Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

A sudden blue screen does not always mean that your computer is dying. It may be an easily fixable problem.

How can I fix my computer from going to blue screen? Is it about to tear up when this happens? I did a scan and it was an ad to sell me something. My computer can't break down; I'm taking some online classes. Thanks.

In this excerpt from Answercast #6, I look (again) at blue screen problems, suggest a few solutions, and point you to an in-depth article.

Blue screen might not be the end

Unfortunately, blue screens can happen for any of a thousand different reasons. No, it doesn't necessarily mean that your machine is about to die. It could. Most often, it does not, but there's much too little information here to actually be specific about the kinds of things that could be going on with your specific machine.

I do have an article, "Why does my computer blue screen?" that runs down the top issues that will cause a computer to blue screen.

Check for heat

Number one on the list for any computer (for any Windows-based computer) is heat. Make sure that your machine has adequate ventilation; that it's not overheating; that there's not a lot of dust blocking the ventilation. If a machine overheats, then typically the most common symptom is that it "blue screens" or crashes in some other way.

Operating system issues

Beyond that are several things that could be happening. Windows XP is slightly more fragile when it comes to blue screens. By that, I mean there are various software scenarios that are more likely to cause Windows XP to blue screen.

In Windows 7, they've actually done a pretty good job of reducing that, catching more of those. It catches those in the software, so you will have more informative error messages, or symptoms, to help us diagnose the problem more accurately.

But that's what I'll do. I'll point you at that article, "Why does my computer blue screen?" and have you take it from there. You may end up needing to find a technician to help you diagnose it further.

Next - How do I install programs on an alternate drive?

Article C5161 - April 3, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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