Red Screen of Death | Windows Shut Down Error [Solved]

The Red Screen of Death is a critical error that may occur on your Windows PC due to hardware issues.

This error interrupts you while you are using your Windows computer. It does this by causing software crashes, leaving you with a red screen and an error message. Your only option would be to manually restart your PC.

Even though RSOD errors may be critical, they are fixable. This guide will discuss what these errors are, their causes, and five possible solutions for them.

What is the Red screen of Death Errors? 

Red Screen of Death errors rarely occurs, unlike the Blue Screen of Death Errors. But when it occurs, it usually points to hardware malfunctioning. It usually comes as a red screen with an error message with some instructions.

The error message reads: “A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.”  Once a red screen with this message appears on your screen, you will have to restart your computer, and then look for a solution.

Red screen of Death Errors

What Causes Red Screen of Death Errors?

When you look at user reports and the repair strategies used to fix this specific issue, you will find out that it can result from several reasons. But the main reason for RSOD error is hardware malfunctioning. However, I have compiled a couple of these reasons for you below. 

  • Most times, when you encounter a red screen, it is usually due to your graphics card. You are most likely to encounter the RSOD error when playing video games or doing any other activity that stresses your hardware. 
  • You may also get a red screen due to outdated BIOS or UEFI firmware incompatible with some of your hardware. The red screen may occur if you overclocked your CPU or GPU. This should be the first thing you look at when you want to fix this issue. Overclocked hardware may require more power than your power source can offer, which can cause this issue.
  • You might also be getting this red screen error because of new hardware. This scenario can play out when the new hardware does not have the proper drivers. Nonetheless, whatever the case may be, once you encounter RSOD errors, you should opt for a solution to fix it immediately.

How to fix Red Screen of Death (RSOD) Errors on Windows 10

A red screen is an unusual problem that can occur on Windows 10. Speaking of red screen issues, users reported the following problems as well:

  • Red screen startup on Windows 10 – This happens when you encounter Red Screen of Death while starting up your system. It is probably a result of outdated drivers or third-party software or by 
  • The blank red screen on Windows 10 – This happens when you encounter a blank red screen on Windows 10. It most likely occurs when you overclock your GPU or CPU. To fix it, you need to remove all overclock settings.
  • Red screen loading on Windows 10 – This is when your PC gets stuck while loading on a red screen. It is a rare problem, but you can fix it by using any one of the solutions in this guide.
  • The red screen on a laptop – This error occurs on laptops and desktop PCs as well. If you are encountering it on your laptop, the issue is probably with your graphics card.
  • Red screen Windows 10 with the cursor, audio – This is when you get a red screen on Windows with your cursor and audio still functioning. If you are encountering it on your system, the issue is probably with your graphics card.
  • Red screen Windows 10 explorer.exe, Excel – You may also get a red screen while using Windows Explorer or Excel. If you are encountering it on your system, the issue is probably with your graphics card.
  • Red screen Windows 10 two monitors – You may encounter this error while using a dual monitor setup. If this case is applicable to you, the issue is probably from your configuration or graphics card.
  • Red screen Windows 10 just flashes – This is when the red screen keeps flashing on your Windows PC. The culprit, in this case, is likely your overclock settings. Sometimes, the red screen might be due to faulty hardware.
  • Red screen Windows 10 NVIDIA – You may get a red screen when using NVIDIA graphics. If this is applicable to you, you should remove overclock settings and update them then your NVIDIA driver.

How to Fix Red Screen of Death (RSOD) Errors

Fortunately, fixing RSOD errors does only requires a few operations. You may need to update your graphics card drivers manually to fix it. Every solution is dependent on the cause of the error. Sometimes troubleshooting these errors may take a lot of your time before you succeed.

Nonetheless, whatever is the source of this error, you can simply fix it by carefully following a few guidelines that I will show you. To fix RSOD errors, you need to follow the directions below carefully.

Solution 1 – Removing overclock settings

Sometimes, to get the best performance out of your hardware, you may want to change your GPU or CPU’s hardware clock rate, voltage, or multiplier. This leads to an increase in the heat that your CPU or GPU gives out. This increased heat makes your GPU or CPU highly unstable and may even damage your hardware if you are careless.

Basic users shouldn’t overclock their CPU or GPU. These overclocking settings may be the reason why you are getting these RSOD errors. Removing these settings is usually done through BIOS. But if this case does not apply to you, you can skip this solution and go to the next one.

Solution 2 – Updating your BIOS or UEFI

Sometimes you may be getting a red screen on Windows 10 because of your BIOS or UEFI. In this case, you will fix it by updating your BIOS or UEFI. However, it is important for you to know that updating BIOS / UEFI is not a procedure for basic users, and if you make any mistakes, you can harm your computer. 

Therefore, to update your BIOS / UEFI, you should visit your motherboard manufacturer’s website and download their latest release of BIOS / UEFI.

  • Step 1 – Press the Windows logo key + R button simultaneously. This operation will start the Run dialogue box.
  • Step 2 – In the Run dialogue box, type in msinfo32 and hit the Enter button on your keyboard. This operation will open System Information. 
  • Step 3 – On the bottom of the system information menu, you will see a search field. Now, you have to type in BIOS Version and hit the Enter button on your keyboard.
  • Step 4 – You will now see the version and developer of the BIOS that is installed on your PC.
  • Step 5 – Now, go to your manufacturer’s website and get the newest version of BIOS downloaded on to your PC. If you are using a laptop, ensure that it is continuously plugged in until this BIOS update is completely installed.
  • Step 6 – Double-click on the file that you just downloaded to install the newest version of the BIOS.

When you are done, you have to reboot your PC for the changes that you made to take effect. If the problem is still not solved after updating the BIOS, move to the next potential solution below.

Solution 3 – Checking for hardware malfunctions

Sometimes, you may get RSOD errors due to faulty hardware, or faulty graphic card. If your computer is under warranty, you should take it to the repair shop and have them check it for hardware malfunctions. I have found out that a red screen caused as a result of a faulty graphic card can be fixed by replacing the problematic card. Also, you can temporarily remove your CD or DVD reader as this can cause this issue, although it is rare. 

Solution 4 – Removing softOSD software

You may also get a red screen because of softOSD.exe. If this is applicable to you, you can fix it by removing softOSD software from your system. Just follow these steps to do that:

  • Step 1: – Click on the Start button and select Settings. In the Settings app, click Apps.
  • Step 2: – Inside the left pane, click on Apps & features. Locate softOSD on the list and click on it. Now, click on the Uninstall button when you are asked to remove sds64a.sys, skip that step.

Alternatively, you can do this with these steps:

  • Step 1: – In the Search, bar type Control Panel and click on Control Panel from the results.
  • Step 2: – Click on Uninstall a program. In the list that will appear, find softOSD and double click on it. Suppose you are asked to remove sds64a.sys, skip that step.
  • Step 3: – Sometimes, you may have to remove all files associated with softOSD. The most effective way to do this is by using an uninstaller application. There are good uninstaller apps like IObit Uninstaller or Revo Uninstaller

Removing softOSD software

Solution 5 – Installing the default graphic card driver / update your graphic card driver

You can also fix a red screen by switching back to the default graphic card driver on your laptop. To switch back to the default graphic card driver, follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: – Inside the Search bar type Device Manager and click on Device Manager from the results that come forth.
  • Step 2: – Expand the Display adapters section and right-click on your device in the Display adapters section. Click on Uninstall.
  • Step 3: – Now, check the box that says ‘Delete the driver software for this device’ and click Uninstall.
  • Step 4: – Once the current driver has been removed, restart your PC.

Additionally, you may need to update your graphics card drivers. If you are using a desktop PC, access your graphics card manufacturer’s website and download their latest release of graphics card drivers.

Update drivers automatically:

To avoid PC damage by installing the wrong driver versions, you can update automatically with Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool. This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus.

 

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Update drivers manually:

  • Step 1: Press Win+R simultaneously. This operation will invoke the Run dialogue box. Enter msconfig, click on OK to open System Configurations. Now, click on the Boot tab and check Safe boot. Click OK
  • Step 2: Click on Restart and boot into Safe Mode. Click on This PC > Local Disk C. You will see the driver folder. Delete the folder. Open the Run dialogue by clicking  Start and then Run.
  • Step 3: Enter “devmgmt.msc” in the run box. Click the OK button. The Device Manager window will open. 
  • Step 4: Open the “Display Adapters” field and right-click on the adapter you wish to uninstall. Then select “Uninstall.” Click “OK” to remove the adapter from the list and uninstall the driver
  • Step 5: Press Win+R simultaneously to invoke the Run box. Open Systems configuration by entering msconfig. Click on the Boot tab, uncheck Safe boot, and click OK. Now, click on Restart.
  • Step 6: Download the latest driver. Once you are done, install the driver. Click the Custom installation option and tick all the boxes, including the “perform clean install” box. Restart your PC

Conclusion

Red Screen of Death (RSOD) is a critical error that may occur on your Windows PC due to hardware issues. This error often occurs due to hardware malfunctioning on your computer. Sometimes, you would have to update BIOS to fix it. In this article, I have given you information on the solutions to help you fix this error. Now it is your turn to perform these solutions and conquer it.

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