Friday, August 14, 2009

Reinstalled Windows XP, but I'm still getting BSODs and other troubles?!

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August 14, 2009
Reinstalled Windows XP, but I'm still getting BSODs and other troubles?!

Dear CNET members,

Happy Friday! This past week, Bob received a lot of awesome advice and suggestions for why his XP system is still continuing to get the Windows "blue screen of death," even after formatting his drive and reinstalling XP, but before we jump into to that I want to introduce to you a whole bunch of new Mac forums that we've just created. To serve you Mac users or soon-to-be Mac users, we expanded our Mac forums, which are now broken down into more specific Mac forum categories to allow for better organization of all Mac discussion topics. This will allow you to easily find the most relevant content that suits your topic of interest, and it will make it easier for you to find the most appropriate forum for you to post your Mac-related questions. So if you have a moment, please check them out. Now let's jump right into this week's topic.

Ah the dreaded Windows blue screen of death; don't we all just love these? You may not know this, but while the blue screen of death in general can be caused by software issues, many times it can be also be caused by hardware issues. So doing a complete format of the hard drive and a fresh Windows installation may not solve the issue if a hardware problem exists. And if you go through many of our members' advice, you'll find that the most mentioned possible issue that may be causing your blue screen of death stems from a possible hardware issue, such as a bad memory module or motherboard, computer overheating, or even a failing hard drive. However, there are other possibilities, which could stem from not having the latest drivers, outdated BIOS, or even remnants of previous installations or viruses that still may reside on the hard drive that may be causing all these headaches.

Unfortunately there are endless possibilities for why this may be happening, but the good news is that there many community members here to share their experiences with you, and, hopefully, help you out along the way. My best advice is to start with the basics. Remember that every blue screen of death can stem from a different problem, so it's best to jot down the blue screen of death ID number when it occurs and do an Internet search on it to pinpoint the issue faster. Here are a few screenshots with explanation of their errors from our sister site TechRepublic.

Check out the Q&A section to get you going, but there is plenty more advice to go through, so take your time reading each one. Bob, when you do get a chance, we'd love to hear back from you as tell us what caused your problems, so please post back in the discussion thread. Thank you everyone for your advice each week; you all rock! Have a spectacular weekend.

- Lee

Got suggestions? Send me an e-mail:

Lee Koo
Lee Koo
CNET Community manager
Last week's question
Reinstalled Windows XP, but I'm still getting BSODs and other troubles?!
QuestionI recently had to format my hard drive and reinstall Windows XP Pro, because I was frequently getting the Windows blue screen of death (BSOD). However, since re-installing the OS, I cannot place my computer in standby, and by implication, hibernate, because the standby button is grayed out. Furthermore, to make matters worse, I cannot restart my computer from the entry/exit screen because the command is simply ignored; the same applies (occasionally) to the turn-off command. To compound the situation even further, I'm STILL getting the BSOD, more and more frequently. Having read many replies to other users with various problems, I have a great admiration for your contributors for the knowledge they have and are willing to share and I'm praying someone will have a solution to this problem. Grateful thanks in anticipation.

-- Submitted by: Bob T.

AnswerFeatured member solutions
for last week's question:

 "People are too quick to reinstall Windows "
-- Submitted by: Watzman

 "Black SOD vs. Blue SOD "
-- Submitted by: Thomas Kater

 "Numerous possibilities, and a lot of questions for Bob T. "
-- Submitted by: ben_myers

 "Wipe/reformatting is reshuffling chairs on the Titanic "
-- Submitted by: HomelessClarence

 "Quite possibly could be defective RAM modules."
-- Submitted by: Brawly44

 "Drivers or hardware failure"
-- Submitted by: fivecentfamily

 Read all member contributions

 Thanks to all who contributed!

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Check out next week's question:
What's the reason behind reformatting your hard drive and reinstalling Windows occasionally?
Next week's questionI've been an avid reader of your help and how-to newsletter for many years and thanks to you and the members, I have learned quite a bit. The one thing that I could never understand is when a topic of Windows problems is presented, many people offer the suggestion of reformatting the hard drive and doing a fresh install of the Windows operating system and magically things should be solved, but they never go into details as why this solution works. Is this some sort of standard Windows ritual that I'm not aware of? I've never really understood this, but there is always a few who mention it and I'd really like to understand why people give such advice and also what it does for you? Is it bad advice or should it be taken into consideration? Is this something that I should be doing to improve my Windows XP system? Should this task be performed every six months, every year, every other year...??? Please help me out as this subject has been puzzling for me for quite some time. Thank you.

-- Submitted by: Stephanie L.

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