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I get infrequently a bluescreen on my Windows 7. I would like to know, how i should start debugging this.

  1. How can I make the bluescreen last, so i can read the error mesages?

  2. How are these messages easy to interpret for a newbie?

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  • Could you tell us what you've researched or tried so far? What you are dealing with is called the "Blue Screen Of Death" or BSOD. You would be amazed at what you can find with a search.
    – CharlieRB
    Mar 13 '13 at 11:45
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In order to stop your computer from automatically rebooting in case of a BSOD (BlueScreen Of Death), you have to change a default setting.

  1. From the desktop right click on My Computer.
  2. Click the Properties option.
  3. In the System Properties window click the Advanced tab.
  4. In Advanced click the Settings button under Startup and Recovery.
  5. In the Startup and Recovery window uncheck the Automatically restart check box.
  6. Click Ok.

If you then simply google the hexadecimal number of the STOP code, that'll usually point you in the right direction. In some cases, a more elaborate error message is printed (e.g. IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL), sometimes including a driver's file name (e.g. NV4_DISP.DLL) which is very helpful.

See here for a complete list of STOP codes.

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You can install a small tool that will give you details about the files involved in the BSOD cause.Bluescreen Viewer

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  • +1 in case you have missed a BSOD in the past (but still have your minidump)
    – pleinolijf
    Mar 13 '13 at 12:54
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I've used Who Crashed to investigate BSODs before; about half the time it was able to localize the problem to a single hardware component/driver. I'm not sure how it compares to @Scorpion99's tool suggestion because it's being blocked by my employers firewall.

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