ARCHIVED: In Windows NT 4.0, 2000, and XP, what is the Blue Screen of Death?

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In Windows NT 4.0, 2000, and XP, the "Blue Screen of Death" is a common term for the NT stop error that is displayed when a computer running Microsoft Windows NT, 2000, or XP crashes. The screen is typically a bright blue color with white text that may or may not make any sense.

This can be caused by many different things, from programs that conflict with one another to reading a file from a corrupted disk. It is most commonly caused by a memory access violation when a program tries to access memory space already reserved by another program.

In technical terms, the Blue Screen of Death is called a "text mode stop message", and is used to diagnose and debug hardware and software issues relating to running Windows NT, 2000, or XP. Typically, these screens contain the stop message, its text translation, the address of the violating software call, and the drivers loaded at the time. This information is useful to Product Support Engineers in diagnosing and fixing the problem.

If you are experiencing frequent crashes, try the following:

  • Make sure all of your drivers are the latest versions available. If not, update them and see if that takes care of the problem.
  • Run ScanDisk or another disk utility to check for disk corruption on your hard drive and any floppy disks that seem to be associated with the problem.

For more information, see articles 165863, 130802, 192463, 129845, 183169, 314063, and 314103 at the Microsoft Help and Support web site.

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Last modified on 2018-01-18 12:12:00.