Saturday, January 1, 2005

Windows Blue Screens

In Windows NT when your computer crashed with a Blue Screen there was a screen full of information that helped you decipher what might have caused the bug check. In Windows 2000, 2003 and XP, there is no longer this information. Instead, all you see on a Blue Screen is a few lines with mostly hexadecimal digits. Sometimes there is some accompanying text (albeit very brief) that will aid you in figuring out what caused your computer to crash, but not always.

Although something like Microsoft TechNet is very helpful, I was looking for a document that would provide this information and found it in the Microsoft Debugging Tools for Windows.
The kit is useful in debugging hardware and software problems in Windows NT/2003.
The included Help file not only describes how to read the Blue Screens in Windows, but gives an (almost) complete list of all the Blue Screen error messages and what they mean.

You can download the kit here.

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