HOW TO: Solve blue screens of death and freeze problems with Windows 7

So participating in the TechNet forums as well as my own forum there seems to be a significant amount of people having problems with Windows 7 going blue screening and freezing on them. Here is a list of troubleshooting:

  • Faulty memory module. Blue screens if not caused by software are likely to be caused by bad memory. It is not unusual that a machine works perfect with Windows XP and then starts behaving badly when upgraded to Windows 7 due to changes in memory management. Use built in Windows Memory Diagnostics (on your Windows 7 machines press F8 before Windows starts to load and choose “Windows Memory Diagnostics”) to troubleshoot the memory modules.
  • Driver. Bad drivers are without doubt the most common cause for blue screens. Therefore update your drivers either by going to Windows Update or the hardware manufacturer’s web site. If no Windows 7 driver exists for the hardware go with the Windows Vista driver as good as all Vista drivers work with Windows 7.
  • BIOS. When having problems with hardware in any way and particularly blue screens I would strongly recommend a BIOS upgrade as that many times improve stability and compatibility. Also resetting the BIOS settings to the default is always a good idea.
  • Bad hard drive. Bad hard drives are sometimes causing blue screens. I recommend using Hitachi’s Drive Fitness Test, which can scan any brand of hard drives for errors. This tool can be found at

Remember that you can always find out the reason for the blue screen by analyzing the memory dump file which is generated when the system crashes. Read the guide for analyzing the dump files yourself.

GUIDE: Troubleshooting and analyzing blue screens of death

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