The "Blue Screen of Death" error is as timeless as the Windows Operating system. These errors, also known as "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart," error occurs when the Windows Operating system crashes and needs to restart. The error stops you from using your computer to avoid further damage as the system restarts.
The BSOD usually appears alongside another error code or a message that your PC ran into a problem and has to restart. It’s a challenge to know what went wrong with your computer if there isn’t an error code or you don’t have enough time to note it down. Blue Screen errors are often related to corrupted system files, outdated drivers, and memory issues.
Here are some potential solutions for the ‘Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart’ error.
Disconnect External Devices
Disconnecting any external devices connected to your computer is an excellent place to start with fixing this error. These peripherals may be interfering with the operating system. Printers are a noted cause of the error. Remove any external devices and peripherals from your computer, leaving only the mouse and keyboard connected. Restart the computer and see if the error appears again.
If the problem doesn’t come back, it means one of the unplugged devices is damaged. The damage interferes with Windows and causes the Blue Screen of Death. Check the devices and plug them in one by one to determine where the problem lies. Keep the device disconnected and replace it if you still need it.
Run Startup Repair
Windows Startup Repair is a tool for troubleshooting and fixing Windows errors, particularly errors that prevent the operating System from working smoothly. The tool fixes problems caused by missing and damaged system files. Given that the “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” error can be caused by system files, it’s worth using Startup Repair to attempt to fix it.
Use your Windows Installation Media to start your computer with the Advanced Startup options. You can force your computer to enter Advanced Startup by interrupting the normal boot process four times in a row. Start your computer and hold the power button to turn it off before it boots up. You can also open the menu by pressing a button during computer boot-up. The default button is F12, but it might be different for your machine.
No matter how you get into the Advanced Startup menu, you should see an option called "Troubleshoot." Click on the option to get started.
Click on “Advanced Options” and then "Startup Repair." Windows automatically diagnoses the computer to check for errors and problems. Restart the computer when the check finishes and see if the Blue Screen of Death has gone or not.
Use System File Checker
System File Checker is another Windows utility you can use to check for errors and corrupted Windows system files. We'll explain how to use System File Checker to check your system files and repair them if necessary.
Start by opening an elevated Windows Command Prompt. Open the Start Menu and search for "Command Prompt." Right-click on the result and then click "Run as Administrator" to get started.
Type "sfc /scannow" into the Command Prompt and hit Enter to run the command. The System File Checker scan can take some time to complete. Restart your computer when it finishes and see if the error still appears.
Device drivers are software programs that help a computer interact with hardware, such as hard drives and RAM chips. Think of device drivers as being the translator for system software and hardware. Computer programs and computer hardware are often created by different people, so there has to be a common ground between them. Drivers offer that common ground.
Device drivers ensure that communication between the hardware and software of your computer happens seamlessly. Computers rely on these drivers to properly transmit information. If the driver doesn’t receive or send the right data, it causes the “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” error. If you’re getting that infamous Blue Screen of Death, the cause could be the device driver for your display or internet connection.
Get started by typing “device manager” into the Search bar and opening the "Device Manager" program that shows up.
Device Manager displays a list of all the devices connected to the computer. You’ll have to uninstall each device and restart your computer to discover which particular device is causing the issue. Find the device in question, right-click it, and choose “Uninstall device.” Check any box that verifies you want to “Delete the driver software for this device” and uninstall the device.
Restart your computer to see if you still get the error or not. If the error persists, then try uninstalling other drivers to see if you can find the culprit. If you uninstall every driver you can and still get the problem, then try updating the driver instead. Follow the same steps as before, but click “Update driver” rather than "Uninstall driver."
You’ll get a prompt to automatically check for the new driver software or browser your computer for an update. Choose to search automatically, and Windows will check the internet and your computer for potential driver updates. If you choose to update manually, you’ll need to find and install update files yourself. You’ll have to search the internet and download the files or keep them on a USB stick. Manual updates take longer, but some people like to do things themselves. Either way, choose the option you want and follow the instructions to install missing driver updates.
We’ve heard from people who say they managed to fix the error by updating their Windows operating system. Windows issues updates for lots of reasons, including error fixes. If you haven’t updated Windows in some time, we recommend seeing if updates are available and ready to install.
Open Windows Update and check for updates. Install available updates and restart your computer. This solution should fix the error if a Windows problem caused it.
Remove Recently Installed Software
The error could be caused by the software you installed recently. The software may be creating system conflicts that cause the error. If you installed something around the same time you started getting the error, then there’s a chance that it could be causing the Blue Screen of Death. We recommend removing the program in question.
Open a Run command window by holding the Windows key and R button. Type “appwiz.cpi” into the window and hit Enter to open “Programs and Features.” Find the recently-installed program and right-click on it to uninstall it. Restart the computer and see if the problem persists or not.
Use System Restore
System Restore resets everything on your computer – except user-generated files – to a prior state. However, you need System Restore points to use this option. Your machine needs those points, so it has something to go back to when restoring. Hold the Windows key and R to open the Run command. Type "rstui.exe" into the window and run the command.
Navigate your way through the System Restore wizard and see if you have any restore points to choose from. Check the box marked “show more restore points” to see if there are more to choose from in the list. Pick a restore point from before you encountered the error and run the wizard. System Restore works automatically from here and restarts your computer when finished. See if you still get the error after restoring the computer.