Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

Alternatively referred to as a bluescreen or bugcheck in Microsoft Windows NT, 2000, and XP, BSoD is short for Blue Screen of Death and is a full blue screen error message generated by Windows.

Examples of bluescreen errors

Below are some examples of how a BSoD may appear in Windows XP.

Windows XP blue screen stop error

Windows blue screen of death

The blue screen is most commonly encountered and associated with a computer running Microsoft Windows. However, other operating systems, such as macOS, may also get a blank blue screen, which is also referred to as a BSoD. Apple computers that have a blank blue screen indicate that the hard drive is bad in that computer.

Why does Windows give BSoD errors?

The Windows blue screen errors occur when a program encounters an error. Typically, these errors are caused by errors in the programming such as trying to call something that does not exist or do something that is not allowed. These errors can also be caused when the hardware in the computer encounters a problem or is bad.

What should I do when I see a blue screen error?

Write down the important parts of the error message. These error messages are usually long because they point to the locations of the error, which usually are not necessary. Write down any of the information mentioned below that is found in the blue screen error.

Tip: You do not have to write anything down if you have a digital camera or smartphone and can take a picture of the error message.

  • If it is an exception error like the first picture (above), write down the error and the first location. For example, "An exception 06 has occurred at 0028:c183ADC" is what is shown in the first example.
  • If the error has text with an underscore, write down the underscore message. For example, in the second picture, "BAD_POOL_HEADER" should be written down.
  • If it has a STOP: error, the first portion of the STOP: error should be written down. For example, "STOP: 0x00000019" as shown in the second picture.
  • Unless there are dozens of files listed, write down any mention of .SYS, .EXE, .VXD file in the error message.

How can I reboot a computer that has a blue screen error?

If the computer does not automatically reboot when encountering a blue screen error, press and hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys, then press the Delete key multiple times to reboot the computer. If the computer does not respond to these keys, then press and hold down the power button for a few seconds until the computer turns off. Once the computer is off, you can press the power button again to restart the computer.

Where can I find a Windows BSoD screen saver?

Windows Sysinternals includes a screen saver called BlueScreen that can generate fake Windows blue screen errors (BSoD) and even simulate the computer rebooting.

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