How to fix blue screen of death (BSOD) error in Windows 11
If you have used any version of Windows, you will have encountered the BSOD – or “Blue Screen of Death” – error.
This is Windows’ way of telling you that something has gone so wrong that it cannot continue and has to restart.
It can appear at any time and without warning, but with a little tenacity it isn’t hard to find what is wrong and fix it. However, before you can fix what is wrong, you need to know how to read the error screen.
BSOD under Windows 11
Windows 8 was the operating system to finally make the BSOD screen a bit more user-friendly, but Windows 11 tried to make its own changes.
Initially, the operating system removed one of the key features of a BSOD present in all previous versions – its blue color – and replaced it with a “black screen of death”. It had the exact same layout, only with a black background.
However, in the most recent version of Windows 11, the traditional blue has been reverted. So if you see a black screen of death on error, you are probably on an older version. It is best to download the latest version from Microsoft’s website or with Windows Update.
Green screen of death on Windows 11?
If you are a Windows insider, the BSOD becomes the GSOD. Not only is the error screen green, but it also contains additional information to identify bugs in the operating system, as opposed to issues in third-party packages.
If you are having a GSOD, you may find that there is not yet a solution to your problem as the version is still in beta testing. On these occasions, we recommend that you seek help from the Insider Community.
Understanding a BSOD screen in Windows 11
While the current BSOD screen is much more user-friendly than it was at the start of Windows, it can still be a bit intimidating, especially since it is likely to appear without warning and will always require immediate attention.
Before doing anything you have to wait for the system to save itself, which will be tracked for you on the screen with a percentage. This should make sure you don’t lose any jobs.
Once done, it’s time to interrogate the screen in front of you. There are three pieces of information on the screen that may help resolve the issue.
What makes up the Windows 11 BSOD?
The error code
This is the series of letters and numbers that usually begins with “0x”. This number is important to write down because it tells us exactly (but sometimes cryptically) what is wrong.
The stop code
It is a series of words in capital letters, sometimes displayed in [square brackets]. It tells you the type of error. It’s not as precise as the code, but it’s a good place to start.
For example [CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED] tells us that something went wrong with an aspect of Windows 11 itself.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what the stop code is telling you. It is worth noting as it will come in handy for a technician if you need outside help.
The QR Code
Introduced in Windows 8, this handy feature means that by using your phone’s barcode reader, you can use the QR code to direct you to the support page for the onscreen error code. Sometimes this can be incredibly useful, especially if you are unable to restart your machine.
Troubleshooting BSOD in Windows 11
Now that you have the error codes, it’s time to find out what they mean. The information is not always specific, and in most cases the code will simply point you in the right direction, rather than giving the precise cause.
For example, a common Windows error code is 0xc000000f, which usually appears when Windows failed to start correctly. If you recently installed new software or updated your version of Windows, it may interfere with Windows startup routines, resulting in an error.
However, some errors are more difficult to diagnose. The error code IRQL_not_less_or_equal, for example, usually refers to a hardware fault, such as corrupted memory modules. However, it can also be triggered by faulty drivers or even faulty antivirus software.
Besides using the QR code, the fastest way to verify the error is to enter the code into a search engine. It’s best to research the Microsoft support page for this code first and foremost, before checking out any third-party sites that will try to sell you a quick fix or have you try all possible solutions.
The Microsoft support page will be able to explain the error, the circumstances that triggered it, and if there is a fix or workaround to resolve it. Follow the step by step instructions on the screen.
If there are no fixes, or if the page only offers vague information like “driver problem”, it is time to rethink any recent installations or changes you made to your machine and if necessary is, uninstall them.
If the BSOD appears before logging in and therefore prevents you from accessing your desktop, you will have to boot into safe mode and try again, or use System Restore to come back before any erroneous changes are made.
BSOD Troubleshooting: Windows 11 Core Dump
If the support page does not answer your question, you can find a lot more information by browsing the core dump, an error log that is automatically created whenever Windows encounters an error from which it cannot. not recover.
You’ll find it on the same drive that contains your installation of Windows 11, in a folder called % SystemRoot% MEMORY. DMP Where % SystemRoot% Minidump.
To open the file you will need an application called WinDbg from the Microsoft Store. We won’t go into details on how to decrypt a core dump in this article, but if you need to, call a support person or a system administrator.
Alas, Windows can only diagnose so far and if the problem is still not clear at this point, you will need to seek outside help. Microsoft has forums for this kind of problem, run by the community and by Microsoft engineers. To use them, it’s really important to be as thorough as possible about what you were doing when the BSOD first appeared, and remember to include both the error code and the shutdown code.
You can find a guide on how to access Help in Windows here.
Overall, the key rule for the vast majority of BSOD issues is simple – anything you installed, uninstalled, cleaned, updated, or otherwise changed before the crash happened is likely to be the cause. Either undo this action first or restore your machine using System Restore and you will solve most of the problems.
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