Blah - Part Two

The culprit for the seemingly random BSoD's?  A half gig dimm of memory evidently decided it was time to call it quits on me.  What was the number one nugget of advice I received via newsgroups/etc?  Perform a system restore.  Ha!  I turned off system restore eons ago (about the same time I turned off indexing service, remote registry, and UPnP methinks).  In the end, I just started yanking out hardware until the damn thing stopped BSoD'ing.  I'm actually quite happy it's just a stick of RAM, if I'd lost a drive, that would have been a completely different story.  As a side note, I had forgotten that MS had changed the color of BSoD from a somewhat harsh electric blue, to a much more soothing and relaxing royal blue (yeah, it's been that long...and my Win2k install before XP BSoD'd nary once, it was the most stable desktop OS MS has ever released IMHO).
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# Matthew W. Jackson said:

Microsoft didn't really change the BSOD from one blue to another. The two different blue screens are different things entirely, and the "new one" has existed for a while now.

Windows 9X/ME would blue screen in several situations since it was not robust enough to deal with such errors elegantly. Most situations where you would get a normal blue screen in Win9X result in a nice message box in NT (NT4/2000/XP/2003), and you can go on with your life.

The few times you do get a real blue screen in NT, it's much more serious than the problems that caused the BSOD in Win9X. These are actually "STOP errors", and I believe they only occur when code running in Kernel mode causes an unrecoverable error. Damaged memory would certainly cause that. Stop errors are very rare, and only the kernel and drivers that run in kernel mode can trigger them (untested video card drivers cause STOP errors all the time--ask anyone who bought the original ATI Radeon when they first came out).

I believe that Longhorn will reduce the possiblity of STOP errors by moving as many drivers as possible out of the kernel as possible and running them in a sandbox. Hopefully, something as trivial as a scanner or digital camera will not be able to cause a STOP error (and this has happened...I've seen a scanner driver do this after upgrading to Windows 2000 SP2).

By the way, there used to be a setting you could change in Windows 3.X that would change the blue screen to another color. Back when I was running Windows 3.11 I would make it red to help indicate that something bad happened.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004 9:23 PM
# TrackBack said:

Sunday, September 12, 2004 10:42 PM