What Is A Windows Stop Error?
A Windows Stop Error is something that occurs when you try to start your Windows powered PC, and some kind of fault or corruption prevents it from booting up properly.
There are quite a wide range of different Windows Stop Error messages that you might see, most of which will be accompanied by a code number (e.g. ‘Stop 0x0000000A) and by a description of where the problem lies.
Your machine will generally refuse to start properly, so there can be little doubt that you do, in fact, have a serious problem!
In effect, Stop errors are those that are serious enough to cause Windows to stop, in a nutshell.
Unfortunately, this simplistic description does not tell the full story of Windows Stop Errors, and how complex they can sometimes be, despite the fact that, so far at least, we have made them sound remarkably simple!
What Causes Windows Stop Errors?
The first thing to say is that Stop errors can be caused by just about anything on your PC!
The list could include almost any single aspect or component of your machine or the operating system, with some of the more common causes being:
- poor quality audio drivers;
- incompatible video drivers;
- damaged or corrupt hard disk;
- defective hardware (e.g. bad RAM, dying motherboard, faulty memory, etc).
And here is a small sample of some Stop Error codes:
Basically, any single thing anywhere inside your PC that malfunctions for whatever reason might cause a Stop error.
It might be triggered by a device that is more related to the ‘mechanics’ of your machine, rather than the actual ‘computing’ bit, such as a faulty power source, or a power outage.
Even a power surge could be the cause of the error!
It could be triggered by an event such as plugging in (or conversely unplugging) a USB device, or some other external driver.
It might be caused by an error in the registry of your machine caused by defective or corrupted elements, or incomplete program installations and uninstallations.
It may seem to happen at regular intervals, or entirely at random.
It could seemingly appear to happen entirely in its own, or in association with another event (e.g. with a Windows Boot Error)
And, added to all this, just to confuse matters still further, when a Stop Error appears accompanied by a Code number or description of the driver or device at fault, then, quite often, the fault may not lie with the driver that was reported at all!
Some error descriptions and Codes will even “hide” other more critical errors, so if you do manage to isolate and fix the original error, all you will get is another one in it’s stead!
In other words, a “stop error” could be just a symptom of the problem that it is reported to be related to, or to some completely different problem entirely!
So, the bottom line is that, when you suffer a Windows Stop Error, all you can really know for certain is that you have suffered a Windows Stop Error!
Every other bit of information that you receive may or may not be accurate, so the job of finding what has caused such an error is by no means a simple one!
How To Fix A Windows Stop Error
The first thing that you probably want to try is to check the validity of the devices that you have installed on or attached to your machine by running the Device Manager as described here.
Then, try using the System Configuration Utility (msconfig) to see whether this will highlight any Driver associated problems for you.
Check that the power supply to your machine seems to be in good working order, and that all connections to external devices are attached to your machine properly.
If you are getting a Stop Error code number, and perhaps a device or component description too, it would make good sense to check the ‘suspect’, because, given the nature of Stop Errors, sometimes the system does actually tell the truth!
Check your registry for errors, corruptions and missing files or folders using an established professional registry scan such as the free one offered by SpeedyPC.
Then, whatever problems SpeedyPC highlights, and whether or not they are related to the Stop Error or not, download and install the program to get rid of them.
Registry problems do not go away of their own accord, and you must deal with them sooner or later, so why not now?
And, if any of the above do not solve the problem, then it is a matter of back to the drawing board, I am afraid.
Trying whatever you can think of that might work, and trial and error until you finally manage to find the culprit.