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Fix the “Your PC Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart” Error

Has your Windows computer suddenly crashed, stopped working, or is refusing to boot? If so, you might encounter the “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” error.

This is a common and generic PC error, often referred to as the “blue screen of death”. We’re going to talk you through every step of this error: what it means, how to know what your specific PC problem is, and how to fix that issue.

What Is the “Your PC Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart” Error?

Above is a picture of the “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” error screen. It’s often called the “blue screen of death” (or BSOD) error—you can figure out why!

This example says, “We’ll restart for you”. The screen might also say “We’re just collecting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you”.

This error screen usually happens when your computer has shut down or restarted unexpectedly, or if something is stopping it booting.

At the top of the screen is a sad face, followed by the problem message. Next, a line reads:

For more information about this issue and possible fixes, visit https://www.windows.com/stopcode

Type this URL into your internet browser and it’ll take you to Microsoft’s support page. Since these errors can occur for a variety of issues, the support on this page is generic rather than specific to your problem. You can also scan the QR code (that’s the section on the bottom left) on your phone to be taken to the same page.

The most pertinent part of this screen is at the bottom where it lists a “Stop code”. In our example, the stop code is “BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO”. Yours might be something different. That’s because a stop code is an identifier that helps understand why you received this error in the first place.

You should write down this stop code so that you can refer to it later. If you’re in an organization, take this stop code to your local administrator so they can help diagnose the problem.

If you’re a home user, contact Microsoft support, follow their automated help, then when you get through to an agent you can give them the stop code.

There are hundreds of possible stop code errors. Some other examples are:

  • CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED
  • SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED
  • IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
  • VIDEO_TDR_TIMEOUT_DETECTED
  • PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
  • SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION
  • DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION

How to Fix Specific Stop Code Errors

We have written articles on how to fix specific stop code errors. If you see your error listed below, click it to visit that article. If yours isn’t listed, keep reading for some general troubleshooting advice.

How to Fix a “Your PC Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart” Error

As discussed, there are so many reasons why you might see a “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” error, which means it’s not possible to provide the guaranteed solution. However, there are things that are more likely to cause these errors. As such, follow these troubleshooting steps and it might fix the problem.

1. Unplug External Hardware

Have you recently plugged in a new external drive, mouse, keyboard, or similar to your computer? If so, this could be causing the problem.

Unplug everything that you don’t need and see if the problem goes away. If it does, plug one device in, restart, and see if everything remains stable. Repeat this process until you identify the faulty hardware, then contact the manufacturer.

2. Uninstall Recently Added Software

uninstall a program on windows 10

Software that you download and install can cause unexpected problems. If you receive the blue screen error after you have recently installed something, you should remove it. This can often happen with antivirus software.

To uninstall a program, press Windows key + I to open Settings. Click Apps. This brings up a list of all your installed programs. On the Sort by dropdown, click this and change it to Installation date.

Now the most recently installed programs will appear at the top. To remove one, select it from the list and click Uninstall.

3. Rollback Drivers

open the device manager properties

A driver is a piece of software that helps Windows 10 control hardware. For example, your graphics card, printer, and network adapter all use drivers.

Drivers update periodically to ensure compatibility with the latest version of Windows 10. However, sometimes a driver update can break your system. As such, you may need to roll back a driver update—that is, go back to a previous version.

To do this, press Windows key + X and click Device Manager. This tool shows categories like Display adaptors and Monitors, which you can double click to expand and see the devices within.

Right click a device and click Properties > Driver. Look at the Driver Date, as this will tell you when the driver was last updated. If the date coincides with when you started having trouble, click Roll Back Driver (if available) or Uninstall Device (the device will reinstall when you restart).

4. Update Windows 10

Windows 10 May 2019 Windows Update

Windows 10 should keep itself updated automatically, but there might be an update in the download queue that hasn’t processed.

Keeping Windows 10 updated is important because it means you will benefit from the latest features and bug fixes. Your blue screen error might be happening because of software or hardware incompatibility that has been solved in a recent update.

To check, press Windows key + I to open Settings and click Update & Security > Check for updates. If there are any updates, follow any prompts to download and install them immediately.

More Help and Troubleshooting Tips

If the advice above hasn’t helped you get rid of the “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” error, don’t worry. We have a whole other guide packed with more support on how to solve the blue screen of death.

Analyze Your Blue Screen Error With Advanced Tools

Hopefully, this has helped you understand the meaning of the “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart” error and guided you towards relevant support.

If you still need help and are an advanced user, you can solve blue screen errors using third-party programs.

Read the full article: Fix the “Your PC Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart” Error

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A Quick Guide to macOS Boot Modes and Startup Key Combinations

If you want to put your Mac into recovery mode, boot from a USB stick, or start testing your hardware using Apple’s diagnostic tools, you’ll need to use the right combination of startup keys.

These keyboard shortcuts let you interrupt your Mac’s normal boot process and can even change the way macOS behaves when you log in. Here’s a handy guide to the full range of Mac boot options and startup keys, as well as when you might need to use them.

macOS Boot Modes and Key Combinations

To use these Mac startup commands and launch a specific boot mode, you must first press the power button then immediately press and hold the desired key combination.

On older Macs, you can wait until you hear the boot sound before holding the shortcut. However, new Macs no longer make any sound on startup, so you should hold the key right away.

Startup Manager/Boot From USB: Option

Apple Smart Keyboard Option

Apple’s startup manager prevents your Mac from booting the default startup volume. Instead, you’ll get a list of all connected volumes, including USB and external drives. This is particularly useful if you need to boot your Mac from USB or are installing Windows from a USB stick.

On some non-US Mac keyboards, the Option key is not labeled as such. In this case, it’s the Alt key that you’re looking for.

Safe Mode: Shift

Apple Smart Keyboard Shift

If your Mac needs troubleshooting for startup problems, Safe Mode (also known as safe boot) is a good step to try. It forces your computer to load only the bare essentials it needs to start the operating system. Your startup disk will check for errors and make repairs, and only use the required kernel extensions.

This mode also prevents the startup and login items from opening when your Mac starts up. It disables custom user-installed fonts and clears a number of macOS system caches too.

Apple Hardware Test/Apple Diagnostics: D

Apple Smart Keyboard D

Depending on the age of your Mac, it either comes with Apple Hardware Test or Apple Diagnostics. These are troubleshooting tools that will identify Mac hardware problems, so you can attempt to fix or decide it’s time to replace your machine.

While these tests look for hardware issues, they don’t offer a huge amount of information about the problem. This can make it hard to attempt a fix. If you’re feeling brave and want more information, you’ll need to use Apple Service Diagnostics instead.

Variation: You can also use Option + D to start the test from the internet. This is ideal if you have problems with your hard drive or recovery partition.

Reset PRAM/NVRAM: Cmd + Option + P + R

Apple Smart Keyboard Command Option P R

Parameter RAM, also known as nonvolatile RAM, holds information about your computer’s current configuration. This includes the date and time, volume, desktop settings, and so on. Occasionally you’ll run into issues related to sound, mouse scrolling, or keyboard that require a PRAM/NVRAM reset.

This is one of the most useful Mac troubleshooting commands. Shut down your Mac, power it up, then immediately hit the key combination above. Wait till your Mac reboots again, then let go of the combination. Read more about PRAM and how it affects your Mac if you’re curious.

Reset SMC: Shift + Control + Option

Apple Smart Keyboard Shift Control Option

The System Management Controller (SMC) is a chip on Intel-based Macs that controls aspects like fan speeds, power management, and more. Most Apple computers use the combination of keys provided above, but some models require you to remove batteries or unplug the power cord instead.

Recovery Mode: Cmd + R

Apple Smart Keyboard Command R

Recovery mode is your ticket to solving many macOS problems from a friendly environment. The recovery partition is a separate part of macOS and you can use it to repair disks using Disk Utility, access the Terminal, and restore your Mac by reinstalling macOS.

Variation: You can also hold Cmd + Option + R to start internet Recovery mode, which downloads the necessary tools from the internet first. This is ideal if you need to restore your recovery partition.

Target Disk Mode: T

Apple Smart Keyboard T

If you want to transfer files from one Mac’s hard drive to another, Target Disk mode makes it simple. By starting a Mac in Target Disk mode, you can connect it to another Mac and easily copy files to and from the drives.

In essence, it turns your Mac into a hard drive enclosure. The only snag is that you’ll need to use the right cable for the job. Apple’s guidelines state that you can use:

  • Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C): iMac Pro/iMac 2017, MacBook Pro 2016, and later
  • USB-C: MacBook 2015 and later
  • Thunderbolt 2
  • FireWire

You can’t use USB-A to USB-A cables, an Apple USB-C charging cable, or regular old Mini DisplayPort cables. Confused? Check out our full guide to USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, and Mac compatibility.

Single User Mode: Cmd + S

Apple Smart Keyboard CMD S

Single User mode boots your Mac into a minimal text-based environment with no GUI and no drive volumes mounted on startup. You’ll only have access to a Unix prompt, into which you’ll need to type commands.

This mode allows you to fix problems with a Mac that refuses to start. You can attempt to repair the disk, copy files from one volume to another, or force optical media to eject—but you’ll need to know the right commands to do so.

Verbose Mode: Cmd + V

Apple Smart Keyboard Cmd V

Verbose mode, as the name suggests, replaces your Mac’s default startup graphics with a detailed status report of exactly what’s happening when your computer starts up. It doesn’t restrict anything from loading like Safe mode, nor does it boot into a command line environment like Single User mode.

Instead, Verbose mode is perfect for those instances when your Mac hangs on boot. You can see exactly what interrupts the boot process and hopefully take steps to remedy it.

For example, many boot problems are related to third-party kernel extensions. Verbose mode may highlight the problem extension, allowing you to reboot in Safe mode, remove the offending item, then boot as normal and try again.

Boot From Optical (CD/DVD) Media: C

Apple Smart Keyboard C

Is your Mac old enough to have an optical drive? If so, you can create CD or DVD images for installing macOS or other operating systems like Linux and Windows.

Holding C while your computer boots forces macOS to ignore your startup volume in favor of bootable optical media instead.

Eject Optical Media: Eject, F12, or Mouse/Trackpad

Apple Smart Keyboard Eject

Got a CD or DVD stuck in your Mac? Trying to boot from the wrong optical volume? Turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold Eject, F12, or your mouse/trackpad button until your computer spits out the disc.

Boot From NetBoot Service: N

Apple Smart Keyboard N

NetBoot allows system admins to boot client computers from a network image, which isn’t something most home users will ever need to do. This allows companies to customize macOS to their liking and create custom images for specific users, then deploy them network-wide without modifying every machine.

Variation: You can also use Option + N to specify the default image, rather than a custom image designed for specific users or hardware.

macOS Login Key Combinations

The following combinations change the way login works on your Mac.

Disable Automatic Login: Left Shift

Apple Smart Keyboard Left Shift

If you’ve set your Mac to log in automatically, you can tell it to ignore this setting by holding Left Shift after the boot screen (a white Apple logo and progress bar) appears.

You’ll be taken to the regular login screen, where you can choose another user account or continue with the guest account.

Prevent Login Items/Previous Windows: Shift

Apple Smart Keyboard Shift

Want to stop all your login items and previous session windows from opening on launch? When you get to the login screen, enter your password as normal then click on the Log In button (or hit Enter). Immediately press and hold the Shift key while your Mac logs in and boots up.

This is perfect if you left some sensitive folders open that you’d like to hide from prying eyes, or to prevent any resource hogs from booting straight away.

Even More macOS Keyboard Shortcuts to Know

These iMac or MacBook startup commands can help you troubleshoot a lot of common problems with both hardware and software. Keep them in mind next time you run into a problem.

Speaking of these, there are many more Mac keyboard shortcuts that often come in handy. We recommend learning them now so you can work more efficiently.

Read the full article: A Quick Guide to macOS Boot Modes and Startup Key Combinations

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How to Fix the WHEA Uncorrectable Error on Windows 10

Windows has a long and beautiful (read: painful) history of blue-screen error messages. Affectionately known as the Blue Screen of Death, these error screens also contain important information regarding the sudden demise of your system.

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Some Windows crash errors are more cryptic than others and therefore more difficult to troubleshoot. The WHEA Uncorrectable Error is one of those.

In this article, we explain how to fix the WHEA Uncorrectable Error and how to stop it from happening again.

What Is the WHEA Uncorrectable Error?

WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR (Windows stop code 0x0000124) is a hardware error. There are several common causes for a WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR (we’ll abbreviate it as WUE), most of which directly relate to your system hardware:

  • Corrupt hardware (Damaged hard drives, GPU, CPU, PSU, corrupt RAM, etc.)
  • Driver compatibility issues
  • Heat and voltage issues (Overclocking and voltage changes)
  • Corrupt Windows system files or registry files

Although it isn’t always the source, voltage issues are a very common cause of this particular Windows error. The WUE message and 0x0000124 stop code give us an indication as to the nature of the error, but a look at the error dump file will provide further information. Your error dump file (.DMP) is found at C:/Windows/Minidump and will have a timestamp.

Unfortunately, we cannot offer solutions for every issue, but the following fixes should alleviate your WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR.

How to Fix the WHEA Uncorrectable Error

Remember the list of common system hardware issue that triggers WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR? The following section expands on some of those hardware aspects and illustrates a few potential fixes.

Step 1: Run CHKDSK

First, before making any specific hardware alterations, try running Windows Check Disk from the Command Prompt. CHKDSK is a Windows system tool that verifies the file system and with certain settings, fixes issues as it runs.

Type command prompt in your Start menu search bar, then right-click the best match and select Run as administrator. (Alternatively, press Windows Key + X, then select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.) Next, type chkdsk /r and press Enter. The command will scan your system for errors and fix any issues along the way.

how to fix whea uncorrectable error in windows 10

Step 2: Check Your System Hardware

The WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR closely relates to your system hardware. Before progressing with system resets and memory tests, physically double-check your system hardware.

Check if the cooling systems are fully functioning, your RAM is secure in its slots, and the CPU has mystifyingly not come loose, and so on. If you’re unsure how to reseat your system hardware, check out the following video.

Step 3: Reset System Overclocking

If you have overclocked your system in search of higher speeds, there is a chance you’ll run into the WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR. The easiest way to cross this off the list is to reset your system BIOS and remove the effects of any overclocking.

You need to enter your system BIOS or UEFI menu. To do this, turn off your system. Next, turn your system back on, pressing your BIOS/UEFI menu access key (common keys include F1, F2, F10, DEL, and ESC).

BIOS and UEFI settings vary by manufacturer, but menu titles are usually similar. You are looking for an Overclocking option. For the most part, overclocking options are found under the Advanced, Performance, Frequency, or Voltage menu.

Find the menu and reset your overclocking options. Resetting will return your system to its out-of-box state—but could also remove WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR in the process.

Step 4: Reset Your BIOS/UEFI Settings

If clearing your BIOS/UEFI overlock settings, try resetting your entire BIOS. Somewhere amongst the BIOS menu, there is an option to complete a full BIOS settings reset or load the default BIOS setup. Find the option and select it.

Step 5: Update Your BIOS/UEFI Settings

Again, this process varies heavily depending on your system’s motherboard manufacturer. Some BIOS/UEFI settings can automatically download and update using a desktop utility. Other manufacturers require you to download the BIOS update and flash the firmware yourself.

Unsure what motherboard you have? Download and run CPU-Z. Open the Mainboard tab and find your motherboard manufacturer and model. You can find your BIOS brand and version on this tab, too.

CPU Z mainboard motherboard bios info

Armed with this knowledge, complete an internet search for “[your motherboard manufacturer + model] bios update.” For instance, I would search for “micro-star ms-1796 bios update” for my system. You should find instructions, tutorials, and if you’re lucky, even a video or two.

Step 6: Check Your Drivers

Sometimes new drivers have an adverse effect on your system. In this day and age, it is becoming rarer as Windows 10 handles most driver updates. However, that doesn’t mean a dodgy driver cannot upset your system. Thankfully, Windows 10 lists any driver updates in the Windows Update section, so you can rapidly figure out where the issue stems from.

Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings panel, then select Update & Security > View update history. You can find any driver updates here. Now, type device manager in the Start menu search bar and select the best match. Head down the list and check for an error symbol. If there is nothing, your driver status is likely not the source of the issue.

That said, you can use a third-party tool to update all of your system drivers simultaneously. Check out this list of free tools you can use to fix the majority of Windows problems. The first two options—IOBit’s Driver Booster and Snappy Driver Installer—do exactly this.

Step 7: Check Your RAM Using MemTest86

Windows has an integrated memory checker, called Windows Memory Diagnostic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a great reputation and regularly misses issues found using another excellent tool: MemTest86.

MemTest86 is a free, standalone memory testing tool for x86 machines. You boot MemTest86 from a USB flash drive (or bootable disc) and leave it to check your system RAM. Now, a MemTest86 RAM check takes a long time to complete; a single pass takes hours depending on the amount of RAM you have installed.

memtest86

To get the full MemTest86 experience you should run at least two passes (that’s two complete cycles). However, by most reports, MemTest86 should expose a serious RAM issue after a short amount of time.

Head to the MemTest86 download page and download the Image for creating bootable CD (ISO format). Next, you need to write the MemTest86 ISO to a USB flash drive. Check out this list of ten free tools to make a bootable USB flash drive.

Burn MemTest86 using the tool of your choice, then shut-down your system. Reboot the system while pressing the button for your Boot Selection menu (usually F10, F11, DEL, or ESC), then select the bootable MemTest86 USB flash drive. The memory test will start automatically.

If it does return RAM errors, complete an internet search for the error code and type to discover your next course of action.

Step 8: Reset Windows 10 (Last Resort)

If nothing else works, you can use the Windows 10 Reset function to refresh your system.

Windows 10 Reset replaces your system files with a completely fresh set of files and will theoretically clear any lingering issues relating to WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR while keeping the majority of your important files intact.

Head to Settings > Update and Security > Recovery, then under Reset this PC select Get started.

Your system restarts as soon as you hit the button, so make sure you backup any important files beforehand. Your system will restart, then you may select Keep my files or Remove everything.

WHEA Uncorrectable Error Cleared!

Bluescreen errors are frustrating. Even more so if you genuinely don’t understand which piece of hardware is causing the issue. The fixes above will fix your WHEA error, but remember, playing with your hardware could cause it to come back.

Another handy bluescreen error code tool is Nirsoft’s BlueScreenView. It helps you understand error codes so you can better isolate issues!

Read the full article: How to Fix the WHEA Uncorrectable Error on Windows 10