Understanding Blue Screen or Stop Errors

Blue Screen errors (Also known as bug checks)occur when the system encounters a condition that compromises safe operations. As a result, the system is halted and the “blue screen” with the bug check information or STOP error is displayed. These types of errors can occur for several reasons:

* Software defects in drivers or core system services cause an invalid instruction to be sent to the processor.
* Defective hardware causes unhandled messages to be sent to the operating system.
* Core system services have been terminated (e.g., Local Security Authority or Client/Server Runtime Subsystem).

Bug checks provide diagnostic information such as STOP codes and driver names that can help lead to problem resolution. Because of the volatile state of the system, this information cannot always be recorded when the event occurs. It is important that you record the information associated with the bug check and driver information sections. Many of the bug check messages have relevant information that you should read and understand if they apply to your situation. Finally, if you have enabled memory dumps, wait until the dump is complete before restarting the computer (if you do not have automatic restart enabled). Your device vendor and/or Microsoft use the memory dumps to help understand the state of the system at the time that the bug check occurred. You can change the memory dump settings through the Startup and Recovery button in the System Properties’ Advanced tab, while the STOP messages might not always indicate the root cause of the problem, in combination with other sources of data; it can help direct a trained support technician to track down the root cause of the problem.