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Your Device Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart [Solved]

This error message, commonly known as the Blue screen of death, is one of the most annoying errors to receive. Not only does your computer randomly crash without warning, but it might have trouble starting back up. The main fixes for this issue involve running various Windows inbuilt tools and updating your software and drivers.

Depending on the specific case, you might be encountering other issues that come with this error, such as infinite boot cycles, updates being stuck on 0%, or your PC will entirely not start back up. Don’t worry, as even though the name blue screen of death sounds intimidating, it has some relatively simple fixes.

In this article, you will learn the common causes for this error message, how to fix it, and how to prevent it from occurring again in the future. 

Most Common Causes

If you are getting this error message onto a blue screen on Windows, the following issues might be present on your computer:

  • Damaged or missing system files
  • Corrupted registry files 
  • Overclocking of hardware 
  • RAM errors
  • Out of date drivers
  • Software incompatibility
  • Improperly installed Windows Update
  • Hard drive issues 

Most of the causes for this error are software related, but lousy hardware parts can also cause it.

You might get specific error codes or keywords such as MEMORY_MANAGEMENT next to the error code. If you get such a code, it can narrow down the causes of your crash by a lot, so pay attention if you get an error code there. Sometimes you will not get any error code, in which case you must perform basic troubleshooting.

List of Error Messages and Their Meaning

Below is a list of the most common error codes you might get along with the blue screen. There are over 100 different error messages that can be generated so make sure to check specific ones and what causes them.

  • FAULTY_HARDWARE-CORRUPTED_PAGE: Your drivers are missing or corrupt
  • Stop Code: 0xC0000021A: Hard drive or windows update issue
  • INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE: Incorrectly configured primary boot drive
  • CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED: Application issue or Windows service error
  • BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO: Windows registry related error 

All of the Blue screen of death fixes we’ve listed below generally apply and work for most of the error codes you might receive, with the exception of some very specific and rare ones.

Just follow the steps below in order to ensure that your system is running error free without any abrupt blue screen crashes. 

Your Device Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart(Fixes)

Fix Damaged System Files

Windows has a built-in utility tool that allows users to run checks on the integrity of crucial system files that might have become corrupt or damaged for some reason.

To access this tool, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Windows Start Menu 
  2. Type: “CMD” in the search field and press Enter
  3. When the Command Prompt opens, type: sfc /scannow 
    sfc-scan-nowsfc-scan-now
  4. Press Enter and let the troubleshooter run

When the system file checker is finished, restart your computer and see if the blue screen error persists.

Remove Any Overclocking 

From my personal experience, the most times I got the blue screen of death crash was after running games with an overclock on my GPU; sometimes these settings persist, so ensure that your GPU and CPU are running at default core and memory speeds.

The best way to reset any overclock is to restart your computer and check if the clock is set at default speed through the application that you used for the overclocking.

Before attempting new overclocks, test for system stability at slower GPU memory and core clock speeds to avoid possible crashes. Some games might crash with very slight overclocks, so test for each game by itself. 

Fix RAM Errors

If your system has issues in properly managing RAM, it can run into sudden crashes. A built-in tool in Windows runs diagnostics on the RAM to check and fix potential errors. To run this troubleshooter, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Windows Start Menu
  2. Type: “mdsched” and press Enter
  3. Click on “Restart now and check for problems.”
    windows-memory-diagnosticswindows-memory-diagnostics
  4. Let the troubleshooter finish running after the restart

This will address issues when you get a text saying: MEMORY_MANAGEMENT in the blue screen error message. 

Update Your Drivers

Out of date drivers can cause you to receive a blue screen of death error message due to incompatible software. For example, running specific applications with old drivers can cause them to misbehave and crash.

You have to update your main drivers like GPU, Motherboard, Chipset, and audio drivers.

Start Windows in Safe Mode

Safe mode allows windows at the default configuration, settings, and the necessary startup programs. Booting in Safe Mode can thus directly remove many of the issues that can cause the error message “Your computer ran into a problem and needs to restart”.

Here is how to start Windows in Safe mode:

  1. Open the Windows Start Menu
  2. Hover over the power options with your cursor
  3. Hold down SHIFT and click on Restart
  4. After this, your PC will restart, and you will see a blue menu
  5. Click on Troubleshoot and then click on Advanced Options
    troubleshoot-advanced-optionstroubleshoot-advanced-options
  6. Click on the cogwheel that says Startup Settings 
    startup-settingsstartup-settings
  7. Click on Restart in the final menu to start Windows in Safe mode
    startup-settings--restartstartup-settings--restart

After running Windows in safe mode, see if the issue persists and whether you still get blue screen crashes. 

Perform a System Restore

Having a restore point backup is immensely helpful as if some files get corrupted, you can always revert to a previous Windows state, where these duplicate files are still functioning and in order.

To perform a System Restore, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Windows Start Menu
  2. Type in words “System Restore” in the search field and press Enter
  3. Click on the application called “Create a restore point”
  4. Click on “System Restore” and Follow the dialogue box by clicking on Next.
    create-a-system-restore-pointcreate-a-system-restore-point
  5. You will see a list of available System Restore point dates 
  6. Select the one you wish to return to and click on Next
  7. Finish the steps and wait for Windows to perform a system restore

Note that if you don’t see any restore points, it means that you haven’t enabled this feature beforehand. 

Install Any Pending Windows Updates

An outdated Windows operating system can lead to crashes and instability without a doubt. The best way to keep your system up to date is to enable automatic updates. However, sometimes updates don’t get installed.

You can manually force Windows to search for any pending updates by doing these simple steps:

  1. Open the Windows Start Menu
  2. Click on Settings located on the right side of the panel
  3. Find the tab called “Update and Security” and open it
  4. Click the button “Check for updates
    windows-update-checkupdateswindows-update-checkupdates

Your Windows will automatically search for and install any pending updates. After which, please restart your computer to apply the changes. 

Run a Startup Repair Protocol 

Windows has a powerful utility tool called Startup Repair that will scan and fix many files, settings, and errors within the operating system. Here are the steps on how to run this tool:

Please note that this procedure can take time, so plan accordingly.

  1. Open the Windows Start Menu
  2. Hover over the power options with your cursor
  3. Hold down SHIFT and click on Restart
  4. After this, your PC will restart, and you will see a blue menu
  5. Click on Troubleshoot and then click on Advanced Options
    troubleshoot-advanced-optionstroubleshoot-advanced-options
  6. Click on Startup Repair
    startup-repairstartup-repair
  7. Choose the correct Windows Account
  8. Enter your username and password credentials and click continue
  9. Follow the instructions and let Windows Scan and repair any damaged files

Your computer will restart at the end of the Startup repair.

Remove and Uninstall Recently Downloaded Applications

Specific applications might be causing your GPU to crash, causing the blue screen of death. Try removing the last program you installed on your Windows before this issue first appeared and see if that alleviates the problem at hand.

Here is how to remove any installed programs

  1. Open the Windows Start Menu
  2. Type in “Add or remove programs” in the search field and click Enter
  3. Sort the list by Installed Date and click on the latest installed program 
    sort-by-install-date-and-unistall-recently-added-programsort-by-install-date-and-unistall-recently-added-program
  4. Click Uninstall and follow the procedure on the screen

When installing or uninstalling any software, always restart your computer and see if the blue screen error still pops up during normal operations. 

Upgrade Your Hardware Parts to Bypass This Issue

If you constantly receive this error, it might be a sure sign that at least one of the hardware parts in your PC is failing or near failure. The most common parts that cause this issue are hard drives and graphic cards.

  • If you get the blue screen of death when running any graphically demanding application such as modern games, it means that most likely the GPU is malfunctioning. 
  • Hard drives get worn out with time, and sometimes even the built-in Windows defragmentation can’t fix bad sectors, so in this case, an upgrade is your best bet to fix the blue screen of death error message.

Frequently Asked Questions

My Windows Enters Infinite Boot Cycles After Getting a Blue Screen

In this case, there is no way to access traditional troubleshooting steps, so you have to do something completely different. Your best bet here is to perform an automatic repair on your Windows system by using the Windows 10 installation USB or disk.

  1. During restart, open the BIOS menu by pressing the correct key
  2. Find and locate the option called Boot Menu
  3. Click on CD-ROM Drive or Hard drive to select your source of Windows 10 installation
    set-boot-device-priorityset-boot-device-priority
  4. Press any key to go to the next screen
  5. Click on Repair Your Computer on the top of the black popup menu using your arrow keys
  6. Click on Enter and Advanced Options > Startup Repair 
    startup-repairstartup-repair

If these steps still don’t solve your boot loop, navigate to the same menu but click on Startup Settings > Start windows in Safe mode instead.

If your PC still keeps stuck in an infinite boot loop with the blue screen of death, it might be time to perform a factory reset on your Windows. Only do this step as a last resort. 

Summary

  • The blue screen of death is an age-old issue that persists even on Windows 10 
  • The way to fix it is by scanning and repairing corrupt files or wrong settings
  • Some applications can cause this crash when run with incompatible software or drivers
  • If you can’t access any of the basic troubleshooting steps, you need a Windows Installation disk or USB to perform a system repair or restore

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