The Blue Screen of Death Through the Years
Windows has undergone numerous versions. Not have its features changed, but so has the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). Every Windows user has seen it of course, but for those who are not familiar with it the Blue Screen appears when Windows encounters an error and needs to restart. The BSOD only appears when there is a critical error; it does not appear if there is a simple application crash.
Windows 1 and 2
The BSOD for Windows 1 and 2 were just plain incomprehensible. While later blue screens still look scary (anytime Windows crashes is a scary event), at least you knew what had happened. The earliest versions of Windows just displayed a jumbled series of numbers and letters that only programmers can understand.
If you could examine the BSOD in Windows 1 and 2, you will see that it also includes numerous symbols and signs that seem to make no sense. The BSOD for Windows 3 and 3.1 didn’t look any better.
Windows 95 and 98
For Widows 95 and 98, the BSOD became easier to understand. Instead of a confusing series of numbers and letters, the BSOD for Windows 95 and 98 displayed messages that you could read. It might say something like: “An error has occurred. Windows has to restart. Press Enter to go back to Windows or press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart your computer.” Windows will also tell you that you will lose any info that has not been saved in all open applications.
The BSOD for Windows 2000 is similar to that of Windows 95 in that you can read the text. However, it does provide more information, like suggesting you check your computer for viruses and your hard drive if it is not properly set up.
Windows XP, Vista and 7
The BSOD for these versions of Windows displayed even more information. The BSOD will tell you to check your hardware and software for any problems. It will also suggest that you restart Windows. If that doesn’t work, remove any software or hardware that you just recently installed.
If that doesn’t solve the problem, contact technical support. Under all these messages some technical information will also be displayed. You may not understand it, but it might be required by technical support when you call.
Windows 8 further simplified things. Now it just shows a sad smiley and a message saying Windows has encountered a problem and must restart.
What is the BSOD?
The Blue Screen of Death, also known as “Deadscreen”, Bluescreen, and Blue Screen Error is basically a Windows bug check. Windows displays the screen when it comes upon an error that is critical. The name is derived from the color that it displays, which is of course blue.
Most of the time the BSOD is due to a problem with the hardware or software. It might also be due to software drivers and updates. Windows displays the BSOD to prevent the error from causing a lot more damage.
If you are wondering where the Blue Screen of Death came from, it was first used while the IBM OS/2 and Windows operating system were being developed. As developers came across the errors, they began calling it blue, not just because of the blue screen but also because IBM has always been called Big Blue.