[KB2911] Troubleshooting Blue Screen BSOD Errors


  • Windows Kernel crash, STOP Error, blue screen error (BSOD)


The STOP message or STOP error

More widely known as a blue screen error (BSOD) that is named after the blue screen error message that displays after a Windows Kernel crash. The crash of the Windows operating system is usually followed by a forced system restart and, if enabled in the Advanced system settings, a memory dump is created. The Windows Kernel Crash can have a high variety of different causes (hardware - conflicts/malfunction/damaged, software - OS errors, driver errors, malware, etc.) and to identify the right one and start troubleshooting can sometimes be a difficult task.


BSoD - Prevention

Best practices to lower the risk of BSOD:

Regular system maintenance:

  1. Update your drivers - Keep your device drivers and related software up-to-date.

    Only download drivers from the manufacturer website

    Most manufacturers offer free driver downloads from their websites. Make sure you are installing drivers compatible with your Operating system (OS) version. Avoid downloading drivers from unknown/suspicious websites.
  2. Update your operating system - Windows 7 /8/ Vista | Windows 10 | Windows XP.
  3. Maintain your antivirus software - Install the newest version of your ESET product | Update your ESET product
  4. Check your system for malware - Perform an ESET malware scan | Schedule an ESET malware scan

    Free virus scan

    If you don't have an ESET product installed, you are welcome to use our free online malware scan to scan/clean your computer.

  5. Monitor and maintain your hardware - Make sure your hardware is fully supported by your OS. Check your harddisk(s) for errors (especially important prior to installing your Windows OS). Run benchmarking tests to ensure your system hardware components (e.g. RAM, GPU) are working correctly.

What to avoid:

  • Incorrect BIOS configuration - Do not change your BIOS settings unless absolutely necessary. Do not overclock your CPU.
  • Misuse of hardware - Do not unplug devices still being used by your computer. Take increased care with your PC during an OS installation.


All instructions in this article are based on generally accepted troubleshooting practices. We strongly recommend you perform a backup of important data from your PC before attempting to diagnose and troubleshoot BSOD-related issues. 


BSOD - Quick Troubleshooting

  • If this is the first time you see this specific BSOD on your system, restart your computer. If the screen reappears, try using the Last Known Good Configuration option, as described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:

    Windows 7 | Windows Vista | Windows XP

    If this helps to solve your issue, we recommend you perform all system maintenance steps as described above to prevent further BSOD occurrences.
  • Disabling/removing/uninstalling any new hardware or software that has been recently installed on your system may help you isolate and solve the cause of your BSOD.

  • You may want to search MSDN for the specific error descriptions / file names / hexadecimal error codes from your BSOD (see the Diagnosing section below for details) at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/ and follow Microsoft issued instructions on removing your BSOD issue.

BSoD issue information

To learn about more about resolving general BSoD issues, please see one of the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles, based on your version of Windows:

BSOD - ESET Related Troubleshooting

If you have reason to believe your BSOD issue is related to an ESET product:

  1. Please see the Related: section at the bottom of this article for an updated list of articles about known ESET related BSOD problems. If you cannot find any relevant solution, continue to the next step.

  2. Perform antivirus maintenance as listed step C in the BSOD - Prevention section at the top of this article and restart your computer. If this does not solve your problem:

    Keep your ESET product updated:

    Always use the latest version of your ESET product and keep your detection engine updated to help prevent both malware caused BSODs as well as BSODs caused by conflicting / outdated drivers.

  3. Scan your computer for malware using instructions in our Knowledgebase article and restart your computer. If this does not solve your problem:

    Remove system disk to scan

    If it is not possible to scan your computer for malware, remove your system disk and connect it to another computer to perform the scan.

  4. Uninstall your ESET product and restart your computer.
    1. If this does not solve the issue, your ESET product and the BSOD occurrence are unrelated. Reinstall your ESET product immediately to prevent possible malware attack. You may want to contact Microsoft support.

    2. If this does solve your issue, use the following instructions to contact ESET Technical Support:

Contacting ESET Technical Support:

  1. Use the following form to contact ESET Technical Support and try to provide as many details about the issue as possible. Try to include the information from sections 1 and 2 of your BSOD (as described in the Diagnosing section below) if possible.

BSOD - Diagnosing

Figure 1-1

The text outside the highlighted sections in the figure above is generic (it appears unchanged in all BSODs). Only the sections marked 1 and 2 in our example (see Figure 1-1 above) contain specific information about your issue:

  • Section 1 - Error description:
    • Follows the generic error message text. May contain filename references and/or codes (always capitalized, see section 1 of Fig.1-1). This data can be used to diagnose the issue.
  • Section 2 - Technical information:
    • Contains an eight-digit hexadecimal number Error code followed by four values in brackets. The hexadecimal error code (see section 2 of Fig.1-1) can also be used to identify the cause of a BSOD.

Take note of the data you collect

We recommend you record the important data from Sections 1 & 2 (as described above) of your BSOD. This data can help you or Customer Service engineers to identify and troubleshoot your issue.

If Windows restarts automatically:

Windows may restart before you have the chance to write down the important information. In this case:

  • Use the instructions in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article on how to disable automatic restart on Windows failure, or you can
  • download the free Bluescreenview utility and use it to view and analyze your most recent BSODs. This utility gives you the advantage of getting more complex information about your BSODs without the need to replicate the actual BSOD error. You can download Bluescreenview from a link near the bottom of the following page.
  1. When requested, please create and send a memory dump in your reply to ESET Technical Support, as described below. This important troubleshooting data will enable our Technical Support Engineers to process your case with maximum speed and efficiency:

BSOD - Memory dump

If enabled, your Windows system will create a dump of the computer's physical memory each time the Windows Kernel crashes and store it in the default folder as memory.dmp. If you believe your BSOD issue is related to your ESET product, contact ESET Technical Support (or your local support channel) and send us the memory dump generated by your computer during the Windows Kernel crash.

For our Technical Support service engineers to be able to provide you with quick assistance it is best to follow these steps:

  1. See the Generating a memory dump file article for instructions on how to find out where your system stores the memory.dmp file.

    Full memory dump:

    If a full memory dump is needed, follow the instructions in the Example of a full memory dump file setup section in this article and replicate the BSOD.

  2. Locate your memory dump file and pack it using any common archiver software.

  3. Send the packed memory dump file as an attachment in your reply to ESET Technical Support.