What are BSOD Errors?
Blue Screen of Death or BSOD is a full-screen error message that can occur due to numerous reasons in all Windows-based operating systems. BSOD errors are more common in Windows 98, and ME systems. A BSOD Windows 98 or Windows ME error message is usually displayed to communicate Virtual Device Driver (VxD) errors. Frequent occurrences of BSOD error messages make your system unstable and leave you with no choice but to restart your system.
Interpreting a BSOD Error Message
The usual parameters displayed for the BSOD are the following:
Number_of_Error (parameter, parameter, parameter, parameter) Name_of_Error
The error code looks like,
STOP 0x0000000A(0xAAAAAAAA, 0xBBBBBBBB, 0xCCCCCCCC, 0xDDDDDDDD)
The parameters within convey the following information:
0xAAAAAAAA: Incorrectly addressed memory address.
0xBBBBBBBB: IRQ that was needed to access the memory
0xCCCCCCCC: Type of access required - 0 refers to Read, 1 refers to Write
0xDDDDDDDD: Instruction address that tried to refer the memory at 0xAAAAAAAA
The cause behind the problem can be detected with the help of the information in the error message. And, based on this information, you can work toward correcting the problem.
When the error occurs you must try to evaluate the last parameter. If the address of this parameter is within the range of the driver that was loaded at the time of error, then you will know that this the driver behind the fault.
The driver is usually mentioned in the third line of the error message:
Address 0xAAAAAAAA has base at <address> - <Driver_Name>
You can search the problems related with the driver and its solution on the Microsoft Knowledge Base website. When a BSOD error message is displayed, you can restart your PC by pressing the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys together.
Causes and Prevention
Usually, BSOD errors are caused due to incompatible Dynamic Link Library (DLL) files that load in the memory. DLL files are required by applications on your Windows system to perform specific functions. A DLL may be shared across more than one application on your system. Therefore, if you install an application it may overwrite an existing DLL with an incompatible or older version. When this incompatible DLL loads in the memory, an error is generated. To prevent this error, you must be careful while installing applications on your system. If an error message is displayed to ask you whether or not you want to replace a DLL file, you must retain the newer version of the DLL file.
Badly written or faulty device drivers and malfunctioning or incompatible hardware devices can lead to system freezes that can cause BSOD errors. For instance, consider that you have recently purchased an HP Printer, and have downloaded its driver from the Internet. Due to some problems in the connection, there are some problems in the driver. When you install this driver on your system, it can generate a BSOD error message. You might also encounter a BSOD Windows 98 or Windows ME error message if there are problems with a recent driver, a security update, or a software program that you have installed on your system. Therefore, you must be a vigilant user and install only authentic software.
Unsolicited software and applications can cause bad sectors in hard drives and cause damage to the registry. Sometimes, problems with hard drives can cause BSOD errors even when you are running the setup program of your operating system. Additionally, an abundance of Internet Explorer files (Temporary Internet files, Cache files, and History files) that are no longer required may also cause damage to data that is required for smooth functioning of your 98 or ME PC. To avoid these problems, you must regularly scan and remove unwanted files from your system. For this, you may use the Disk Cleanup utilities that come preinstalled with your operating system. You may also opt for a compatible registry cleaner software, to scan and clean the Windows registry regularly and keep it free from errors.
BSOD Windows 98 or Windows ME error messages can occur due to a number of reasons and hinder your work. To prevent these errors, you must be a vigilant user and ensure that you do not install incompatible DLL files, faulty device drivers, and malfunctioning hardware on your PC. You must regularly use system maintenance utilities such as Disk Cleanup and Registry Cleaner software to keep your 98 and ME PC free of error messages. In other words, vigilance and regular maintenance can help you keep your PC as good as new.