This is a Windows 10 Professional desktop, built seven years ago. It is starting to fail, with almost daily blue screens, and I'm trying to guess what part is failing. The candiates are naturally the motherboard, a RAM stick, or a video card.

The errors are almost always different, and there is almost never a culprit announced. Here are some examples:






Eventually I will have to start removing all parts one by one, but I was wondering if these errors might suggest which part to check first.

Edit: it turns out it was one of the hard disks.

EDit 2: Although apparently this is a bad question, I'm adding more information for anyone who ends up here searching for a an answer. After a while I was still having random protection errors (blue screens) from time to time. It turns out that it was the accumulation of dust in the processor's cooling fins, and the errors were due to the processor overheating (you get no warnings for this).


Random blue screen errors in my experience are caused by the following, roughly in this order of likelihood:

  1. Faulty memory (or a poorly-seated module). If you have multiple modules, pull one by one. You can also do RAM tests, but I find pulling modules faster unless the errors don't occur reliably enough to quickly know if things have improved.
  2. Failing motherboard (particularly, bad capacitors). Bad caps are easy to spot as they bulge at the top, have obvious leaks, etc. If this isn't visible, running another OS on the machine can quickly eliminate/confirm this cause. If the MB is bad, another OS should crash too.
  3. Buggy software (drivers, malware). Again, running another OS, booting to Safe Mode, anything that can get possibly faulty code out of the equation can help determine if this is the problem.
  • Thanks. To my surprise, it turned out to be one of the hard disks. – Martin Argerami May 9 '17 at 23:08
  • @MartinArgerami Interesting. Usually bad drives don't create random errors, but it can happen. – I say Reinstate Monica May 9 '17 at 23:39
  • Yes. Actually, I'm asking about it, although the reception has not been very good :) – Martin Argerami May 10 '17 at 4:31

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