Staving off another BSOD-parade.

So this morning Windows crashed in the middle of my doing nothing unusual, and while the computer itself seemed to be booting up fine, I was unable to get Windows to load without crashing, even in safe mode. I got numerous BSODs in the process of doing what little I was able to: sometimes generic, but at least one “BAD POOL HEADER” and at least one “PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA.” A little Googling showed these to be bad things.

Anyway, I finally managed to boot into safe mode and did a system restore, which has (at least temporarily) solved the problem. My question is: how do I stop this from happening again (when, say, the Windows update that I undid reinstalls)? Already this is prompting me to finally get around to uninstalling Norton/Symantec (which was one of the things that was frequently mentioned in the online discussions I browsed). Any other obvious precautions I should take? I haven’t recently installed any new programs. Using Vista. Thanks very much for any help.

Before you do another thing:
Backup everything now onto an external drive or onto external media.

Well, not sure how viable this solution is to you, but when I had the BSOD problems in the past, I always did a clean reinstall of Windows, unless I could rather quickly determine the cause of the BSOD. (Faulty drivers and iffy windows updates were prime targets)

Often, in my experience, BSODs that starts off once in while, and then prograssively gets worse, are the result of compromised registry values, or some system files either damaged or overwritten - things that you CAN sort out if willing to spend a lot of time tracking it down, but are much more easily fixed with a two-three hour comittemnt to reinstall windows, apps, settings and such :slight_smile:

I’d also recommend setting up windows update to only download automatically and only install updates when prompted by you, as this allows you to monitor updates and may help in troubleshooting.

Yes; additionally, you can tell Windows Update to ignore specific updates so that it will never prompt you to install them again. I had to do this recently when a particular update started causing my Windows XP installation to start throwing BSODs at me.

Unfortunately they can also be an indication of hardware that’s on the way out. :frowning:

After you’ve backed everything up, go look in the Event Viewer and see if there’s anything informative there.

That’s true, and the most probable cause for random blue screens is faulty RAM. So if you keep getting BSODs, you should check the memory with memtest first.

Missed the edit window: Of course, as the others have said, backing up your stuff should be the first priority, since a HDD failure can cause problems like that as well.

Typically BSODs are the fault of hardware drivers or bad hardware. I would run a ram diagnostic and a disk diagnostic. I’d also update all my hardware drivers. This is not typically a software issue that can be addressed by removing updates or updating applications.

Drivers are software, and yes, updates to them can certainly cause BSOD errors. The OP says right there in the first post that a system restore solved his problem. System restore also worked for me when I was having a similar issue. I’m not saying that’s definitely the cause if you’re seeing BSOD errors, but it’s certainly a possibility.