By Tim Fisher, About.com Guide
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Blue Screen of Death (STOP Error)
A Blue Screen of Death, also called a STOP Error, will appear when an issue is so serious that Windows must stop completely.
A Blue Screen of Death is usually hardware or driver related. Most BSODs show a STOP code that can be used to help figure out the root cause of the Blue Screen of Death.
Did your PC restart after the BSOD? If the blue screen flashed and your computer rebooted automatically before you had time to read anything, see Tip #3 at the bottom of the page.
Important: Below are general Blue Screen of Death troubleshooting steps. Please reference my List of Blue Screen Error Codes for individual STOP code troubleshooting steps. Come back here if I don't have a troubleshooting guide for your specific STOP code or if you have no idea what your STOP code is.
Note: Some of these steps may require you to start Windows in Safe Mode. If that's not possible then skip those steps. Difficulty: Average
Time Required: It might take you several hours to fix a Blue Screen of Death, depending on the STOP Code. Here's How:
The most important Blue Screen of Death troubleshooting step you can take is to ask yourself what you just did.
Did you just install a new program or a piece of hardware, update a driver, install an update, etc.? If so, there's a very good chance that the change you made caused the BSOD.
Undo the change you made and test again for the STOP Error. Depending on what change you made, some solutions might include: Startup using Last Known Good Configuration to undo recent registry and driver changes. Use System Restore to undo recent system changes.
Roll Back device driver to version prior to your driver update.
Verify that a minimum amount of free space is available on your Windows partition. Blue Screens of Death...