free computer help



Posted by Richard on March 12, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Ok. Blue screen of death? It seems that all the posts I see on the internet are way too complicated regarding this issue or over simplified. This post is meant to be a catch all. While the blue screen of death may have been caused by such a number of things, such as drivers, etc, there are a few simple tools to help you troubleshoot this. First, you can start your computer in safe mode.

This is the same for Windows Vista and Windows 7, 32 or 64 bit.

Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your computer, and then restart your computer. Click the Start button, click the arrow next to the Lock button, and then click Restart.

Do one of the following: If your computer has a single operating system installed, press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts. You need to press F8 before the Windows logo appears. If the Windows logo appears, you will need to try again by waiting until the Windows logon prompt appears, and then shutting down and restarting your computer. If your computer has more than one operating system, use the arrow keys to highlight the operating system you want to start in safe mode, and then press F8.On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight the safe mode option you want, and then press ENTER. Log on to your computer with a user account that has administrator rights. When your computer is in safe mode, you’ll see the words Safe Mode in the corners of the display. To exit safe mode, restart your computer and let Windows start normally. From safe mode you can run some diagnostics.

Another way, which is actually easier, is to hit ctrl+alt+delete at your blue screen or blank screen. Here, you want to select “Task Manager".

Here we see a number of tabs: Applications/Processes/Services/Performance/Networking/Users. On Applications tab, you can close anything that may have caused your computer to improperly boot. Processes: You can click on the button on the bottom left to show all processes from all users. If you click the memory tab within Processes, you can sort the processes by the ones that utilize the most memory. If there is a process that you do not recognize, you can Google it. For example: Firefox.exe. I do not recommend closing anything related to Microsoft. Services are the same. The service is tied to the Processes or program but it is more difficult to identify which one may be causing an issue. We will skip Performance/Networking and Users for now. In Windows Task Manager click File-New Task Run. Type msconfig at the prompt. Here you will see the System Configuration. You are probably running in Normal Startup. You can just click on “Diagnostic Startup" This will only start the basic programs necessary for your computer to boot properly. Ok, so, want to know what startup programs are causing the issue? Go back to Task Manger Click on “Hide all Microsoft Services". More than likely Microsoft is not causing the problem. Here you can select the Services tab and close any unknown services. One that I found that will cause my computer problems sometimes is Anti Virus software, especially Panda. Click on the Startup tab, deselect any programs not needed except only those that are essential for your computer to start properly. Do not disable Microsoft programs. Eventually, by the process of elimination, you will find the process and or startup program that is causing the issue.

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