What is the Blue Screen of Death?

Posted On 2005-11-1 by FortyPoundHead
Keywords: BSOD Blue Screen of Death Windows NT 2000 XP 98 95
Tags:  Windows NT Windows 2000
Views: 1560

In Windows NT 4.0, 2000, and XP, the
"Blue Screen of Death" is a common term for the NT stop error that is
displayed when a computer running Microsoft Windows NT, 2000, or XP
crashes. The screen is typically a bright blue color with white text
that may or may not make any sense.

This can be caused by many different things, from programs that
conflict with one another to reading a file from a corrupted disk. It
is most commonly caused by a memory access violation when
a program tries to access memory space already reserved by another

In technical terms, the Blue Screen of Death is called a "text mode
stop message", and is used to diagnose and debug hardware and software
issues relating to running Windows NT, 2000, or XP. Typically, these
screens contain the stop message, its text translation, the address of
the violating software call, and the drivers loaded at the time. This
information is useful to Product Support Engineers in diagnosing and
fixing the problem.

If you are experiencing frequent crashes, try the following:

  • Check the Windows Hardware Compatibility List to be certain all
    the components of your system are supported. The list is available
    from Microsoft's Web site at:

  • Make sure all of your drivers are the latest versions
    available. If not, update them and see if that takes care of the

  • Run ScanDisk or another disk utility
    to check for disk corruption on your hard drive and any floppy disks
    that seem to be associated with the problem.

For more information, search on articles 165863,
130802, 192463, 129845, and

183169 in Microsoft's knowledge base.
You can access Microsoft's knowledge base at:


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