Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Blue Screen of Death #BSOD

Several times this week my home computer suffered from the Blue Screen of Death - the message each time was:

A device driver attempting to corrupt the system has been caught. The faulty driver currently on the kernel stack must be replaced.

Image source: Sound On Sound.
So that's easy to fix - just update the faulty driver, right? It started to take a long time to check out drivers - especially for items recently installed. So I purchased Driver Genius to do the job for me. It scanned my PC and found that it has 193 drivers! I'm sure many are redundant, but I was still amazed that there were so many. The first scan revealed that 32 drivers needed to be updated - Driver Genius downloads and installs these for you, and then can continue to monitor for updates. So hopefully there will be no more BSODs due to driver failure - none so far.

Ever since I started to use PCs running Microsoft Windows in about 1988 - General Failure Errors and BSODs have never been far away. Nearly 30 years later no one has figured out an easy way for Windows to tell the user what exactly went wrong and how it can be fixed. These things don't happen by themselves - there is a reasons for everything. How tough can it be to capture the information as it happens, dump it to a text file, and when Windows starts again it reads the file and tells us what to do "Windows has detected that you need to update your Web Cam driver....".

The BSOD is not confined to older computers - (mine is just over three years old). My brand new laptop at work encountered a BSOD on the second day I had it!

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