Feeds

back to article Blue Screen of Death gets makeover for Windows 8

Windows 8 doesn't just put Microsoft's operating system on finger-friendly tablets, it also gives the notorious Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) a touchy makeover. Known officially as a bug check, the BSOD has been overhauled so it can take its place in an age of brevity and emoticons. The Windows 8 BSOD still features the …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

This doesn't bode well.

I haven't seen one in years apart from one being due to hardware failure.

7
1

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

Regularly ... on Windows 7 ... when playing 3D games (especially Brink) using an AMD/ATI Radeon graphics card.

I'm not sure I lay the blame entirely on MSs door though - should have gone with nVidia I fear *sighs*

When I built this PC it had been a really, really long time since I last used an ATI card and I (foolishly) thought they might have sorted out their iffy drivers by now.

5
2
N2
Bronze badge

Black as well

Ive seen Black in Vista & 7 as well as plenty of BSODs

usually when it cant boot,

1
0
Silver badge

They're less common than they used to be, but I still see them from time to time. Usually it's either hardware or ID10T errors. One guy had deleted every dll he could find because he felt they were taking up too much space. That was one of those times when I wished we were allowed to tell someone they aren't allowed to touch a computer ever again.

3
1

Why do computers crash

I build my own computers and install Windows without any of the usual bloatware from SONY or Dell. I also build Xeon based machines using ECC memory. On my lastest machine, running Windows 7, I haven't seen a single crash. I think there are two problems that cause some systems to crash. One is memory errors from non-ECC memory, a growing problem with gigabytes of high density memory. One cosmic ray boring its way through some 32 nm DRAM will flip a lot of bits! There was an internal study at Microsoft some years ago that found that 50% of blue screens were caused by hardware memory parity errors. THe other major cause was device driver bugs, a frustration that Microsoft has gotten some control over in Win7 by sandboxing the drivers (I think they run in in ring 1 instead of ring 0, but I could be wrong about that).

The other reason some people seem to have sick PCs is more nebulous. The typical user downloads a lot of crapware, never defrags their drive, and is careless about security, and at some point they seem to end up with a machine best treated by "Format C:" and starting over.

5
0
Bronze badge
Joke

If it doesn't BODE well, it doesn't BOOT well, so, give it..

Das BOOT!

2
0
Go

So?

What's your point? It was his computer right? Right. He's free to destroy his property if he wants to and you're free to laugh and refuse to work on it. But it is his property ... you know, like he owns it. Duuuhhh.

0
7
Silver badge

Re: So?

Actually it was a company computer. If it were his own I'd have just facepalmed and told him what an idiot he was. Since it was NOT his to destroy, though, I had to fix the thing.

2
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

I can see this pissing people off more than the usual BSOD's. The new one makes light of the situation, and does raise a smile. But imagine if your working on a document and half way through it you get that?

2
0
Happy

Just pick up where you left off?

I mean I've had Word or Excel crash on me from time to time and it saves a copy of it in an autorecovery file. After the crash, fire up Word or Excel and bob's you're Uncle, get asked which version I'd like to recover

0
0
Bronze badge

Recall that mantra?

"SAVE, AND SAVE OFTEN"?

0
0
Silver badge

Me too.

Havent seen one in a long time. If I ever did usually it was linked to a crappy bit of hardware or faulty ram.

I often wondered if there ever was anyone in existance that could actually glean or understand anything from a BSOD or a MS Crash report log.

1
0

Answer:

"I often wondered if there ever was anyone in existance that could actually glean or understand anything from a BSOD or a MS Crash report log."

Yes.

3
0
Silver badge

Of course there are

I haven't seen a BSOD for ages either, although here no week passes without a Windows crash or lock-up (not always for the same machine/luser couple of course). Believe me, BSODs are a _good_ thing.

Also, don't forget to wait for the customary minute between shutdown and boot, it really is needed. If you feel it's wasted time you can use it to go get your sysadmin a coffee.

2
0
Go

Uh huh

Yes

0
1

I repair windows for a living

Most are home users, so originals ROFL. Re image, clients will be pissed that they don't have the same layout, they'll happily toddle off down to the shops and buy the latest bargain lappie, that's probably worse spec'd than their original. If I was cynical I'd say that's why MS is doing it. Damn Im going to have to get windows 8 and test this :-(

BSOD stop codes let you zero into the problem quickly.

Never had much luck with the Crash report log, Tend to get lead in the wrong direction, if It can actually save one....

0
0
Silver badge

Should read ...

"Your PC ran into a problem that Windows couldn't handle, and now it needs to restart."

14
2
Linux

Or...

"Your PC ran into a problem that Windows couldn't handle, try installing a non-legacy operating system."

</troll>

4
0
Bronze badge
Trollface

....so what you're saying is that Linux definitely doesnt fit the bill, right?

A monolithic kernel OS, such as Windows 98, Linux, or HP-UX, is the best definition of Legacy I can think of. So Legacy even MS abandoned the concept in '99.

Let me introduce you to my friends, the Pot and The Kettle.

1
1
Trollface

The box said "requires windows 98 or better to run"...... So I installed Linux

2
0

Looking at some of the comments from "power users" on the facebook page made me grin...

"So where do I read the error code?"

"Even less informative than it used to be. Thanks for thinking of the power users Microsoft."

Last time I checked it ends up in Event Viewer, are they really power users? Don't they know that event viewer actually gives more information?

7
6
Anonymous Coward

Error code

They seem to also missed the bit at the bottom suggesting the user might want to search for the error online, providing in captials the text HAL INITIALIZATION ERROR as a suitable candidate.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

And of the times when you can't get back into windows to read said log, even when the venerable safe mode and "last known good" options result in the stop error?

Tho, usually this can be traced down to an issue with your SATA controller... but still, doesn't help when it's really fubar'd and you can't get in.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Oh sure...

That's of great use when Windows BSODs on boot and you can't *start* Event Viewer.

4
0
Stop

And when the system can't get far enough to actually access the event viewer, what then? Not having the STOP code on the screen somewhere sure seems like a glaring omission.

4
0
FAIL

Huh?

> "Last time I checked it ends up in Event Viewer, are they really power users? Don't they know that event viewer actually gives more information?"

Really?

Does this include an error in the file system driver that prevents anything to be written to disk (including updating event log)?

Does this include h/w errors that prevents the file system buffer cache from being flushed, resulting in no data being written to disk (including flushing the I/O buffer for the event log)?

You are making one too many assumption about the usability of the event log to diagnose a h/w crash afterwards.

2
1
Gold badge
FAIL

NO, it doesn't

If windows was still behaving itself to open a file from the filesystem, get the date and time and various other information, write an entry to the file, close the file and make sure that the buffers are flashed and that the filesystem was updated, then there would be no need for BSOD.

The reason that the BSOD is simple text is because it needs very little of the system to do that. Once the system if FKd, you can't do high-level things like fancy graphics and intensive file-system operations.

I see BSODs too often, and there is unsually very little help in logfiles including eventviewer. They are normally caused by code running close to the metal like kernal drivers, and the BSOD is often the first/only clue of where to start looking.

4
0
WTF?

@David Webb

Yes, that will be really useful when you're getting a BSOD any time before you can get into the event viewer, say on boot or at the log-on screen. Oh you've never had that before? ... well maybe some of these "power users" actually have some experience working with windows machines that don't perform flawlessly (like in the real world).

I'm not opposed to the new BSOD but saying these "power users" have no right to be concerned about the changes is not entirely true.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

"And of the times when you can't get back into windows to read said log, even when the venerable safe mode and "last known good" options result in the stop error?"

Then you would be reinstalling or restoring from a bare metal backup anyway...

1
1

It still tells you the error code on the BSOD

http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/windows-8-BSoD_1.jpg

0
2

Tried using

the recovery disk? Worked for me (was a long time ago mind,).

0
0

recovery disk?

Most people nowadays are lucky to get the opportunity to burn their own that just wipes the drive and restores the factory image.

Barely anybody gives the proper windows disks with all the recovery tools on anymore.

5
0
Facepalm

@BristolBachelor @Everyone

"I see BSODs too often, and there is unsually very little help in logfiles including eventviewer. They are normally caused by code running close to the metal like kernal drivers, and the BSOD is often the first/only clue of where to start looking."

The BSOD is the last place to start looking for clues, Seriously people, have you ever heard of the debugging tools for windows or windbg? couple that with the the necessary symbol files from the microsoft symbol server (google "using the microsoft symbol server" for clues), and it tells you exactly what caused the BSOD, down to the exact file that triggered it. Even on machines that cant boot in to windows proper, you can use windbg in safe mode, if you're clever enough, you can even install windbg in safe mode, whats more, if that dont work you can always use MS DaRT (Diagnostic and Recovery Toolset, formerly known as ERD Commander) crash analyzer. Windows XP saves either the last BSOD as a full memory dump called MEMORY.DMP in c:\windows, or a mini dump of all BSOD's in a folder called.... wait for it.... Minidump, located at c:\windows\minidump. Windows vista and 7 go a step farther and saves both, so you can go back back and examine the complete history of BSOD's

So if anyone is living with random or frequent BSOD's its due to your own ignorance.

3
4
Silver badge
FAIL

@Wallyb132 You've never worked in any kind of support, have you?

The only BSODs I see are photos of screens taken by a scared user.

Every single one of them in the last five years happened during boot, usually due to a failed piece of hardware or a damaged Registry.

That STOP code is the *only* thing I can possibly have to go on. I don't have the computer in front of me, it's the other side of the world.

Go on, try talking your next door neighbour or grandmother through windbg over the phone.

Even if you could do that (hah!) you're still making a whole stack of unwarranted assumptions - the user has internet access to download anything, the computer has a working filesystem, Safe Mode is available, the hardware is not actually F.U.C.T. etc.

That STOP code has almost always told me whether it's corrupted Registry, duff GPU, duff RAM, duff mobo, bad USB device, bad luck etc. It's

Good luck doing *anything* useful without the STOP code and no physical or remote access to the machine.

4
1
Silver badge
Holmes

Minidump

It's useless. You need a full dump and a program to go through it and a way to get at said full dump on the borked machine.

Alternatively you take a photo of the BSOD with your mobile and hit Google on another machine.

Unless they're planning on adding 'press RETURN for more information' to lead through to the old BSOD they're making a very bad mistake.

1
0
Linux

There are ways

For instance, if it is a log file, a Linux live disk will let you access it. If it is something Windows specific, Hirem's boot disk can likely help. Its a Windows XP live cd, allowing you to use tools like regedit and the disk scanning tools, among others.

http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

Just get some decent tools in your kit and a non-booting system won't trouble you so much. Or, you could, I dunno, get an OS that works. http://www.ubuntu.com

0
1

"So if anyone is living with random or frequent BSOD's its due to your own ignorance."

I'm down voting you for that, it's not the users fault is some hardware manufacturer can't get their act together and write a decent driver, AND the tools to delete/uninstall it.

I have a lot of music editing software on one of my PCs, I installed a Beringer USB Guitar Link/virtual amp, yeah, I should have known better, the latency of the USB ADC was too high to be of real use, but it turned out that the bloody thing was impossible to uninstall, trying to use add/remove programs either hung the computer or caused a BSOD

Of course I also blame mickeysoft for the laissez faire attitude it has towards allowing 3rd party suppliers install software as part of the OS.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

So all the useful information from the BSOD has been removed - that's brilliant. So on the (hopefully) rare instance of your machine going tits and being unbootable, you've got no way to identify the cause?

All well and good hiding the useful information from end lusers, but the option to see detailed error information would be rather helpful to those of us that have to fix broken stuff.

2
0
Gold badge
Joke

Cause ?

You can tell the cause; the blue colour means windows*

*Other colours may be availble.

(The BBC is publicly funded and this is not an advert)

1
0
Silver badge
Meh

To be fair

I can't recall the last time I saw BSOD *at work*. At home, my Windows 7 PC threw a few when I installed the XP/Vista-only drivers for my birthday present - a USB recording interface for guitars. Went through uninstall-clean-reinstall cycle, and everything worked fine.

Not sure which is worse, "Blue Screen Of Death", or "Kernel Panic" .....

2
0
Anonymous Coward

What about...

What about "Guru Meditation Error" or just the Mac with a bomb in it logo - I can't remember exactly what the Mac one was for, I'm sure someone will tell me.

Of course RISC OS didn't need any such thing because RISC OS never crashed, it was perfect.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

re: What about...

I take it you've never used !Fresco or !Marcel. Or never experienced a crash due to photodesk horrible virtual memory managment system thereby killing the directory map (FAT) of ADFS.

And contrary to windows (NTFS) there's NO "chkdsk /R" to fix this discmap of an ADFS volume.

There's a good reason why Discknight is/was so successfull.

But yeah, I do sometimes miss the simplicity of RISCOS.

I think the bomb is Atari's TOS, isn't it? Or were that three bombs in succession. I remember a unhappy mac-face on Apple, though.

0
0
Silver badge

IIRC

In Macintosh (the OS before MacOS) the sad-mac dialog did have 8 hex digits in it, which I assume was the equivalent fail-mode code to the (old) BSOD's.

0
0

Ban the bomb

It was a system error, most prevalent in System 6, and rather unhelpfully, you could not boot System 6 with extensions off (an extwnsion was usually the cause of the crash in the first place.) The best solution was booting from a floppy, dragging extensions out the folder, restarting and replacing one by one to find the culprit. Well, that's what i had to do once, but it was a long time ago.

0
0
Silver badge
Happy

Atari boms..

..the errors are here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Row_of_bombs

0
0

> Guru Meditation

Ah AmigaOS, how I loved thee.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Meditation

0
0
Facepalm

Ive (only once) actually found the device that was going wrong and known to swap it out from a BSOD, more luck than judgement tho.

and i currently have BSOD screen sht as my screen saver, i love the look on our IT guys faces when it kicks in, makes me smile every time..

i initially thought that BSOD had been removed from vista/Win7 (i thought i read that somewhere), but ive just started getting it in my current windows 7 install recently.

but what it does is BSOD in the night, and in the morning, my pc is just off, and i get an error report, saying i had a BSOD. ive only actually seen it twice from about 30-40 errors.

(ive never had the error in the day, or whilst im working)

i have the purchase order for a new spanky high end laptop going out now, as they cant be arsed to find the error as its out of warrenty, but this quad core, 4gb machine is decent, seems a shame to dump it for lazyness...

signs of the times i guess...

Dont care getting a new spanky laptop - Yay..!

0
0
Silver badge
IT Angle

Meh

I prefer the intimidatory feeling of the old BSOD. If I were making the changes, I'd make sure even more technical stuff filled the screen, possibly with an alarm sounding as well and a descending countdown timer.

But then, I really hate playing tech support for colleagues.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Simples

Purge your life of fucking MSFT products and avoid the problem totally.

Simples!

6
12
Trollface

Written from your WinPhone 7 ?

[as there's no muppet icon, the troll will have to do]

0
2

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.