Feeds

Blue Screen of Death gets makeover for Windows 8

Please turn me off then on again :(

Boost IT visibility and business value

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 traditional white text message on a soothing blue screen, but has been updated to read: "Your PC ran into a problem that it couldn't handle, and now it needs to restart."

The message is served with an unhappy smiley. Chip Hazard grabbed a shot of the BSOD, which you can see on his Facebook page.

The Windows 8 BSOD has more in common with the crash messages of social networks like Twitter than the BSODs of Windows past.

Can't access Twitter? You get the Fail Whale. If Twitter drops out from under your feet you get the grammar-mangling "Something is technically wrong."

The BSOD has been a staple of Windows since the early days of Bill Gates, and would show up when Windows locked up as an application or when a process went awry. Invariably this happened when you were in the middle of some crucial piece of work you rather cleverly hadn't saved. BSODs have appeared on clients, servers and massive public displays the world over.

Windows XP Blue Screen of Death, by rivercoolcool

BSOD goes big at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

The object of the BSOD was to reassure you, the user, and explain what you could do to recover the situation. A BSOD said what had gone wrong, identified the fault using big capital letters and underscores that didn't mean anything to a non-technical user, and explained what to do to recover.

Windows 9x BSOD

Advice you can follow

Advice ranged from the accessible "reboot" to going as far as completely disabling your BIOS memory options, pressing F8 and selecting advanced Start-up options. BSOD was something that even Microsoft recognised as problematic.

Windows XP BSOD

To re-start, please re-configure your PC

No wonder so many ordinary computer-using people hated their PCs.

With Windows 8 it looks like Microsoft has finally realised it is better just to tell people to shut down and restart – something most ordinary PC users and IT support teams have known for years. ®

Thanks to Reg reader Eamon Hughes for flagging up BSOD's official name "bug check".

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.