Windows 8 BSOD now includes a sad face :(

By Tom Warren, on 14th Sep 11 5:22 pm with 49 Comments

Microsoft’s Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) now includes a not so smiley face.

The sad face is displayed on the BSOD screen in the latest Windows 8 developer preview build. The typical full page of information with STOP codes and detailed hardware or software error details has been removed and replaced with a simple interface that mirrors the rest of the operating system. Geek.com spotted the sad face BSOD and notes that most people were expecting a black one.

Early leaked builds of Windows 8 included a black screen of death with similar information on the status of why a machine crashed. The switch to the black screen was clearly a temporary one. Microsoft did the same thing with Longhorn build 5112 throughout Vista’s development stage. 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).

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 Vistabuilds. The company also used Red Screens inside early beta copies of Windows 98.

Windows 8 sad face BSOD

Thanks to Sebastian Gorgon (@Sebianoti) for the image

  • Anonymous

    I hope there is a way to show more information than that.  Meh, I guess so long as it makes it into the system log it doesn’t really matter.

    • Roby

      Exactly. I hope there the log will appear in this screen. (maybe hidden and showable with a button or shortcut).
      Somebody should write about it on blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/

    • J A

      They need to surface more troubleshooting details on the BSOD, perhaps with a “More details” area.

    • Aaron

      Especially for the developers preview build, which they will want user feedback on BSOD instances.

    • Chris

      if they do it really needs to be user friendly. IT techs can use Windows server if they want their codes and IT mumbo jumbo. 

  • Guest

    Good timing. Had my first ever W7 BSOD yesterday, and I’ve been running it since pre beta. Don’t even know how I managed to do it since I was in the browser at the time and that should have just hung a tab or worse case the entire browser. But it was nostalgic anyway.

    • Seb

      Its likely failing hardware, for example, your hard drive may be about to die. I had a SSD which generated a few BSOD, then two days later, the drive was a brick (would not be detected even in the BIOS.)

    • Seb

      Its likely failing hardware, for example, your hard drive may be about to die. I had a SSD which generated a few BSOD, then two days later, the drive was a brick (would not be detected even in the BIOS.)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VGQMRQOQYPZHFOGRIZ53F646KU Not ice_fusion.

    haha, lol

  • Devon Lasher

    I’d imagine that these new error messages display the title or a truncated message that can later be found in a log file or system info.

    looks a whol elot better than the ugly ass BSOD’s we have now!

  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    Isn’t that the face you see on Windows Phone when you are unable to send a text message. The face that appears on the message tile?

    • FuzzyLogician

      Not quite, the symbol on WP is :-(

    • FuzzyLogician

      Not quite, the symbol on WP is :-(

  • Eberton Konieczny Sobreira

    Thank God we don’t have the “Ops… We did it again!” message like in Chrome browser. I hope W8 has a better log when these BSOD msgs appears so we can track the problem and get it solved.

  • Eberton Konieczny Sobreira

    Can’t wait for my Pentium 4 HT to run this… I hope it does…. :)

  • http://adamhaider.com Adam Haider

    I am glad that the BSOD looks more user friendly but it stills offers absolutely no information for the average user.

    - The formatting of the sad face is used in the wrong context– you’re not texting. It should be rotated clockwise and center aligned.

    - Don’t just tell the user something went wrong but print the error in a simple way that the average user understands. I.e: Your PC ran into a problem. These may be the possible cause. (list out with icons if it’s hardware, driver or app problem and tell the user specifically what app, driver or hardware caused it)

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

      Bear it in mind, normal users have absolutely no use and no clue about Error-codes, maybe there will be an option in which you can set verbose mode.

    • Chris

      Like MkAkin’s said the general user dones’t know nor give a damn about error codes. Plus Windows 8 is a CONSUMER OS. Use Windows server is you want all your IT mumbo jumbo.

      I see nothing wrong with the frown.

    • Anonymous

      Windows 8, just like Windows 7, is both a consumer and a business OS.  Personally I have no issue with the screen above, as I am sure there will be dumps and logs, so whatever.  But, Windows is used on hundreds of millions of business PCs where there are differing requirements, so it’s not totally accurate to call it just a consumer OS.

    • http://markk-b.sitesled.com Mark Kéy-Balchin

      The point of a BSOD is to be a failsafe, and thus run as little code as possible (which could corrupt the system state further). Diagnostics are out of the question.

    • http://markk-b.sitesled.com Mark Kéy-Balchin

      The point of a BSOD is to be a failsafe, and thus run as little code as possible (which could corrupt the system state further). Diagnostics are out of the question.

  • http://adamhaider.com Adam Haider

    I am glad that the BSOD looks more user friendly but it stills offers absolutely no information for the average user.

    - The formatting of the sad face is used in the wrong context– you’re not texting. It should be rotated clockwise and center aligned.

    - Don’t just tell the user something went wrong but print the error in a simple way that the average user understands. I.e: Your PC ran into a problem. These may be the possible cause. (list out with icons if it’s hardware, driver or app problem and tell the user specifically what app, driver or hardware caused it)

  • jason

    It’ll is such an awkward conjunction…

  • http://twitter.com/teusje teusje

    BSoD: Bad Smiley of Death

  • Anonymous

    I have a feeling most people wont ever see this Screen. Iv been running Windows 7 since launch and have yet to have it crash. and a second (Gaming PC) that Hasn’t crashed once. (Got it in December.)

    • Hugues Lefebvre

      Hardware failure could still generate a BSOD though. That doesn’t have much to do with the stability of the OS, so the average user purchasing sub-par hardware could encounter this. I know if my parents saw this they would be more likely to write down the short error code because it’s obviously right there.

    • Chris Sherlock

      There can always be dodgy drivers, no matter what Microsoft does. If they run in kernel mode, then they can screw up your computer. Can’t blame that on Microsoft!

    • Chris Sherlock

      There can always be dodgy drivers, no matter what Microsoft does. If they run in kernel mode, then they can screw up your computer. Can’t blame that on Microsoft!

    • Chris Sherlock

      There can always be dodgy drivers, no matter what Microsoft does. If they run in kernel mode, then they can screw up your computer. Can’t blame that on Microsoft!

    • Chris Sherlock

      There can always be dodgy drivers, no matter what Microsoft does. If they run in kernel mode, then they can screw up your computer. Can’t blame that on Microsoft!

    • Chris Sherlock

      There can always be dodgy drivers, no matter what Microsoft does. If they run in kernel mode, then they can screw up your computer. Can’t blame that on Microsoft!

    • Chris Sherlock

      There can always be dodgy drivers, no matter what Microsoft does. If they run in kernel mode, then they can screw up your computer. Can’t blame that on Microsoft!

    • Chris Sherlock

      There can always be dodgy drivers, no matter what Microsoft does. If they run in kernel mode, then they can screw up your computer. Can’t blame that on Microsoft!

  • http://www.callumpy.co.uk Callumpy

    Love the new BSOD

    • Ray Stevens

      Got the same error. It can’t run in virtualization for some reason.

    • http://www.callumpy.co.uk Callumpy

      Yeah, something to do with a CPU incompatibility.

    • http://www.callumpy.co.uk Callumpy

      Yeah, something to do with a CPU incompatibility.

    • http://www.callumpy.co.uk Callumpy

      Yeah, something to do with a CPU incompatibility.

    • http://www.callumpy.co.uk Callumpy

      Yeah, something to do with a CPU incompatibility.

    • http://www.callumpy.co.uk Callumpy

      Yeah, something to do with a CPU incompatibility.

    • Rene Christensen Dokbua

      Huh? I’m running it in Virtualbox no problem.

    • http://www.callumpy.co.uk Callumpy

      Yeah, something to do with a CPU incompatibility.

    • http://www.callumpy.co.uk Callumpy

      Yeah, something to do with a CPU incompatibility.

    • Anonymous

      why use virtual machine? Install it in a vhd. Best way to try windows 8 without harming your productive environment!

    • Anonymous

      why use virtual machine? Install it in a vhd. Best way to try windows 8 without harming your productive environment!

  • http://markk-b.sitesled.com Mark Kéy-Balchin

    Edit: Gah, never mind, misread! Ignore… ^^;

  • Etc Etc…

    Having to deal with a BSoD at all seems a little scary doesn’t it? The fact that its one of the first things at least somewhat finished is a little scary.

  • egraged

    I’m so sorry, but gay. or i should say :( gay. 
    Also, smiles are weird for an OS interface. What if Microsoft starts using it on text buttons?!

  • egraged

    The world is not dead. There’s a tiny smiley at the end of this page.