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What's the best approach for Windows XP that produce Blue Screen of Death and it goes so quickly that I can't even see what's the reason for it. Is there a way to somehow to look in the logs (without booting into Windows XP) maybe through recovery console? or what else in general can be done at this point?

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migrated from Jul 28 '09 at 16:11

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Boot into safe mode to make the startup and recovery changes in the answers below if your machine is blue screening before you can log in. – squillman Jul 28 '09 at 15:44
once again, i have no access to Windows XP so I can't go to Control Panel to uncheck that option – alexus Jul 28 '09 at 15:52
@alexus: You can't even boot in safe mode? – mmyers Jul 28 '09 at 16:19

In Control Panel, System click on Advanced tab. Under "Startup & Recovery" click Settings button.

Uncheck automatically restart

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that's assuming that you got into Windows, and I can't, so this isn't going work for me – alexus Jul 28 '09 at 15:50

If you can't get into Windows anymore, press F8 during boot. You will be able to disable the automatic restart in the same menu where you can get into safe and recovery mode.

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I can't get into safe mode either... same thing blue screen and it goes so fast I can't see whats the reason... – alexus Jul 28 '09 at 15:53
I'm not sure you're giving this answer a chance. I had the same problem and this worked for me. Turned out to be an "UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME" error – Jerph Nov 11 '09 at 6:33

The best option at this point is to do a reinstall. However you can also check any of the following for or try the following to see if the system still crashes.

  • Unplug all USB devices connected to the machine, including keyboard and mouse.
  • Review BIOS settings and check if any changes where made.
  • Try and do a check disk using an external tool, it could be a fault on the HDD.
  • Try and do a complete memory check.
  • Remove any new hardware that may have been installed.

Windows normally blue-screens at boot time due to a faulty driver or a hardware fault. I have had USB hard drives cause the fault, and also had the problem switching the hard drive mode in the BIOS from IDE to SATA.

You can try and get lucky with the pause key, but as far as I am aware there is no way to get to the event logs even through recovery console.

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+1. If you can't catch the actual stop error code, then you might as well start eliminating possible causes. – Isxek Jul 28 '09 at 16:30
+1. If you have multiple video cards, open the case and remove all but one. If you have only one and its external, then remove it and re-insert it. – skamradt Jul 28 '09 at 17:10

Might sound silly as a solution, but you obviously need to see what is on this blue screen, but you can't access settings (that happens).

So to me, the only solution is a camera. Film your screen, or take repeated photos on the key moment, and then you will manage to read it ;)

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I did that when XP started doing this to me. It didn't help (superuser wasn't around at the time, and the MS Knowledge Base article wasn't useful). – Daniel H Jul 30 '09 at 0:37

There are some times when the pause key actually does what it says. This may be one of those cases, if you can hit it just as the screen is blue.

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Pause indeed works in this case, but he'll have to be fast ;) – Gnoupi Jul 28 '09 at 18:36

change the "startup and recovery" option where it says "automatically restart" and uncheck that box.

This is found by right clicking My Computer, Properties.

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once again, this is assuming you got into Windows and I can't get into Windows so this is no good for me, also might be a better spot but I dont have access to there... – alexus Jul 28 '09 at 15:51

Use a camcorder to record the screen, then play back a frame at time. In my experience, the error message isn't going to be useful at all.

In my experience, removing the video driver (in safe mode) will remedy the problem. Once running again, reinstall the driver. This works a surprising percentage of the time.

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I had a similar problem once - I just recorded video on my iphone - and went frame by frame. The error - sent me in the right derection. I pulled the drive out - connected to another computer and deleted the offending driver. Put is back in and done.

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