A blue screen, also referred to as a STOP error, appears whenever Windows encounters a serious critical error it cannot recover from. The operating system halts, requiring a reboot and possibly resulting in loss of unsaved work. Blue screens are widely caused by hardware problems.
Most blue screens display diagnostic information that can be used to trouble shoot the root cause of the critical error. The name of the error is usually displayed in uppercase with an underscore between each word. In some cases, that is all you will need to get to the root problem.
Whenever a blue screen occurs, a memory dump follows. The operating system creates a "minidump" file that holds information about the crash and saves it to the hard disk for debugging purposes. You can easily deal with a STOP Error by using system restore, scanning for malware, installing updated drivers, booting into safe mode, checking for hardware problems, or reinstalling windows.
In Windows 8's the blue-screen message advise users to perform a web search for the error message to learn more about it. If the blue screen appears without any white text, you are likely encountering a problem with your monitor, graphics card or other hardware.