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Blue screen of death lives on (screenshots)

With the test version of Windows 8 comes a new look for the dreaded "Blue Screen of Death." Here's a look back at some critical error messages and strange places where they've popped up

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Topic: Windows
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One sight that you almost never want to see on your monitor is the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) or another error screen that warns of a problem which causes your system to crash. From the early days of the PC, these dreaded error messages have come in all shapes and sizes on devices run by all the major operating systems...Apple, Microsoft, Linux, and othere. Plus, they have popped up in all sorts of embarrassing circumstances. You can even make money off them. This gallery take's a look at the history of the BSOD.

With Microsoft's test version of Windows 8 comes the latest version of BSOD - and even includes a frown.

Screenshot: Microsoft

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According to Wikipedia, the Blue Screen of Death was named by OS/2 developers for Lattice, Inc. who were actually referring to IBM or Big Blue when encountering a stop screen.

The Blue Screen of Death is best known by its appearance in many different versions of Microsoft Windows - first as random symbols against a blue background in Windows 1 (here).

 

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Here is the BDoD that appeared in Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME.

Credit: TFCforever.

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This shorter version showed up in Windows 2000.

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This BSOD could be seen in both Windows XP and VIsta.

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Microsoft experimented with a "Red screen of Death" or "Red Screen of Doom" in its early trial versions of Windows Longhorn which later became Windows Vista. A very limited version of RSOD was found in some early test versions of Windows 98. Red Screens of Death were more popular in gaming consoles such as Atari Jaguar, Sony Playstions, and Nintendo DSi.

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Windows 7 had its own BSOD.

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Fatal errors aren't always in blue and don't always show up on your monitor. Owners of some of the original Xboxes frequently found a critical error display called the "Red Ring of Death." When three of the four LED display light around the ring indicator were red and flashing, it meant a "general hardware error" and most likely your Xbox was soon to be cooked.

Microsoft did own up to the problem and fixed the problem free of charge but not before irritating some of their early customers.

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Early 128K Macintosh computers had their own version of a Blue Screen of Death, called the Sad Mac. It indicated a hardware or software problem that prevented a normal startup. The codes underneath the Sad Mac indicated the type of problem.

In Macintosh II, Sad Mac was accompanied by a tune called "Chimes of Death>"

 

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The Atari ST used bombs as a code. The number of bombs indicated what the problem was.

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Probably the most (in)famous appearance of the Blue Screen of Death occurred at Comdex in April, 1998 when Bill Gates and Microsoft senior writer Chris Caposella tried to demonstrate (video) some of the highlights of the upcoming operating system, Windows 98.

Credit: YouTube

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When Capossela attempted to show off Windows 98's Plug and Play, the computer crashed, a blue screen of death appeared - and technicians quickly faded back to Gates and Capossela.

Credit: YouTube

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Gates took it in stride, "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet." It didn't kill Capossela's career either, he's now a senior VP at Microsoft.

Credit: YouTube

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No show at the Paris in Las Vegas. BSoD hits the big screen.

Credit: Daily WTF

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The big Blue Screen of Death. Advertising.

Credit: http://forums.techguy.org

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BSoD in Times Square, New York city.

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BSoD's have wreaked havoc with many transportation schedules. Flights are going nowhere according to this airport screen.

Credit: antonde

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Here's the bus schedule as seen at the New York Port Authority.

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A pay phone. The list goes on and on.

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It's fun with Photoshop or other photo-editing software although there could be some truth to this alleged image of the BP control room during the massive Gulf oil spill. Apparently, the oil rig's safety alarm had been switched off because of repeated middle-of-the-night alarms due to a computer locking up and displaying a blue screen with no data coming through.

Credit: catastrophist.wordpress.com

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This photo of Bill Gates in front of a blue screen appears quite often throughout the Internet but there are no details to suggest that it's real. Anyone know?

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As with just about anything, there's money to be made if you're creative enough. Errorware sells a whole line of BSOD and other t-shirts adorned with error messages. And there's a sale.

Credit: errorware

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One of the more amusing extra products created by the BSoD is the Blue Screen of Death screensaver available through, believe it or not, Microsoft and other locations. I used it for a while and there were a number of times when I'd come back from lunch and speak to a worried co-worker who would inform me that my computer was having problems.

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Errorware keeps up to date with the latest Vista/Windows 7 bsod t-shirt.

Credit: errorware

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Ads show that there's a market for bsod repairs.

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Here's a BSoD belt buckle.

Credit: Marketer's Market

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A BSoD mousepad.

,p>Credit: Despair.com
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This guy's arm can be seen all over the Internet.

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The Blue Screen of Death has been used as part of performances. Nine Inch Nails had the BSoD pop up for a split second near the end of the song The Great Destroyer on their 1998 tour.

Credit: Gizmondo

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Blue Screen of Death appears in video games. Games that have used BSoD include Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, Halo 2, Halo 3, Half Life 2, Left 4 Dead, and Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.

Credit: Gamespot

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