"BSOD" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Black screen of death.
For the Person of Interest episode, see B.S.O.D.
A blue screen of death (BSoD), officially known as a stop error or blue screen error, is an error screen that the Windows operating system displays in the event of a fatal system error. It indicates a system crash, in which the operating system has reached a critical condition where it can no longer operate safely, e.g., hardware failure or a unexpected termination of a crucial process.
Blue error screens have been around since the beta version of Windows 1.0; if Windows found a newer DOS version than it expected, it would generate a blue screen with white text saying "Incorrect DOS version", before starting normally. In the final release (version 1.01), however, this screen would print garbage output instead. This screen was the outcome of a bug in the Windows logo code. It was not a crash screen, either; when the system did crash, it would either lock up or exit to DOS.
Windows 3.0 uses a text-mode screen for displaying important system messages, usually from digital device drivers in 386 Enhanced Mode or other situations where a program could not run. Windows 3.1 changed the color of this screen from black to blue. Windows 3.1 would also displays a blue screen when the user presses the Ctrl+Alt+Delete key combination while no programs were unresponsive. As with it predecessors, Windows 3.x exits to DOS if an error condition is severe enough.
The original BSoD from Windows NT
The first blue screen of death appeared in Windows NT 3.1 (the first version of the Windows NT family, released in 1993) and all Windows operating systems released afterwards. In its earliest version, the error started with ***STOP:. Hence, it became known as a "stop error."
BSoDs can be caused by poorly written device drivers or malfunctioning hardware, such as faulty memory, power supply issues, overheating of components, or hardware running beyond its specification limits. In the Windows 9x era, incompatible DLLs or bugs in the operating system kernel could also cause BSoDs. Because of the instability and lack of memory protection in Windows 9x, BSoDs were much more common.
Windows 11 is a major version of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft that was announced on June 24, 2021, and is the successor to Windows 10, which was released in 2015. Windows 11 was released on October 5, 2021, as a free upgrade via Windows Update for eligible devices running Windows 10.
Microsoft promoted that Windows 11 would have improved performance and ease of use over Windows 10; it features major changes to the Windows shell influenced by the canceled Windows 10X, including a redesigned Start menu, the replacement of its "live tiles" with a separate "Widgets" panel on the taskbar, the ability to create tiled sets of windows that can be minimized and restored from the taskbar as a group, and new gaming technologies inherited from Xbox Series X and Series S such as Auto HDR and DirectStorage on compatible hardware. Internet Explorer is fully replaced by the Blink layout engine-based Microsoft Edge, while Microsoft Teams is integrated into the Windows shell. Microsoft also announced plans to offer support for Android apps to run on Windows 11, with support for Amazon Appstore and manually-installed packages.
Citing new security mandates, Windows 11 has stricter hardware requirements than Windows 10, with Microsoft only supporting the operating system with updates on devices using an eighth-generation Intel Core CPU or newer (with some exceptions), AMD Ryzen CPU based on Zen+ microarchitecture or newer, or Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 ARM system-on-chip or newer. UEFI secure boot and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 support is also required. Additionally, Windows 11 no longer supports 32-bit x86 architecture or systems using BIOS firmware.
Windows 11 has received a mixed to positive reception; pre-release coverage of the operating system focused on its stricter hardware requirements, with discussions over whether they were legitimately intended to improve the security of Windows or a ploy to upsell users to newer devices, and over e-waste associated with the changes. Upon its release, Windows 11 received positive reviews for its improved visual design, window management, and stronger focus on security, but was panned for regressions and modifications to aspects of its user interface.