask your hardware or software manufacturer for any Windows updates
you might need.

If problems continue, disable or remove and newly installed hardware of software.
Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe
Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select
Advanced Startup Options, and then select Safe Mode.
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Then there is usually another part of the error message which may indicate what actual component caused the windows failure. An example of this section is shown below.

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*** WXYZ.SYS - Address F72120AE base at C0000000, DateStamp 36b072a3
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You need to write this part of the error message down as well before you call us.

Procedure to Follow if you get a BSOD

If you get a BSOD then

  1. Write down the error information as specified above
  2. Turn the power to your computer OFF
  3. Wait 20 seconds
  4. Turn the power to your computer back on and restart the computer
  5. Continue working on your computer (if it restarts OK) and see how you go
  6. If it happens again, write down the error message (if it's different) or note down that it is the same error message
  7. If it keeps happening when you do one particular thing on your computer - avoid doing that for a while and make sure that it ONLY occurs when you do that particular thing.
  8. If it keeps happening when you restart the computer and you can't use the computer at all then you'll need to contact us.