Diagnosing Windows Blue Screens of Death on someone else’s PC (without actually seeing it in person)

The worst thing when you’re trying to help someone remotely with a sick Windows PC is to try and talk them through writing down the interesting/useful parts from Blue Screen of Death. Luckily, by default, Windows will write out a dumpfile to c:windows by default (you can enable/disable this from Startup and Recovery settings in My Computer / Properties). To read these files, install the Windows Debug Tools from here (link), and then from the command line use ‘dumpchk’ to read the dump file. The useful part of info you can grab from the output is the one line that says something like ‘Probably caused by [driver name here]’ – once you’ve got this a quick Google will tell you what it’s a driver for, and then hopefully thats enough to tell you what hardware/driver is causing the issues (assuming it’s a hardware/driver issue).

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