Microsoft switches to Black Screen Of Death (BSoD) for Windows 8

By Tom Warren, on 24th Apr 11 8:59 pm with 41 Comments

Microsoft has switched to the color black for it’s system stop error messages in Windows 8.

The software giant’s notorious Blue Screen bug check, or error screen, is now black inside the latest Windows 8 builds. Microsoft has used the Blue Screen of Death since early copies of Windows 1.0. The first Windows error screen composed of code page 437 symbols against a blue background. The first proper Blue Screen was present in Windows 3.x. Microsoft started using a Red Screen of Death inside early Windows Vista builds. The company also used Red Screens inside early beta copies of Windows 98.

The switch to a Black Screen of Death could be a temporary one, similar to the switch in Longhorn build 5112. Microsoft has only ever used a Black Screen of Death in Windows 3.x when DOS-based applications failed to execute correctly. Microsoft typically uses Black screens when its operating systems are attempting to load following the power-on self-test (POST). The switch, noted by MyDigitalLife user canouna, is an interesting one and comes as Microsoft prepares its first beta copy of Windows 8 later this year.

Microsoft is currently working on various Windows 8 features and is expected to deliver an early copy to developers at its Windows Developer Conference (WDC) in September. Here’s a round-up of the latest Windows 8 news:

Windows 8 Black Screen of Death

  • http://twitter.com/dgwelsh David Garnett Welsh

    Well that looks A LOT more friendly for a catastrophic crash, not like OMG EVERYTHING IS BROKENNN.

    • http://eingoluq.blogspot.com Eingoluq

      I totally agree. They should change the crude boot menu to something more pleasant as well or take it out

    • Tom

      Remember the shut down screen from Windows 95 for non-ACPI computers that couldn’t shut down automatically?

      It’s not a new idea to deliver system messages in graphics mode. But I like how the Windows team is paying attention to fit-and-finish throughout the OS.

  • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

    BSOD is still BSOD :-))

  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    Still wish they would tell you what those error codes mean though

    • http://twitter.com/dgwelsh David Garnett Welsh

      That takes all of the fun away!

    • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

      xD

    • GP007

      Well, I dunno why they don’t dump the code or at least match it up to some general hardware tag. Like back when I still ran XP on my old PC i’d use to get a random bsod that pointed to the pagefile read/write operation timed out (i,e the hdd the pagefile was on had a bad sector and it would hang when it tried to read it etc).

      Anyways, the point is when you look up most of these codes they’re pointing to general faults basically and nothing really specific from what I’ve seen.

    • Michaeljamesball

      Thats what we have google for :-)

    • Anonymous

      IF you download that operating systems debug kit from microsoft it will take the debug file created from the blue screen and tell you what the error means and even which file created it. Also when you have been working eith weindows for a while you tend to start to know what those cryptic messages mean. they are actually pretty informative.

  • IAmTheNinja

    Sexiest “you’re screwed” screen EVER.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Looks very nice!

  • Tonious

    Looks Blue[SOD] to me!

    • http://chasethebase.tumblr.com Steve Bennett

      It’s the lighting of the display in the photo.

    • Tonious

      Whatever!
      it’s still BSOD………………………………..lol!

    • Kanelp

      I’d like to see a ‘Guru Meditation’ error.

  • http://twitter.com/clindhartsen Chris Lindhartsen

    To be honest, it may still be an error screen, but this looks more user friendly than the classic word mess we’ve seen for years.

  • scrolless

    Even the error screen looks good! Way to go Windows 8!

  • http://josedmorales.net Josè Daniel

    Wow, that IS a sexy BSOD! OMG, please Microsoft don’t make it only temporary! :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/AdrizzyM Adriel A-Drizzy Mingo

    Hey your computer just crashed but look at the bright side you’ve got a pretty diagnosis screen!

    • Tom

      Yes, that’s what Apple did with the kernel panic screen on Mac OS 10.2. Except, Apple being Apple, there’s no hexadecimal message. It just tells you that the computer has to restart.

    • FMH

      It is a bit bluish in the center. So now we have a blue/black screen.

  • http://twitter.com/oslicek David Petrla

    The final version will use a green color, play funny kitten videos and claim “Everything’s OK, just take a break and relax for a while.” :-)

  • Quentin Calvez

    The best news for average users is the “12 seconds remaining”. This way they will have time to write down the error message before everything goes off in order to report it to the support / geek friend.

    • Michaeljamesball

      you can actually change the time that a BSOD displays for. But as a BSOD is Microsofts way of saying, “We are shutting down your computer to prevent any damage” you really want it to shut down as quick as possible. And if you can’t read the BSOD, well nows the time to start learning to read crash dump reports :-)

    • Quentin Calvez

      I know that :)

      But again, You and I aren’t the common Windows User. And I can assure you that a crash message that tries to comfort the user and not tell him : “We display a lot of info that you can’t read because we only show it during 0.5sec with a stressing blue color” would be a real improvement.

    • Quentin Calvez

      I know that :)

      But again, You and I aren’t the common Windows User. And I can assure you that a crash message that tries to comfort the user and not tell him : “We display a lot of info that you can’t read because we only show it during 0.5sec with a stressing blue color” would be a real improvement.

  • Anonymous

    OMG that looks better than the mac kernel panic screen

  • http://www.facebook.com/adacosta Andre Da Costa

    The three common culprits for BSOD’s are: Network adapter, Video Card or Faulty memory. Others can include your BIOS needs an update, some obscure poorly written application accessing an area of memory it shouldn’t have, external storage devices not initializing properly during POST or faulty motherboard.

    Would be nice is a more convenient way to troubleshoot from the BSOD screen itself, such as a mini browser screen that allows you to Google or Bing the problem or receive real time feedback about the error code so you can take a more decisive action to troubleshoot the problem.

    • Anonymous

      The easiest thing to do would be to include the debug kit with the OS. The debug kits reads the debug file generated from the message and tells you what the message means and even which file generated the error and what files where loaded into memory at the time.

  • Mr. Period

    Nice job with the grammar mistake in the very first sentence. It starts the article off looking hackneyed and amateurish.

  • Oime

    It isn’t blue anymore ? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    But still black is sexy , it says you are screwed :3

  • Oime

    It isn’t blue anymore ? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    But still black is sexy , it says you are screwed :3

  • Benjy91

    Should have used a different colour, so the term “BSOD” couldn’t be used anymore ;-)

    • Michaeljamesball

      you can actually change the colors of BSOD to whatever color you want.

  • http://twitter.com/Dessimat0r Chris Dennett

    BSOD still works as an abbreviation :)

  • Chrischscrow

    Microsoft can’t solve a simple problem ? Also the they can’t even put a decent anti virus on it ? As much money they make they can’t even Make a os that isn’t cheap looking

  • http://thommck.wordpress.com Thom McKiernan

    Surely Windows 8 will never crash anyway ;)

  • Tonious
  • Guest

    If that’s the BSOD, what is the BSOD for the BSOD?
    (I.E. If the graphics driver has some issues, I would imagine you can’t show fancy pictures in a BSOD…?, and would probably need an alternative BSOD if you couldn’t show the fancy one… or you could just reboot and show nothing)

  • http://twitter.com/DorsalAxe Dorsal Axe

    I think they mostly done away with the red screens in Vista because of visibility reasons. Grey on red is the worst idea ever. Still, I love how they’ve simplified it. All the useful information is still there; they’ve merely got rid of the useless wall ‘o’ text.