What can cause a Blue Screen of Death?

by Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Windows & Software Expert
Madalina has been a Windows fan ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP computer. She is interested in all things technology, especially emerging technologies... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • BSOD errors can be quite problematic, and in this guide, we’re going to show you the most common causes of Blue Screen of Death errors.
  • One of the common causes of BSOD errors are your drivers, so be sure to keep them updated.
  • Hardware issues are another common cause, so be sure to check your hard drive and RAM.
  • If you’re getting a BSoD in Windows 10 be sure to check your hardware connections and remove any overclock settings.
causes Blue Screen of Death

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The Blue Screen of Death is one of, if not the most, dreaded and well-known errors that a Windows user can encounter. It has been with us for quite some time now, and not even upgrading to Windows 10 didn’t save us from it.

However popular the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) may be, there are still plenty of users out there that don’t know what causes it.

The truth is there are many reasons why BSOD errors occur, but suffice it to say that it is caused by critical hardware and software issues.

What are some of the most common blue screen error codes?

Pfn List Corrupt Blue Screen error is a pretty common error and it can appear due to missing updates or compatibility issues with other apps.

Sometimes driver issues can cause System Service Exception, so be sure to check any recently installed components and make sure they are fully compatible with your PC.

We also have to mention Unexpected Store Exception error since it’s quite common and it’s caused by bad drivers or system corruption.

What are the main causes of BSOD errors?

1. Outdated Operating System

Sometimes, BSOD errors can be caused by issues with low-level software running in the Windows kernel. This is something that can be solved by updating your Windows with the latest features that Microsoft dishes out from time to time.

If you want to keep your OS updated to the latest version, but don’t know how, check out this detailed guide.

2. Outdated drivers

Another common cause for Blue Screen of Death on Windows 10 are your drivers. While old drivers don’t have an active role in causing BSOD error per se, their interactions with your OS do.

Whenever you do update your Windows OS, your old drivers can conflict with the new OS, and can even cause BSOD errors.

Various errors are the result of a malfunctioning driver. When this is the case, you may need to update or reinstall completely this specific component. As the process is not straight-forward to complete, we recommend using an automated tool for the job. Here's how to do it:

  1. Download and install DriverFix.
  2. Launch the app.
  3. Wait for the software to detect all your faulty drivers.
  4. You will now be presented with a list of all the drivers that have issues, and you just need to select the ones you’d liked fixed.
  5. Wait for DriverFix to download and install the newest drivers.
  6. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.


Keep your Windows safe from any type of errors caused by corrupted drivers, by installing and using DriverFix today!

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Disclaimer: this program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.

3. Bad hard drives

A bad hard drive is also one of the causes of Blue Screen of Death. This means having your files written badly on the hard drive, but also having a hard drive that is visibly damaged.

If you encounter plenty of reading and writing errors when copying or installing new programs, or you frequently see errors marked as cyclic redundancy checks, then you should know that a BSOD error is imminent.

If you want to avoid BSOD errors caused by faulty hard drives, your best bet is to buy a new one, especially if yours is already old or filled with bad sectors.

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For a wide selection of the best hard drives that money can buy, check out this article.

4. Improper connections

hardware causes of blue screen of death

The hard drive isn’t the only computer component that can cause BSOD errors. Improper cable management or misfitted slots of several other components can also cause these issues, especially the RAM.

Thus, it is a good idea to always check that everything is properly placed before booting your PC. This is especially the case when you’ve just changed a few components, or built a new PC from scratch.

6. Malware

Normal everyday apps and programs can usually encounter errors, but when they do, they will simply shut down without taking the entire system with them.

However, the same thing cannot be said about computer viruses. This malicious code can wreak havoc on your PCs registries, instantly causing Blue Screen of Death errors on Windows 10.

Fortunately, there are plenty of antivirus programs out there that are very good at getting rid of these threats. One perfect example of this statement is Bitdefender, rated the world’s Nr. 1 antivirus program.

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7. Overclocking

While this may sound like a severe blow for gamers, overclocking your PC can also cause BSOD errors. You basically push your PC components to function beyond their designed limit on a constant basis.

So unless you are frequently gaming, or are doing it for a living, setting your PC back to its factory settings is the better option in the long run.

8. Overheating

The prime consequence of overclocking is the overheating of your PC components. Of course, other things can cause a rise in temperatures, such as high ambient temperature, a slow fan, an insufficient number of fans, and more.

Not only will cooling down your PC spare you from BSOD errors, but you will also increase the lifespan of your PC by quite a lot. If you’re having issues with your CPU fan, check out this detailed guide on how to fix the issue as soon as possible.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of things that can cause the dreaded BSOD errors. Of course, if you know what to do beforehand, you can greatly reduce the chance of them appearing.

And even if BSOD errors do occur, all is not lost since there are plenty of solutions that you can try to remediate the situation.

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