Windows 7 Blue screen on startup


New Member
Jul 13, 2016
My computer using windows 7 64 (professional i think) recently auto shutdown to apply an update. While this was happening the computer accidentally was switched off. When i restarted everything seemed fine until i got past the 'starting windows' screen with the flag (straight after the bios screen). It blue screened and gave a STOP error. I have tried so far

- using new ram
- re seating the ram and hard drive
- doing a sfc /scannow, which raises an error saying you cannot scan when a restart is scheduled, have also tried this with windir ect
- doing a system restore for all possible dates, gives the error saying the memory cannot be read
- chkdsk
- trying to access and delete the .xml files
- booting in safe mode (still blue screens)
- restoring bios settings in the menu

I am currently without my physical copy of win7 or any similar disks. Is there anything i am able to do about fixing this. If a complete hard drive wipe is required, there are files i would like to salvage beforehand, if this is possible. I have access to a mac laptop and external hard drives.

Hi cuzz and welcome to the forum :up:

There are some basics that you can do to test your hard drive and Motherboard which are the most likely culprits of your failure if they are hardware based. However, you have only partially applied a correct troubleshooting methodology that we professionals use, and only provided us with partial information.

First, let's start with some basic information we need about your computer. What is the Make/Model of your computer? Is it a desktop PC or a Laptop? Is it an OEM PC (Dell, Acer, HP, Gateway, Toshiba, Samsung) or a self-built PC (one you assembled yourself) or a custom-built PC (one you paid someone to assemble from parts you bought or they bought)? If it's a self-built PC or custom-PC, we need to have the full hardware specs such as Make/Model of your Motherboard, CPU chip, GPU chip/card, RAM memory sticks, and PSU. Whatever flavor of computer you do have it would be helpful for you to go to and download the free SPECCY diagnostic and upload the resulting output .txt file back here to this thread.

That being said, you have some homework to do, but your real problem is data recovery at this point, and the mac laptop will not help with that. You have a few things to try on the data recovery and I'll list those for you. It's very important NOT TO PROCEED FURTHER ON TRYING TO FIX THAT COMPUTER WITHOUT BACKING UP ANY AND ALL PERSONAL DATA FROM THAT HARD DRIVE FIRST!!

The first thing I would recommend since you do have a working usb external hard drive is to download a free copy of Ubuntu to a DVD disc or USB stick (you may need to buy one of these). Here's the website: Download Ubuntu Desktop | Download | Ubuntu. Follow the instructions to create a bootable DVD LiveCD or a USB stick and insert the media into your computer's optical disc drive or usb port. Change your computer's boot preference order using a keyboard command key such as <F9>, <F10>, <F12>, ect. to make your USB drive slot seen first by your computer's BIOS. Boot into the Ubuntu desktop, which looks a lot like the Win7 desktop, icons, wallpaper, pull-down menus that use your mouse cursor, etc. Then connect your USB external hard drive to a different port on your computer [you'll need 2 USB ports available on your computer to do this if you use the bootable USB Ubuntu stick; otherwise 1 port if you use the Ubuntu LiveCD]. Once in Ubuntu, you can use the File Manager which works just like Windows Explorer program in Win7 to copy files (you can even use drag & drop as in Windows) to a folder on your USB external storage drive. You can call it MyBackupFiles folder or similar. Once you do this, and it may take some doing if you've never used Linux before. You may need to get a techy friend or family-member to help you. You're now ready for the next steps to repair your computer.**
**NOTE: If you aren't able to get the Ubuntu working, you might have made the bootable media wrong, and you need to go to your local computer repair shop and ask to borrow a copy. Is it free to distribute, but the Tech at the shop may charge you labor to make a copy; typical is $20 or so. Recently, with the newest version of Ubuntu 16.04LTS, you can now buy a bootable USB Ubuntu stick directly from Canonical the company who makes Ubuntu here: Link Removed. The Ubuntu USB stick is only $7.29 US plus shipping or £5.99.

Explanation of Ubuntu data recovery: basically, Ubuntu let's you bypass whatever software problem or even hard drive problem that you have with your Win7 and boots into it's own OS environment and let's you attempt to access your files with Ubuntu running in RAM (via the LiveCD disc or USB stick). It's a slick way to get access to your files on a dead or non-bootable system which you have. We recommend this method often, and many of our forum users are able to get their data back this way. It's much safer than attempting to find your real problem with either Windows or something else in your system by getting the data back BEFORE you attempt to fix it with windows repairs tools which is often a one-way ticket to failure if you kill your computer worse that it already is.

If the Ubuntu method doesn't work, or you can get to the Ubuntu, but your internal bootdrive does not show up in Ubuntu so there's nothing to copy to your external, it's very likely your hard drive has failed completely, and you now have to pay a professional to perform data recovery on it. I'll get to that in a minute. If this occurs, and it often does in computer that are 6-7 years old (Win7), as most hard drives are only built to last 3 years on a desktop PC or 2 years on a laptop. If you haven't replaced that drive since owning the computer new, this is probably going to be your case. If you get to this point, you need to pay a Computer Tech to do data recovery at your local computer store; this will run from $35-$160 US if they attempt to do it in their own shop. Well worth it to get your data back. If the Tech doing your data recovery is able to get some or most of your data back, you're done with this step. If he can't, you're looking at sending out the hard drive to very very expensive professional data recovery. The last one I did just cost me $550. There are only 2 companies in the US who do this reliably, so post back if you need their contact information.

Troubleshooting & Repair of your computer:
At this point you can now begin to try and repair your computer by testing it's hardware. I'll give you some links to do this shortly. If you were able to boot your computer into Win7 we could offer to analyze your Black or Blue stop screen dump file, but this doesn't appear to be possible so we'll skip that and go right to hardware testing.

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If the RAM test (MEMTEST) or HARD DRIVE test (SEATOOLS etc.) returns errors as the instructions in the links tell you, you must replace the RAM stick(s) or Hard Drive to proceed further.:waah:

If the above tests all pass or they pass after you replace any RAM or Hard Drive, you now need to reinstall your Win7 from factory Recovery Media. Since you don't have these, you can buy them directly from your computer manufacturer such as Dell, HP, or Acer/Gateway, etc. They run from $29-$99 US and take about 2-3 weeks to get to you if you are in the US, longer if International.

Insert your factory Recovery Media and reinstall your Win7 onto your hard drive, if it passes the tests, and boot into Win7. This Recovery Media will restore your computer to the state you got it in when you first purchased it. We call this Out-Of-Box (OOB) condition. All the extra programs the computer maker had on your computer's hard drive when you first got it will again be there, including bloatware and trialware which you can decide to remove to save space later if you wish.

Once you reach this point, you again have a working computer like you did 6-7 years ago when you first bought it! :up:

However, you will need to find and install all the programs you installed on this computer all over from scratch from install media such as discs or usb sticks, or via download from the Internet.:waah: After that, you'll have to plug in your external hard drive you backed up your data to in the beginning of our journey here to the newly built Win7 desktop using Windows Explorer program. This may or may not be on a new hard drive depending on if your hard drive failed. If you did replace your hard drive during this procedure, it should be good for 3-4 years, at which time you can expect your Motherboard to go next. With all or most of your programs you use REGULARLY are now reinstalled and your data copied back to your Win7--you're computer is now fixed!:up: (theoretically!).:D

Post back your hardware specs in the meantime, while you're working on the data recovery phase, and let us know how you make out or if you get stuck and have questions. We are here 24x7x365, so one of us is always available to answer you and most posts are answered dutifully within 24 hrs.


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Please reboot your computer and press F8 to get into safe mode. If it loads up fine then most likely a driver is causing the issue. Please follow the instructions here to upload the memory dump files so Kemical or myself can look at them. Link Removed

Thanks for the reply
Regarding the computer specs, it was purchased pre assembled (from an online seller) around 5 years ago. Specs are
- Asrock z77 motherboard
- intel core i7 3770k processor
- hd 6770 gpu (did not come with it)
- 2x4gb gskill 1600mhz gddr3 (orginally came with 1x8gb generic ram)
- 2tb hard drive (not sure of the brand, quite certain its generic)
- 550w psu, brand i think is star-tec (its low quality).
- wiring/cables are as is when purchased.
-case brand is gpower, has 1 dvd drive

It is a desktop using win7 professional 64 bit OEM version purchased from a store several years ago.

I have got the booting off of a linux usb and can access the hard drive files (played some videos, looked at some photos ect). Am working on transferring some/most of it once i find my external hard drive.

In regards to safe mode, i tried all the different kinds of safe mode, none work. It gives a screen saying 'loading x/y/z driver' then cuts to the blue screen. I also used the windows memory diagnostic tool and it found no problems (if that helps). A pic of the blue screen is below.

The problem only occured after i accidently turned off the computer during an update.

If the linux method of retrieving the data works i suppose the worst case will be a complete wipe of the hard drive and freshly reinstall everything, however i would definitely like to avoid this if possible as downloading is tediously slow as i am not in the US.

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Please reboot your computer and press F8 to get into safe mode. If it loads up fine then most likely a driver is causing the issue. Please follow the instructions here to upload the memory dump files so Kemical or myself can look at them. Link Removed

please follow Neem's instructions. We need to see your dump files in order to help you best. As soon as you have these posted we can help further.