The Blue Screen of Death (also known as a stop error, BSoD, bluescreen, or Blue Screen of Doom) is a colloquialism used for the error screen displayed by some operating systems, most notably Microsoft Windows, after encountering a critical system error that can cause the system to shut down to prevent irreversible damage to the system’s integrity. It serves to present information for diagnostic purposes that was collected as the operating system issued a bug check.
Every BSoD creates a Memory Dump, which contains several important pieces of information. The most important pieces, which you need to note down include the error number and friendly name from the ‘bugcheck’ section of the stop error (see above), and any file names specified in the ‘driver information’ section.
How To Analyze BSoD Error Messages
Keeping track of repeated BSoD error messages can sometimes be a difficult task for an average computer user. However, there is a freeware utility BlueScreenView from NirSoft, which scans all your minidump files created during ‘blue screen of death’ crashes, and displays the information about all crashes in one table.
For each crash, BlueScreenView displays the minidump filename, the date/time of the crash, the basic crash information displayed in the blue screen (Bug Check Code and 4 parameters), and the details of the driver or module that possibly caused the crash (filename, product name, file description, and file version).
For each crash displayed in the upper pane, you can view the details of the device drivers loaded during the crash in the lower pane. BlueScreenView also mark the drivers that their addresses found in the crash stack, so you can easily locate the suspected drivers that possibly caused the crash.
Features of BlueScreenView
- Automatically scans your current minidump folder and displays the list of all crash dumps, including crash dump date/time and crash details.
- Allows you to view a blue screen which is very similar to the one that Windows displayed during the crash.
- BlueScreenView enumerates the memory addresses inside the stack of the crash, and find all drivers/modules that might be involved in the crash.
- BlueScreenView also allows you to work with another instance of Windows, simply by choosing the right minidump folder (In Advanced Options).
- BlueScreenView automatically locate the drivers appeared in the crash dump, and extract their version resource information, including product name, file version, company, and file description.
The best part is that BlueScreenView is a portable utility. That is, BlueScreenView doesn’t require any installation process or additional dll files. In order to start using it, simply run the executable file – BlueScreenView.exe. After running BlueScreenView, it automatically scans your MiniDump folder and display all crash details in the upper pane.