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Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death – You Can Quickly Fix It


Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death: An Overview

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD for short), also called Stop Error, emerges whenever Windows detects a serious error it cannot recover from, and it shuts down or restart itself to avoid any damage. Any version of Windows would be encountered with BSOD, definitely including Windows 10. Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death could appear on boot or after update, such as software update, driver update, and system update. It could also emerge after login or during upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8.1.

Trick: Black Screen of Death is also called BSOD, but reasons for both errors should be different. For more information about this BSOD, please view the post Full Guide to Repairing Black Screen Error When Booting Windows.

Windows 10 blue screen often comes with error codes displayed in white text, for example:

snapshot for blue screen of death of Windows 10

But sometimes it is just a blank blue screen or with spinning dots:

snapshot for blue screen of death with spinning spots 2

Sometimes, it just happens once, and you'll not see it again when you restart, but sometimes you'll be stuck in BSOD restart loop.


Windows 10 blue screen critical process died issue is very common. And if you are experiencing such an issue, please read this post 8 Solutions to Fix Critical Process Died in Windows 10.

Well, why Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death emerged? How can we quickly fix this issue? These must be what you are eager to know, right? See this post to get what you want.

Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death: What Could Cause It

Hardware related causes:
  • External hardware devices are installed improperly.
  • One or some of hardware devices are malfunctioning, such as RAM, CPU, and internal hard disk.
  • New hardware device is incompatible with your BIOS.

Software related causes:
  • Not enough free space on the partition where Windows is installed.
  • Driver of your hardware is out of date, especially graphics driver.
  • Install incompatible Windows update or program.
  • Virus attack.
  • Boot files get damaged or corrupted.
  • System files corrupted.
  • Bug of Windows 10.
  • BIOS is out of date.
  • BIOS is misconfigured or overclocked.

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After knowing causes for Windows 10 Stop Error, next let's talk about how to fix it.

Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death: How to Quickly Fix It

Before repairing Windows 10 BSOD, you'd better backup all useful data saved in the partition where Windows is installed, which could help you avoid data loss. In addition, it is also the first step if you have to reinstall Windows.

Well, how to backup data under Windows?

If Windows finally starts, just transfer files out from this partition. But if Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death restart loop prevents you to access desktop, see the following tutorial.

Backup Data from Unbootable Windows Before Fixing Windows 10 BSOD

To make such a kind of backup, you need to create MiniTool Partition Wizard Boot Disk, which is available in the paid editions of MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Firstly, please buy MiniTool Partition Wizard to create bootable media by using its Bootable Media Builder feature on the Tool Bar.
You may need to refer to: How to Build Boot CD/DVD Discs and Boot Flash Drive with Bootable Media Builder?

Secondly, start your unbootable computer from MiniTool Partition Wizard Boot Disk to get the main interface.
You may need to refer to: How to Boot from Burned MiniTool Bootable CD/DVD Discs or USB Flash Drive?

Thirdly, to backup data saved in drive C, please make sure there is unallocated space to hold the backup before you can use "Copy Partition" feature. Then, select drive C and choose "Copy Partition" feature to continue. Since you'll be given detailed instructions in each interface, here we do not show details.

1. You'll need to view capacity, used space, file system, and other properties to distinguish C drive from other partitions.
2. If there is no space marked as unallocated, select one of partitions that have much unused space left, and use "Move/Resize Partition" feature to shrink the partition, which will create an unallocated space.

copy system

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Then, let's start fixing blue screen issue of Windows 10.

Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death on Startup: How to Quickly Repair It

Most Windows 10 Stop Errors emerge on boot, some of which could be fixed after a restart, but in most situations you'll be stuck in restart loop and have to manually shut computer down.

To fix this kind of Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death errors, please think about what actions you did right before the BSOD, and then undo the operation.

Situation 1: Get Windows 10 BSOD after Installing an Update, Program, or Driver

If Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death appears after you are installing a Windows update, driver, or application, please uninstall it to see whether Windows can start as before. View the following solutions and choose the most proper one.

  • Windows boots successfully after restart.
  • To uninstall Windows update, please click Start button windows , choose Settings, navigate to Update & security > Windows Update > Advanced options > View your update history > Uninstall updates. Then, you'll see the following interface:

    uninstall Windows update

    Here, please right click the update that may cause BSOD and Uninstall it. Of course, you can double click the update to uninstall it.

    To uninstall hardware driver, please right click Start button windows and choose Device Manager to enter the following window:

    uninstall driver in windows 10

    Here, please find the device whose driver needs uninstalling, then right click it, choose Uninstall, and click OK to confirm uninstalling. Then, Windows will uninstall the device and delete its driver.

    To uninstall a program, just go to Control Panel, and then Program > Uninstall a program.

    uninstall program in Windows 10

    Then, right click the program, choose Uninstall, and click Yes to confirm uninstalling.

    After uninstalling the wrong Windows update, device driver, or program, users should be able to boot Windows.

    However, if you forget the name of update, driver, or software, just try uninstalling the most recent one by viewing its installation date.

  • You are stuck in Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death restart loop
Since Windows is unbootable under this situation, you need to uninstall Windows update, driver, or program in Safe Mode.

Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode for Windows that starts your computer in a limited state. Only the basic files and drivers necessary to run Windows are started. This helps us in identifying whether the issue is due to some third party programs conflict.
--- from Microsoft

But it should be noted that pressing F8 or "F8 + Shift" might fail to start computer from Safe Mode, which is largely because Windows 10 is designed with a very fast boot procedure. But it's not bad to try pressing F8 or Shift + F8 at first, and then use Windows 10 installation disc or recovery drive.

Start computer from Windows 10 installation disc or recovery drive, and click Next > Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart to get the window below if you are using Installation Disc:

enter safe mode Windows 10

And press on 4/F4 or 5/F5 to enter normal Safe Mode.

Or choose a keyboard layout > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart > press on 4/F4 or 5/F5 to enter Safe Mode if you are using Recovery Drive.

Once in Safe Mode, you can uninstall Windows update, software, and device driver by following steps above.

Tip: If an update is proved to be the culprit for Windows 10 BSOD, you need to temporarily prevent the update from automatically installing again.

Situation 2: Get Windows 10 BSOD after Adding New Hardware Device(s)

If Windows 10 stop error appears after you add new devices such as printer, USB keyboard, and RAM, please shut down your computer, and disconnect the newly added device(s) to see whether this is the culprit.

Situation 3: Get Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death Without Doing Any Change

Firstly, please check your hardware devices to see whether they are connectedly properly. If they are not fully pushed into their slots, BSOD is very likely to emerge.

However, if this is not the cause, please check whether your C drive is out of space. If Windows is bootable after restart, please download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition. But if Windows can't start, you'll need to use MiniTool Partition Wizard Boot Disk. This program clearly shows unused space left in each partition.

If your drive C is out of space, extend it using the Extend Partition feature of Partition Wizard. We suggest keeping at least 15% of drive C's capacity free all the time.

Then, you can try clearing Virus when drive C has much free space. Some viruses attack your MBR (master boot record) or boot sector, which could cause BSOD.

It's easy to scan our computer for virus when Windows is bootable: just launch the anti-virus software, scan, and remove. But if Windows is unbootable, you need to do this in Safe Mode, and we suggest choosing Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

If virus is also not the case, try:
  • Setting BIOS to its default state.
  • Updating your BIOS to newest version.
  • Updating Windows to the latest version.
  • Fixing boot using bootrec /fixmbr, bootrec /fixboot, and bootrec /rebuildbcd commands in Command Prompt of Windows installation disc or repair drive.

Maybe, one of these solutions could fix your issue.

Blue Screen of Death When Upgrading to Windows 10: How to Quickly Fix It

Many users reported that they were blocked by a blue screen during the process of upgrading Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 and their PC was set to the original state. Many factors could cause this issue, and next we picked out some typical cases.

Windows 10 BSOD Without Error Code: C Drive Might Run in Low Disk Space
If drive C does not have enough free space for upgrade (keep 15% of capacity free), you may receive blue screen. Therefore, it's necessary to check free space of drive C in Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 Explorer. If it indeed does not have much free space left, enlarge it using Extend Partition feature of MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition.

However, if your drive C is filled with free space, take other factors into consideration.

Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death Error Code: C1900101-20017

Windows 10 blue screen error code C1900101-20017

This is a quite common BSOD error when we are upgrading Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. From the error description we know the installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase, which shows the issue occurs largely because of faulty BIOS setting (always on UEFI + Legacy BIOS). That is to say we can fix the error by changing some settings in BIOS. Just try doing the following operations in your current version of Windows to fix the error:

  • Go to C:/Windows/Software Distribution/Download and delete all files and folders under Download folder. Then, go back to the root directory of C: drive and delete $Windows.~BT folder.

  • Restart computer and enter BIOS by pressing F2, Delete, or Esc. Different computer requires different key, so users had better google "how to enter BIOS plus computer mode or motherboard type" at first. Then, enable "Load Optimized Defaults" to disable all overclocking options.

    enable load optimized defaults

  • Next, enable UEFI boot under Boot menu:

    enable uefi mode

  • At last, disable Secure Boot:

    disable secure boot

Once all these changes are made, please press on F10 key to save changes and exit from BIOS. After that, you may upgrade Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 successfully.

Windows Blue Screen of Death Error Code: 0XC1900101 - 0X40017

Windows 10 blue screen error code 0XC1900101 - 0X40017

This is another common blue screen error when we are upgrading to Windows 10. From one of Microsoft support engineers we know this error occurs largely because there is an incompatible driver or hardware defect which is important for booting the intermediary environment that is necessary to perform the upgrade actions. And he gives the following troubleshoot methods:

  • When our computer is set back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, disable or uninstall all antivirus software.
  • Disconnect all unnecessary external devices or peripherals connected to the computer except the mouse and the keyboard, and then disable general USB devices, like smart card reader.
  • If you are using a SCSI hard disk, make sure you have drivers available for this disk. During Windows 10 setup, click the Custom Advanced Option and use the Load Driver command to load the appropriate driver for the SCSI drive. If this does not work and setup still fails, try switching to IDE in BIOS.

    switch to IDE

  • If you are updating through Windows Update, when the download reaches 100%, disconnect from the Internet LAN (Ethernet) or Wi-Fi, and proceed with the installation.

However, if all methods above fail to work, you may need to set your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 computer to factory state, and then do the upgrade.

Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death When Using Computer: How to Quickly Repair It

If the Stop Error appears when you are using your computer, you can try doing these repair attempts:
  • Remove newly added hardware devices, such as webcam, printer, and monitor, and then restart computer.
  • Scan your computer for virus or malware. If Windows cannot start, do it in Safe Mode with Networking.
  • Uninstall most recently installed programs and Windows updates.
  • Install the latest Windows update.

Steps for all these methods have been shown in the section Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death on Startup: How to Quickly Repair It. So here, we do not give details.

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Nevertheless, when all solutions here are useless for your case, you may need to reinstall Windows.

Reinstall Windows 10: The Last Option

If you have backed up data saved in C drive, now you can reinstall Windows without losing personal files. Skip to Backup Data from Unbootable Windows Before Fixing Windows 10 BSOD to get instructions if your Windows 10 is already unbootable.

Bottom Line

Some of our solutions have been proved to be useful for Windows 10 BSOD error, so it's your turn to try them out. However, if you find other solutions, please share it with us in Comment part.