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Blue Screen at Startup

A Blue Screen at Start Up happens because your computer is unable to load (or fully load) your Windows operating system. This is technically known as a ‘Stop Error’ and happens because a fault has been detected. Different faults show different error codes on the blue screen, and these faults can vary from relatively minor software issues to major hardware problems. Here is a list of the eight most common stop error codes.

  1. 0x000000ED (UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME)
  2. 0x0000007B (INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE)
  3. 0x00000024 (NTFS FILE SYSTEM)
  4. 0x0000007E (SYSTEM THREAD EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED)
  5. 0x0000008E (KERNEL MODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED)
  6. 0x00000050 (PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA)
  7. 0x000000D1 (DRIVER IRQL NOT LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO)
  8. 0x000000EA (THREAD STUCK IN DEVICE DRIVER)

From the above list; Number 2 is the most serious. It means that your hard disk is essentially not there. It may be mechanically or electronically faulty, but it could also be a faulty or loose data cable between the disk and the motherboard.

Error code Number 1 is also potentially serious. It means that your hard disk is electronically connected and active, but that the data cannot be read properly. This could still be a mechanical fault with the disk or a problem known as ‘Bad Blocks’, where certain portions of the disk cannot be read.

Error code Number 3 is an indication that there is a problem with the hard disk’s format. Most likely errors in the disks directory structure meaning that some required data cannot be located, at least where it should be.

Error Numbers 4 & 5 are indications that the system software and the BIOS of the motherboard are no longer ‘compatible’. Either the operating system is asking the BIOS for something that it cannot provide (4), or the BIOS is asking the operating system to do a task that it is not capable of. Note that this stop error is most common after a ‘Windows Update’. If so an update to the motherboard’s BIOS will normally be required.

Error Number 6 indicates a problem with the system software’s ‘Page File’. This is a software trick where the operating system uses a portion of the hard disk storage as system memory. The most common cause of this fault is that the hard disk is full or getting full.

Error Numbers 7 & 8 are indications that ‘Device Drivers’ are corrupt, or no longer compatible. Device drivers are small pieces of software code that allow the software to instruct the hardware how to work, for example video cards and chips, USB controllers, monitors, etc. This stop error most commonly occurs after a Windows update, where Windows succeeds in updating itself, but fails to update a necessary device driver.

We would not advise that anyone without expert knowledge attempts to fix a ‘Blue Screen Error’. It is fairly easy to make matters worse if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Posted in Technical