Confirm the hardware is working correctly using a hardware diagnostic program. If you suspect a specific hardware item, such as memory stick or video card, try replacing it with known good hardware.
Don't overlook the possibility that hardware was not installed correctly, especially anything you installed just prior to the problems starting. Make sure all cards and memory are securely seated in their slots. Verify disk drive cables are properly connected and are not loose.
If you are unable successfully boot into Windows because of the fatal error, Windows has an option to reload registry information from the last successful boot. To revert to the last successful boot:
Reboot the computer.
Near the end of the BIOS messages or graphic, but well before anything appears from Windows, press the F8 key. You may only have a few seconds to get the right spot to press F8 before it attempts to go into Windows. If the BIOS complains about a pressed key or asks you to go into BIOS setup, you've pressed F8 too soon (Don't go into BIOS setup).
When successful, you should see a black screen with white text "Windows Advanced Options". Use the up or down arrow keys to highlight Last Known Good Configuration and press Enter.
FaultWire Staff Posted: 5-Oct-2008
Restore From Backup or Image
If you know the hardware is good and you have a current backup or image of the drive, you could reformat the hard drive and start over. This is often the last resort when all else fails, as you will often lose your latest settings and important data. If you have a spare drive, it may be worth it to install the drive in place of the first drive and do a fresh install of Windows. This will help confirm if this is a hardware or software issue (unless the original system drive is the source of the problem).
FaultWire Staff Posted: 5-Oct-2008
You may have a defective memory. This is even more likely if it only occurs when the system is cold or hot, but not all the time. Use a memory tester to confirm if it is defective or if you have spare memory, try replacement.
Windows 7 and Vista include a Memory Test program when booting from the Windows Installation DVD. Step-by-step instructions with screen shots are available at Using System Restore on 7/Vista/2008 as part of System Recovery.
Confirm all the memory is of the same type and speed. Many motherboards only work correctly when the memory is installed with matched sets and matched speeds.
If you added or changed your memory just before this problem occurred, try reverting to the prior memory configuration to confirm it's the source of the problem.
Check that the memory is fully seated in the sockets. Memory sockets often have side latches that need to be upright to indicate the memory is correctly locked in place.
Confirm the memory resides in the correct slots on the motherboard. You'll need to refer to the motherboard manual to confirm this. There is little consistency, even within a single vendor. Some systems require that memory is installed as matched pairs, but not always adjacent to each other!
It's also possible the memory problem is on the video card, as they often contain additional memory. The video card should be tested and/or try a different video card to see if the problem goes away.
While BSoD fatal stop errors are identified by Microsoft Windows, they are often caused by
non-Microsoft applications, drivers and hardware issues.
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