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The Blue Screen of Death: What do I do?

Ever since we've been providing tech support for small businesses in Upstate New York, we've seen countless blue screen of deaths. If you've been using PCs for a while, you've probably seen this ominous screen. You'll be working and for apparently no reason your computer monitor will go deep blue and display white error text and the only way to get back to work is by rebooting your computer. What causes this error, and what does it mean, and what should you do if you encounter one?

The earliest blue screen of death dates back to Windows 1.0, although they meant something different back then. On more recent versions of Windows, the blue screen (or BSoD) displays specific information as to why your PC crashed in the first place. The warning is actually designed to stop the computer from causing hardware damage, so if you get them often, there may be something very wrong with your PC. The official name for this is a stop error, and it occurs when there is a serious problem that is forcing your computer to restart or shut down.

These errors are usually pretty difficult to troubleshoot at first. If you get one, write down what you were doing exactly. If you can recreate the issue, you definitely need to contact us at support. Note the time you received the error too, our technicians can check your computer's error log and determine the cause. Often with Windows 7, once you get logged back into Windows the Action Center will tell you what caused the problem.

For our clients that are on our managed services, our remote monitoring and management tools can alert us when issues occur, but sometimes it can still speed up the resolution if we know what you were doing when the error occurred.

If you can't boot your PC back up, then it is time to give us a call at 607.433.2200. We may be able to roll back your PC to an earlier restore point or repair your Windows installation.

If you feel your PCs and network are just running slow or acting up, contact us at Directive and we will gladly evaluate your needs for free, and get your IT pointed in the right direction.

Chris is a Trusted I.T. Advisor, Computer Fanatic, Web, Graphics & Software Designer. He's also an Amateur Photographer and Filmmaker. Chris lives with his wife Charlotte and their 2 sons in Upstate NY.

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