How to pause the blue screen of death in Windows

Recently I was helping my sister fix an older computer. Some of the drivers I tried were causing problems and the machine would reboot just seconds after displaying the dreaded blue screen of death.

The real problem was I couldn’t get a good look at the message that was being displayed on the blue screen, I even went so far as trying to take a picture of the screen with my digital camera and zooming in on the message. Eventually I figured out that in Windows 7 (and possibly other versions) you can tell the system not to automatically restart after the blue screen. Just follow these steps:

  1. Click the Windows icon on the lower left corner of your screen
  2. Right click on “Computer” over on the right side and choose Properties
  3. A new window will come up with several options on the left, choose “Advanced System Settings”
  4. Another smaller window pops up, the third section here is Startup and Recovery, choose “Settings”
  5. Under the System Failure section here uncheck the box that says Automatically Restart

Now you’ll have time to properly read and diagnose that blue screen, this is especially useful if you’re on phone support or trying to look up a solution manually. Here’s a blue screen I got recently that had to do with RAM failure in a graphics card.