In Windows XP, stop messages
generally take one of five forms:
1. Software errors during Windows
Software or device drivers installed in your computer may have errors or
problems which cause a stop error, either constantly or under certain
2. Hardware errors during Windows
operation. If a
hardware device malfunctions or is removed during the operation of Windows, or
if your hardware does not fully support the operations that XP expects it to
support, a hardware stop error will occur. Outdated BIOS information on older
computers might also be an issue.
3. Installation errors. The Windows XP
installation process is the most sensitive time for hardware and disk errors. If
there is a problem with your computer's hardware configuration or the media you
are using to install XP, a stop error will likely occur.
4. Startup errors. Corrupted system files,
hardware and driver errors can all cause Windows XP to halt with a stop message
without correctly booting into Windows. An error of this sort will almost always
require troubleshooting before Windows can be loaded correctly.
5. Intermittent errors. The most irritating type
of stop message, these crop up consistently but apparently randomly. The most
likely culprits for this include:
an overheating processor, dead or dieing hard
or faulty software and device
What can you do about them?
As you are probably aware,
Windows XP can crash in all sorts of interesting ways. Even though it is
massively more stable than its predecessors (Windows 2000, Windows 98SE, Windows
95) people are still finding new and interesting ways to blow it out of the
Given the range of possible
crashes and stop errors, it's difficult to come up with a precise set of
instructions for every possibly BSOD. Websites do exist which contain lists of
known stop errors and some potential solutions, and we would advise you to check
them also in your quest for a cure. Try
here or here for starters.
The goal of this PCSTATS.com Guide
is not to provide specific instructions for fixing each possible Blue Screen Of
Rather we aim to provide a generic set of
troubleshooting steps which will allow you to analyze and hopefully identify the
cause of the error and correct it. If we do not cure your issues, by the end of
this section you will certainly be armed with more information about what is
There are a few basic steps
that you should always take in the case of a Blue Screen Of Death appearing.
Let's look though them now...