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Windows 10 - blue screen today and preparing for the next one...

  • 30-11-2021 11:28am
    Registered Users Posts: 3,309 ✭✭✭ Dinarius

    Windows 10 x64

    I have a laptop which has run like a train since the day I bought it some years ago.

    This morning, it failed for the first time. Apps froze one by one, then the mouse froze. Then the screen went blue while Windows tried to diagnose the problem. It then went grey and began more computations, eventually asking me to insert a USB boot drive, which I don't have.

    I forced it to close and rebooted. I'm typing this on it now and it seems fine. But, the last time this happened to me, on my desktop, I had a total crash a few days later that required a full reinstall.

    How best to prepare in case that happens to this computer?

    Are there any diagnostics I can run?

    Should I have a USB boot drive. If so, how do I prepare one?

    Does booting from a USB always involve a total reinstall of OS and apps?




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,479 ✭✭✭ tphase

    you can create a bootable recovery USB drive from within windows (don't use windows myself but it won't be hard to find). I'd also recommend making a diagnostics USB disk which I suspect would have more tools on it than the standard windows recovery disk. Long time since I needed one; I always had a copy of UBCD in my stack of CD's but there are many more

    Also might be worth cloning your system to avoid having to do a full reinstall from scratch but at the very least, back up any important stuff if you haven't already done so

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,555 ✭✭✭

    What was error code(s) on BSOD , if any ?

    Is laptop RESTARTed periodically / "fast startup" disabled (power options) ?

    Overheating signs?

    How best to prepare in case that happens to this computer? - Make sure you have backup of your files, etc

    Are there any diagnostics I can run? - RUN>> perfmon /rel , review errors there .

    Should I have a USB boot drive. If so, how do I prepare one? - Media creation tool

    Does booting from a USB always involve a total reinstall of OS and apps? - booting from USB can be used for repair/troubleshooting of existing Win install, nothing removed (if not certain how-to - better dont mess there)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,309 ✭✭✭ Dinarius

    Here's a screen shot...


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,007 ✭✭✭✭ recode the site

    Familiar with the blue screen scenario. Get making yourself a bootable rescue USB asap. If you don’t have access to a second desktop/laptop when it all crashes again you are depending on someone else to provide one for you. It can be a Catch 22 otherwise. And likely it will happen again. You may possibly have a hardware issue too, but for the moment make sure you have a bootable usb to hand. I keep a couple in a drawer.

    Then you probably need to go into the BIOS/UEFI (the thing that makes it look to the USB) to make it boot via the USB stick. If you Google your laptop type and boot sequence you will find out how to do this.

    If it’s entirely a software issue, re-installing Windows should work.

    If you are up to looking at the Command Prompt (best Google how to do that and follow instructions) you can get a clue about disk health.

    Here’s a link as to what you might try at the command prompt for advanced troubleshooting.

    Post edited by recode the site on

    Do one thing every day that scares you

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,555 ✭✭✭

    Not trying to be dramatic here - have seen Windows crashed on my own laptop few times, with no subsequent effects, but better be prepped with backup and bootable USB.

    As much i remember you have O365 - OneDrive gives you 1TB i think - use it if dont have other backup means. You can set to sync your main folders to it for some sort of "backup".

    Read this , but dont overcomplicate things untill you see issue persistent.

    Also, i see CCleaner - hope you using it wisely or not using at all. Even good tool, used incorrectly, can cause harm.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,309 ✭✭✭ Dinarius

    I ran this.....

    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth elevated command prompt and I got "The operation completed successfully." after a few minutes.

    I have only about 65Gb used up on my HD - this computer is only used for admin, no media files and the like.

    I am attaching a screen shot of OneDrive. TBH, I'm clueless as to how I should manage the upload. Where do I find the Manage Backup tab in your attachment?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,309 ✭✭✭ Dinarius

    Ok. I know what I have to do, but I'm prevented from doing it because of an archive.pst file in Documents. When I do a search for it, I'm told that archive.pst files must be opened from within Outlook. So, I can't find it in a folder in order to move it. (Do I want to move it anyway?)

    Thanks. D.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,309 ✭✭✭ Dinarius


    If I close Outlook, I am able to start syncing, which I have done.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,555 ✭✭✭

    Not recommended to touch pst file if it is open in your outlook.

    Either remove from outlook, or move it to other location(still will have to remove it and add again from different directory)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,309 ✭✭✭ Dinarius


    Since it’s backing-up with Outlook closed, I’ll leave that for the moment.

    Does not moving the .PST file and then backing-up while Outlook is closed mean that the Documents folder with the .PST file in it is not being backed-up, or that Outlook files are not being backed-up, or both of these?

    Thanks again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 214 ✭✭ pdpmur

    After successfully running DISM you will also need to run the System File Checker (SFC)

    In a work environment I have found that these simple steps corrects at least half of Win 10 problems and there's nothing to lose by doing this, after backing up and making installation media, as suggested by others.

    If the DISM and SFC commands show that there were system file errors then you will need to remake your re-installation media because otherwise the system errors might also be replicated on to the re-installation media.

    After DISM and SFC, check to see if your various drivers are problematic - this is another relatively easy process. Open the Device Manager and then browse all of the devices to see if one of them is problematic - indicated by a yellow exclamation mark and triangle. Update as necessary.

    There is usually software on your PC by the manufacturer to update drivers etc (e.g. Dell Command Assist, HP Support Assist, Lenovo System Update). Run this to check for required updates and update as recommended.

    Then perform a Windows Update.

    Then check for malware - try Malwarebytes (free to download and trial) or McAfee Housecall (virus scan).

    If malware is found then it may be easiest to perform a reinstall. However malware generally doesn't result in a Blue Screen.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,309 ✭✭✭ Dinarius

    Just ran SFC, thanks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,555 ✭✭✭

    Does it?

    Because once i try it does not - when i deselect other folders, "Start...." is just greyd out even that file is not in use on outlook.

    You should see sysnced folders/files in your OD

    pst is not great way to store your mail or you should maintain a copy or two of the file that is not used in outlook. Best would be, providing size allow, to import into live account so actual copy is maintained on server

    Per say , you could create free account, load it on your outlook, import pst into that account, allow to sync - done.

    Post edited by on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,309 ✭✭✭ Dinarius

    Yes, it did spend the last two hours syncing. If I go into online now, I can see that I'm using 9Gb instead of a few Kbs that were there this morning.

    I have no idea why the button stopped being grey-out earlier, but it did. The cloud symbol in the system tray clearly showed it was uploading.

    But, it's greyed-out again now.

    Go figure! :)



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,309 ✭✭✭ Dinarius

    I ran sfc a second time and no errors were found, so I created a new USB boot disk.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,555 ✭✭✭

    I dont think MS media creation tool use any data from your current Windows installation for bootable USB creation. It downloads fresh latest copy.

    It even works('ed) from Win7 as much i can recall