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Blue Screen Of Death?

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Blue Screen Of Death?

Unread postby Psychotic Overlord » December 18th, 2012, 3:20 am

What is a BSOD? Can it be because of some malware? Will it lead to a bigger problem if appropriate concern is not shown?
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Re: Blue Screen Of Death?

Unread postby Gary R » December 18th, 2012, 3:32 am

BSODs occur for a number of reasons, and are really just an indication that the computer has a problem from which it cannot recover, the source of the problem is usually given in the form of a "Stop Code".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Screen_of_Death

If you need to look up a BSOD Stop Code, then try here ... http://www.carrona.org/bsodindx.html
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Re: Blue Screen Of Death?

Unread postby th3fall3n777 » July 13th, 2013, 2:05 am

I know this is a very old post, but just in case - I've had tremendous luck using a program, "Blue Screen View" which actually analyzes the dump and minidump files generated when a computer Blue Screens and gives you some pretty easy to understand information that will help you understand what went down. http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html
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Re: Blue Screen Of Death?

Unread postby Gary R » July 13th, 2013, 4:40 am

Blue Screen View is indeed a very useful tool for the layman.

However, it's analysis of what is causing the problem is very often wrong, so it's not the best tool to rely on when trying to find out what's actually causing your BSODs.

The truth is, there are so many variables involved in most Blue Screen incidents, that successfully analysing BSODs is a long, time consuming process, which is best left to experts.

Self-analysis can sometimes be profitable, but usually more people are unsuccessful in analysing their problem, than they are successful.
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Re: Blue Screen Of Death?

Unread postby Slim Nelson » July 13th, 2013, 1:12 pm

Hey Gary. Got a quick question for ya.

How do you gather your information from the blue screen within the short time period that the screen is being displayed?

Do you just memorize the stop code and check out other goto information as quick as possible?
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Re: Blue Screen Of Death?

Unread postby th3fall3n777 » July 13th, 2013, 1:39 pm

Actually, you don't have to :) When your computer blue screens, it generates a file called a "minidump," and stores it on your C:\ drive (I believe C:\Windows\minidump) - there is a setting you can change that will make your computer generate what is called a "full memory dump" instead - it still places the file in C:\Windows but the file is instead called "memorydump." The full memory dump contains many more details (and the file is much larger) - There are numerous debugging programs that use this file (and the minidump equivalent) to analyze what caused your computer to Blue Screen.

But, like Gary R states, these applications can be wrong. I guess personally I have had a lot of luck with Blue Screen view being on the money, but I'm only one person. One thing I have noticed about Blue Screen View is that sometimes it only shows you "the last event" that occurred before the Blue Screen - so in that vein, it's not telling you why your computer crashed, but instead what happened right before it crashed. Usually a driver of some kind failing miserably, or a hardware related problem.

At my job we rely on these memory dumps quite extensively.
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Re: Blue Screen Of Death?

Unread postby Gary R » July 13th, 2013, 1:58 pm

Obviously a BSOD can either occur on bootup, or at some other time.

If it occurs on bootup ....

You may not have time to note down what the error code is because Windows will go into its auto-restart procedure and attempt a further reboot, and the machine will get locked into a vicious cycle of BSOD-Reboot-BSOD-Reboot-BSOD-Reboot.

So, to get the error code we need to break this cycle .....

  • Reboot the computer, and press F8 on boot up to bring up the Advanced Boot Options menu.
  • Select Disable automatic restart on system failure.
  • Hit Enter.

Now when Windows boots, it will stop at the BSOD screen and give you plenty of time to note down its details.

As th3fall3n777 says, you can also look at the minidump file. Analysing the minidump file is best done with Windows Debugger ... http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows ... /gg463009/ ... however this is not as straightforward to use as Blue Screen View, and takes quite a bit of knowledge to use efficiently.

When you get beyond the Freshman level in your training Slim, you'll find I've written a tutorial on basic analysis of BSOD's that you'll have access to. It's by no means exhaustive, but it does give you a start on this subject.
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Re: Blue Screen Of Death?

Unread postby Slim Nelson » July 13th, 2013, 4:02 pm

Thanks Gary, and Fallen. Very helpful.


Gary R wrote:When you get beyond the Freshman level in your training Slim, you'll find I've written a tutorial on basic analysis of BSOD's that you'll have access to. It's by no means exhaustive, but it does give you a start on this subject.

Sounds good! I will actually just wait until I have access to that tutorial then. Got plenty of work to do right now already. :occasion5:
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