PC Doctor May 2, 2014

Have your computer questions answered here! Search the PC Doctor archive or submit a question of your own at info@athollibrary.org

Dear PC Doctor:

Three times in the past four months, my computer has gone to a “blue screen.”  There are lots of instructions on this notice.  It instructs me to “turn off my computer immediately and seek help.”  Three times I have shut down the computer and then restarted it.  I have been able to resume my work.  What is causing this?  Really, what should I do?

      Sincerely, Diane

Dear Diane:

The appearance of the blue screen can mean that there is something wrong with your hard drive or with the screen itself.  The fact that you have some words displaying leads me to think that it is the computer and not the screen.

Blue screen errors can signify malware, registry issues, malfunctioning computer hardware, bad device drivers, etc.  Do you have malware and virus protection software on your computer?  If so, run scans and do what the programs suggest.  If you don’t have those protections, you should get them installed and working.

If you are using Windows, the text on the screen should tell you something important and helpful.  It may also list any files involved in the crash including any drivers that may have been at fault and often a short description of what to do about the problem.  There may also be code that could help a computer technician troubleshoot the problem.  The code will look like a string of zeroes and Xs, with a few other numbers.  If you like, you can plug that code into a search engine (on a working computer!) and learn a little about what’s going wrong.

The next time this happens, please write down everything that’s on the screen before you restart your computer.  The fact that it restarts is a good sign!  Still, it seems like you probably need to bring your computer in to a repair shop for diagnosis and repair.

I hope this helps –

Until next time… happy computing!

      PC Doctor