Can Graphics Cards Cause Blue Screen (BSOD)?

Blue Screen Of Death is an issue that can be caused by many different things. Sometimes it’s a hardware issue, and sometimes it’s a software issue. It can even be caused by a driver conflict. So if you’re experiencing a blue screen of death, it may be caused by your graphics card.

Blue screens are pretty scary considering it could be a sign of a major hardware issue or something that could completely crash your computer. Typically graphics cards are not the culprit of a blue screen, but sometimes they can be. Anyways, in this article, we’ll discuss whether graphics cards can cause blue screens and what you can do to fix any issues.

Answer: Yes, your GPU can cause BSODs, and there are many reasons why. The most common reason why your GPU may be causing blue screens is that It could be a faulty driver, or it could be a hardware issue. If you’re not sure what’s causing the problem, you can try updating your drivers. Sometimes, this will solve the problem. If not, you may need to replace your graphics card.

What Is A Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD)?

Common BSOD Error message

Well, a blue screen of death is a malfunction within your computer that causes it to crash unexpectedly. It shows up as a blue screen with PCs running Windows, and it usually displays an error message that can help you troubleshoot the issue.

Depending on what operating system you have installed, the blue screen can look different, with older operating systems, they looked pretty confusing. Nowadays, the blue screens look a lot more advanced and include some information that can help you troubleshoot the problem.

Usually, computers and operating systems are pretty good when it comes to repairing themselves, but in the case of a BSOD, it can’t repair the problem, and the computer shuts down to prevent any further damage. When your computer reaches this state, it’s in a critical condition where the PC is no longer able to run safely.

What Causes A Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD)?

There are usually two reasons why you will ever see a blue screen of death, it can either be caused by a software issue or a hardware issue. Either way, you don’t really want to experience a blue screen of death as it usually means something bad is happening.

Software BSOD – A software BSOD is usually caused by a buggy driver or an incompatible piece of software. In some cases, a virus or malware can cause blue screens. If you suspect it’s a software issue, you can usually pinpoint it to the software causing it by determining when you started experiencing blue screens.

Hardware BSOD – A hardware BSOD is usually caused by a failing component such as your GPU, HDD, or even your RAM. When you experience a hardware BSOD, the problem is more serious as physical issues usually require replacements to fix. So it can be expensive if a component such as the graphics card is causing a blue screen of deaths.

Why Graphics Cards Cause Blue Screen Of Death

If you have managed to pinpoint the cause of the blue screen of death to your graphics card, then it’s likely that there is a hardware issue. It could be a faulty GPU, or it could be that the graphics card is not getting enough power. In some cases, the blue screen of death can also be caused by bad drivers.

Drivers – Can cause BSODs sometimes when they’re not updated, or when the drivers are corrupted. When a graphics card driver becomes corrupted, it won’t be able to communicate properly with your GPU properly due to it becoming inoperable. Usually, updating the drivers and installing the correct ones relative to your computer’s specifications will solve the issue.

Overheating – An overheating graphics card may cause a blue screen of death, devices such as the CPU and the GPU have a maximum safe temperature, and if they exceed that temperature, it can cause damage. If you’re experiencing blue screens and you think it’s due to overheating, simply check if the fans are operating as intended. If the fans aren’t spinning, you can usually replace them with an aftermarket cooler. Or if it’s time for an upgrade, you should probably pick up a better GPU, this will solve the issue.

How Can I Fix A Blue Screen Of Death Caused By My Graphics Card?

If you’re not looking to purchase a whole new graphics card, you may be able to fix the issue at home. You will have to be dedicated to the task as some of the solutions require a bit of trial and error. But if you’re not looking to spend any money, then it may be worth a try.

Update your drivers – The first thing you should do is update your drivers. If you’re using an NVIDIA or AMD graphics card, you can go to their website and download the latest drivers for your specific model. Once you have downloaded the drivers, install them and restart your computer. If it’s a driver issue, you can consider yourself lucky as you won’t have to replace the GPU.

Checking For Dust & Airflow – Hot temperatures are the kryptonite to hardware components, they accelerate the wear and tear of components. One of the main reasons why your graphics card may be causing BSODs is because of dust interfering with the proper airflow around your card. You will want to take apart your computer and use compressed air to clean out the dust from around the GPU. Once you have done that, put your computer back together and see if the blue screens persist.

Replacing The GPU Fan – Doing this will cost some money, but it could be a cost-effective way of solving this issue if you’re confident that it is heat causing the blue screen of death. Depending on your graphics card, you should be able to purchase aftermarket coolers and replace the faulty ones with them.

If your computer is still under warranty, you may be able to get a free replacement from the manufacturer. Otherwise, depending on which component needs replacing it may not be an option for you. But at least you will know that the issue was caused by internal hardware issues and not software problems.

Faulty Graphics Cards Can Cause BSODs

Besides overheating, electrical issues such as shorts and bad capacitors can also cause blue screens. If you have a faulty graphics card, you will need to replace it. This can be an expensive proposition, but if you’re not willing to spend the money, you can try to repair the card yourself.

Can You Fix Faulty Graphics Cards? – Technically yes, but depending on the issue, it may not be worth it. Electrical problems are pretty difficult to fix, and even if you do manage to fix them, there’s no guarantee that it won’t break again in the future. If you’re not confident in your abilities, it’s probably best to just buy a new card.

But faulty capacitors can indeed cause blue screen of deaths, you will need to be great at micro-soldering to be able to replace the capacitor. If you want to try, it’s best to start by searching for a tutorial online or getting help from someone who has done it before.

Tips For Preventing GPU Failure & BSODs

There are ways you can minimize the chances of encountering BSODs by keeping your graphics card in good condition. These methods will also help increase the lifespan of your card. Like they say, prevention is always better than cure.

Keep Your Computer Clean – Dust and dirt can accumulate on your card and cause overheating. By cleaning out the dust from your graphics card heatsinks and fans frequently is a good way to maintain optimal graphics card health.

Replacing Thermal Paste – Just like the CPU, your graphics card has a microchip that is susceptible to heat. Your GPU chip will always come with a layer of thermal paste installed, but over time it can dry up and no longer be effective. Replacing the thermal paste on your GPU will help transfer heat better and keep your card cooler.

Monitoring Temperatures – Keeping an eye on your GPU temperatures is a good way to prevent any problems before they occur. If you notice that your card is reaching high temperatures, you can take measures to try and lower it. Through certain software, you should be able to manually take control of the GPU fan to spin faster and help cool down the card.

Verdict

There we have it, five ways that graphics cards can cause blue screens of death. While overheating is the main culprit, it’s not the only one out there. Electrical faults and faulty capacitors can also cause BSODs so be sure to take precautions to prevent these problems.

To keep your GPU in the best condition possible, you will want to clean it regularly, replace thermal paste when needed, and monitor temperatures. Overall, these are all good maintenance practices that will prolong the life of your GPU and help prevent blue screens from occurring.