Blue screen of death

#1
Morning all,

I currently have a fairly old (2005?) Dell laptop. Recently, the dreaded blue screen of death has occasionally been appearing. Now it comes on every time i try to start it up. I'm a bit of a computer biff, but is there anything simple i can do to try to rectify it or is it just time to get a new computer? All the important stuff is on an external hard drive, so i don't have any worries there.

If time to get a new one - what do you recommend? I would like another laptop for portability etc. I only need it to surf the tinterweb, look at pictures from holiday before adding them to the external drive, and add word / excel / powerpoint onto. I don't need it to play games. Max spend would be £400. Thoughts? Cheers!
 
#3
I tried to do that about 2 months ago. It won't let me do it for some reason. I don't have any discs for it either. Is it worth taking to PC world or somewhere similar to see what they can do? That said, I'd rather just get a new one if they're going to charge the earth!
 
#4
before taking to pc world ensure all "previous surfing history/pics" are thoroughly removed!!

Have you tried putting your windows disc into the drive whilst you have power on, then restarting it to see if windows can repair it, repair is one of the options that should come up.

failing that when it starts keep pressing either delete button or F8 or F1 to get into the bios and maybe change some settings there.
 
#5
lol buy a new one don't go to the feckless wonders at pc world, or even better build your own its alot easier than you think and you know whats going in it. Thats what i did.
 
#8
flynavy said:
before taking to pc world ensure all "previous surfing history/pics" are thoroughly removed!!

Have you tried putting your windows disc into the drive whilst you have power on, then restarting it to see if windows can repair it, repair is one of the options that should come up.

failing that when it starts keep pressing either delete button or F8 or F1 to get into the bios and maybe change some settings there.
Don't have any discs that I can find.

Have gone into the bios bit, but really don't know what i'm doing in there! There was a bit for 'system restore' but it wouldn't work.
 
#9
Are you using Windows XP?

If so try this.

As your laptop is starting up, tap away at the F8 button. This will open another screen. (advanced Windows options) Click on "last known good configuration"

If that doesn't work there are are other options on this screen one of which is "Safe Mode" Try that and report back mate.

As has been said don't bother with PC World.
 
#10
Yeah, on XP.

Tried the 'last known good config' option. Went to blue screen of death again..................

Tried the 'safe mode' option late last night. It appeared to log on but the icons were all huge. Switched it off at that point and went to bed. Will try again after work. What do you lose on the 'safe mode' Will it log onto the internet? Presume i'll be able to change the resolution back down to a normal level?
 
#12
Give safe mode another bash. The reason the icons are huge is that the computer loads a default driver for your graphics card BTW.

Go to My Computer, right click on the hard drive, click properties and select Check for errors. Tick both boxes that you are presented with, and restart the computer. This will run a disk check upon restart. Might work, and won't do any harm.

Good luck!
 
#13
@ box-of-frogs

The icons will appear a lot larger than normal, nothing wrong there and no need to alter anything mate.

In Safe Mode only the basic and neccessary drivers are loaded in order to fault find, so if you can start in Safe Mode then all is not lost.

As verticalgyro quite rightly points out there should be an error code on the blue screen.

Sometimes it only flashes for a second and you will not have time to write it down so you need to alter some settings.

If that is the case, post again and I will show you how.
 
#14
box-of-frogs said:
Tried the 'safe mode' option late last night. It appeared to log on but the icons were all huge. Switched it off at that point and went to bed. Will try again after work. What do you lose on the 'safe mode' Will it log onto the internet? Presume i'll be able to change the resolution back down to a normal level?
Large icons etc. are normal for Safe Mode. Basically it will start Windows up with the minimum amount of drivers required.

If you can get into Safe Mode that is a good start, from there you have various options. You could try restoring from a System Restore point, although if the problem has been building for a while then that may not help.

Do a full virus scan, malware scan etc. probably not the cause but its a good time to do them anyway.

You could run a few simple system utilities like doing a defrag and run a surface test on your harddrive.

As verticalgyro has said, if you can get the error code that will be displayed on the BSOD that would be very helpful. If it only flashes up briefly so you can't read it... then while you are in safe mode:

1) Go to Start -> Control Panel -> System
2) Go to Advanced
3) Under the Startup and Recovery section, click Settings...
4) Under System Failure un-check "Automatically restart"

That should stop the laptop instantly restarting on BSOD, hopefully you can get the error code then.
 
#15
Glad to hear that (potentially) all is not lost! Will try to get the code of the BSOD. The BSOD doesn't go away / computer doesn't automatically restart so hopefully should get time to note it down.
 
#16
Top job Harry

box of frogs can also try this:

Try System Restore (Also in Safe Mode)

Start>all programs>accessories>system tools>system restore.

This will give you more date options than (F8 advanced Windows options) Click on "last known good configuration"

Have you recently added new (or used) hardware?
 
#17
I've tried system restore's recently. Wouldn't work. No new hardwear to speak of. Bought an external hard drive to put all the photos / important things onto, but that's about it.

Also whilst i'm here - if I Ctrl+Alt+Del, it says the task manager / administrator has been disabled!?!?! Been doing that for about 2 months now and it started out of the blue.
 
#18
box-of-frogs said:
Is it worth taking to PC world?
Short answer. No.

From past experience, DON'T go to PC World. They'll rip you off and do a piss poor job of a repair.
 
#19
BrokenArrow said:
box-of-frogs said:
Is it worth taking to PC world?
Short answer. No.

From past experience, DON'T go to PC World. They'll rip you off and do a piss poor job of a repair.
Point taken!
 
#20
BrokenArrow said:
box-of-frogs said:
Is it worth taking to PC world?
Short answer. No.

From past experience, DON'T go to PC World. They'll rip you off and do a piss poor job of a repair.
Absolutely. If there's an independent computer shop near you, it may be worth talking to them. They may charge a lot for a repair, but they're more likely to tell you straight if they think they can fix it.
 

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