Just when you thought that BSODs were a thing of the past
After installing Microsoft's August 2014 Patch Tuesday updates, you may have noticed some wonky behavior in Windows. If you're especially unluckly, you may have even been experiencing those dreaded Blue Screen of Death errors that have largely been eradicated in recent years. It turns out there's some potentially buggy code that could cause BSODs after installing the updates, which prompted Microsoft to pull the patch offline while it investigates the issue.
Every Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) deciphered (Updated!)
If you're returning here by way of bookmark, first off, please accept our condolences. There's only reason you spend time reading a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) article, and that's to try and solve a problem you're having with your own system. If we could give out a teddy bear stuffed with cash to each person that visited this article, we'd do it. Sadly, we don't have teddy bears, and what little cash we have is usually spent at the pub.
What is it with SATA 6Gb/s SSDs and blue screen of death (BSOD) errors? First it was only SSDs with the SandForce SF-2000 series controller that were making users feel blue, but earlier this month Crucial also acknowledged a BSOD issue of its own. A firmware bug was found to be causing the company’s M4 SSD to restart every hour “after approximately 5,000 hours of actual ‘on time’ use.” The company promised a firmware update to rectify the problem sometime during the week of January 16, 2012. That firmware update is now available.
OCZ has finally issued a fix for the BSOD/disconnect issue plaguing its SF-2200 based solid-state drives (SSDs). The problem isn’t limited to OCZ drives alone, but is known to affect drives with Sandforce SF-2200 controllers from other vendors as well. However, OCZ is the first vendor to issue a fix, which comes in form of a firmware update.
Good news for the haters, when Microsoft said it reimagined Windows, it also reimagined what the Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) should look like, which means Windows 8 isn't immune to crashing. If you think about it, it's kind of comforting in a way. After all, what would Windows be without a BSoD revealing what went wrong? You could answer "Linux," or even "Mac OS X" if you're trying to start a flame war, but we won't go there.
Try not to look smug as you reach around and pat yourself on the back if you're the type of user who, come hell or high water, absolutely refuses to touch new driver and software updates with a 10-foot pole until they've been tested downloaded by others and verified to work. Also get ready to welcome a few more to your ranks after AMD's Catalyst 11.6 driver caused some systems kick it old school with a blue screen of death.
Who crashed? Who. I'm asking you, who crashed? Yes, Who, that guy over there on first base...
Only the best downloads get their own warm-up comics. And WhoCrashed is one of the best downloads you'll want to have on your system if you want to figure out the source behind your occasional Blue Screens of Fatal Windows Unhappiness. Install this app on your PC and you'll be treated to a little more information than the gobbilty-gook permeating your average BSOD.
WhoCrashed isn't a panacea--it's not going to give you a little button that says "Fix Me," which will automatically heal your system's upset-whatever like a glass of digital Maalox. Consider this app the Sherlock Holmes of freeware (the book, not the Iron Man version). It'll give you clues and suggest a potential culprit for your woes, but it just can't make everything better without a little deduction and sleuthing on your part.
So why, then, would you download WhoCrashed? Click the jump to find out!
I just did a Core i7 build for audio/video production purposes and 3D rendering. I’m not a gamer, but I do a lot of heavy-duty audio stuff and 3D rendering with Cinema4D, After Effects, Poser, 3D Studio Max, Photoshop, etc. The system is a Core i7-920 with an ATI 4870 X2 and Vista Ultimate 64-bit.
Vista has really started to get on my nerves. I am getting random BSODs, and there is no pattern to when they come (although it seems the computer is usually idle for a little while when it happens). The BSOD message says it’s due to a hardware exception, and is always the same. I’ve done some general diagnostics on the hardware using CPU-Z and SpeedFan, and everything checks out.
I think it may be the result of something as simple as an unseated videocard, but it would be nice if I knew how to access the error log that is written whenever a BSOD occurs, like I used to with XP. I would imagine that Vista has the same feature; I’m just not sure how to get to it. Can you tell me where to find this or offer some suggestions to help me troubleshoot this?
The last thing you want to see while hanging from a wire high above a crowd of spectators is Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death lingering in mid-air, but that's exactly what happened to Li Ning, one of China's sporting greats. The incident took place during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, and as Ning geared up for the torch lighting climax inside the Bird's Nest, stadium projectors beamed the BSOD onto the roof where it was clearly visible for all to see.
The BSOD came as an unfortunate side effect to using specialized theatrical computer controlled lighting equipment to light up the Bird's Nest, making the process not only automated, but susceptible to software failures. But hey, at least Windows was only running the light show and not the high wire act!
I’m stuck with a Dell laptop that now fails to boot after just two weeks of normal use. I can accept the fact that I will probably fight with Dell technical support for six months before they do anything to help. What I can’t accept is that I can’t figure out what is wrong with this box.
Quite simply, using the laptop for an extended period results in incredibly slow performance, which leads to a lockup or blue screen, which leads to Windows no longer booting on the next cold restart. The ensuing error messages are varied and too numerous to list. After a clean install of Windows, every single diagnostic from the Dell CD comes back perfect. Memtest86 returns no errors.
I’ve swapped out hard drives and CD drives. But after two weeks, the result is exactly the same: no boot. I’ve tried other “unsupported operating systems” (read: Ubuntu), but they crash and burn just the same. If a Dell technician tells me to reinstall XP Home one more time, I may go postal!