We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
 

Can a BSoD hurt my computer?

zyrrahXD asked the Windows forum if a Blue Screen of Death can severely damage a PC.

zyrrahXD asked the Windows forum if a Blue Screen of Death can severely damage a PC.

I doubt it. In fact, the whole point of a BSoD is to protect your hardware. When Windows senses that something could cause real harm, it stops everything, resulting in the infamous Blue Screen of Death.

Officially, Microsoft calls these most hated of Windows screens Stop Errors. But most people prefer the nickname Blue Screen of Death.(abbreviated as BSoD). If you don't know why, you're a very lucky user.

[Email your tech questions to answer@pcworld.com or post them on the PCW Answer Line forum.]

A BSoD can be a symptom of a hardware problem. In that case, it might look as if the error itself caused the problem.

Although a BSoD won't damage your hardware, it can ruin your day. You're busy working or playing, and suddenly everything stops. You'll have to reboot the computer, then reload the programs and files you had open, and only after all that get back to work.

And you may have to do some of that work over. When Windows crashes, it takes everything in RAM with it. If you were working on, say, a document, you will lose everything written since your word processor last saved to disk.

BSoDs have another negative effect: They encourage sociably unacceptable language. If there's a young child within earshot when your screen goes blue, their vocabulary may go blue in another meaning of the word.

Aside from these problems, a single, rare BSoD is nothing to worry about. But if they start happening frequently, you've got a problem that needs to be addressed.

To address it, you can write down and later Google the more useful information on the screen. You'll find that information under the first paragraph, and under the words "Technical information" near the bottom of the screen.

You might also want to try BlueScreenView, a free, portable program that provides information on your recent crashes.

For more on dealing with these attacks, see Attack of the Blue Screen of Death.

Read the original forum discussion.

IDG UK Sites

Netflix to introduce price increase: New subcribers to start with

IDG UK Sites

Apple financial results: iPhones, iPads & Macs sales for Apple's Q2 2014, plus shares to split

IDG UK Sites

Twitter - not news

IDG UK Sites

See Moo Studios' new animated advert for Blue Moon beer