Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Blue-screen crashes remind us who’s in charge

Next time you get a chance, gather a bunch of computer users of all walks of life, and ask them a question.

They might say that they hate the phrase “all walks of life,” which is good, because I hate it, too.

Ask them if they are users of Microsoft Windows, any version, then ask them this: “Do you like blue-screen crashes?”

If anyone says yes, and that they find them interesting, informative and exciting, congratulate yourself. You’ve met someone who’s totally delusional.

Blue-screen crashes are the bane of computing, the part the futurists never talked about when describing our digital future. The starship Enterprise never experienced one, but those of us who do are veterans in a battle that can turn our lives upside down.

Here’s one in New York’s Times Square.

After my recent move to Ellenton, I reassembled my main PC, a Dell XPS 4 I bought in 2005. Using a nearly 7-year-old computer might seem like tempting fate, but I like the machine and its huge hard drives, and it’s performed fine over the years. After connecting everything, I pushed the start button and turned on the monitor and sound.

The system failed to boot up, and basically acted like it did not have a hard drive. Finally, I opened the back and took off, then replaced, the power plug on the main hard drive. When I rebooted the computer, it started up fine and got me to my main screen.

Happily, I called my mother to tell her the computer had been giving me trouble, but was back on line. She was glad.

I finished the call and moved the mouse to start using the computer.


The dreaded blue screen of death appeared, informing me that for my protection it was stopping the system.

My reboot attempts again showed the lack of a hard drive, until I unplugged the drives and replugged them. Now the computer is working fine.

Still, I have been moving carefully since then. I backed up the important stuff on the computer and am ready to turn my laptop into my main machine. All it takes is one BSOD to turn your carefully constructed computer life into a realm of fear and doubt about the future. Better safe than sorry.


March 5, 2012 - Posted by | Life lessons, Living in the modern age | , , , , , ,

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