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The Windows 8 Blue Screen Of Death is one of the worst problems that you could encounter while using your PC. Generally speaking, this problem can be caused by a hardware malfunction, wrong drivers, unresponsive drivers, missing system files, inaccessible system files, corrupted system files, bad RAM module(s), bad HDD sectors, defective/damaged SSD, viruses, and so on. The best troubleshooting methods and tricks are included below.

Restart and (eventually) Update

Before attempting any software or hardware repairs, you should wait for the computer to restart itself, and then check if Windows 8 boots normally. You are good to go if everything looks fine after the restart. It was most likely a temporal glitch (all operating systems do that from time to time). At this point, it is a very good idea to get the latest updates for your operating system, programs, and hardware.

Windows Restore Point

In case that the above scenario doesn’t happen, you will have to take some further actions. First, you should try to troubleshoot the issue by restoring your Windows 8 to an earlier time frame (restore point). You can accomplish this through the WRE (Windows Recovery Environment). Congratulations if your Windows 8 system is once again operational. Otherwise, keep reading.

Try deciphering the BSOD dump (.dmp) file

The mini BSOD .dmp files contain valuable information about the origin of the BSOD issue. Deciphering the dump file could give you really useful leads on what was the cause of the BSOD and how to resolve it. You can use specialized dump file deciphering software (various freeware programs are available) if you are unable to decipher the .dmp file manually. Windows 8 stores the recorded dump files in the following directory OSpartition/windows\Minidump, unless you have specified a different directory.

DRIVER_IRQL BSOD (A bad driver)

If the message “DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL” is displayed during the BSOD, then all the suffering and pain has been caused by a bad driver. You should write down the full text of the error message, and then use google to find out which driver has failed. Once you have found the bad boy, you should download the latest replacement from the official website of the manufacturer of the corresponding hardware component, and then install the new driver. Next, you should restart and test your Windows 8 system. I hope that everything looks rock solid now. Keep reading if the most popular window is still broken.

BSOD Hardware Troubleshooting

In the next step of the troubleshooting process, you should switch your computer off, and then unplug the power cord. After that, you must open the main case if it is a desktop configuration, or the corresponding compartment if you are using a laptop, and then make sure that all internal components are properly installed. Inspect the SATA connection of the HDD or SSD, make sure that the RAM modules and the video card are fully inserted into their slots, check for any cables of the power supply that are touching the main chassis, and so on. The usual hardware troubleshooting. Keep on reading if the BSOD hasn’t been caused by a hardware problem.

It is hot under the sun (Overheating)

Overheating is also a probable cause for a Windows 8 BSOD. Thus, you should enter the BIOS of your computer, and then check the temperature of all listed components. You should also try to change the settings for all system fans from auto to manual, so that all fans run at 100% of their capabilities. After that, you should save the new BIOS settings, restart the computer, and then check if the system is stable with the new settings.

Fried RAM and Backed HDD (RAM and HDD/SSD Test)

The next logical step of the Blue Screen Of Death troubleshooting is the HDD/SSD and RAM modules check. A defective RAM (random access memory) module can cause all kind of software errors. The most popular freeware software for RAM testing is “memtest86”. For the HDD/SSD test, you can use the built-in windows tool – “chkdsk” that can be run from MSDOS.

Fighting Ebola (Run a full virus scan)

If the BSOD issue is still present, you should run a full virus scan. A badass virus can ruin your Windows 8 installation, which results in numerous BSOD happy moments. Most modern antivirus programs are able to isolate the infected files during the initial boot, so that you can start the system normally.

Destroy your current Windows 8 installation

The last and the most desperate step of the BSOD troubleshooting is the complete Windows 8 reinstallation. This really sucks, but sometimes there is no way around. Alternatively, you can stop troubleshooting the problems of your computer and just shoot it. A hammer will also do the job just fine. Have a better idea – Please use the comment section below.