Friday, February 04, 2011

Dump analysis of Windows Blue Screens recalls mainframe days

AOL this morning greeted subscribers with a friendly user summary of how to behave if your computer presents a BSOD, or “Blue Screen of Death”, at least up through XP and Vista.   You need an old fashioned pen, because your mouse and keyboard won’t work once you have a BSOD. It’s here. The article is titled "You can beat the blue screen".  It sounds like Max Edison's "Beat the Bill Collector". 

That leads to a longer essay at “5 Star Support” (it makes me think of the Dallas “High Five” intersection), here, which tells you how to capture the dump.

And Microsoft has a KB article on dump reading that puts all those old IBM manuals on mainframe dump analysis to shame. It’s here

That all reminds me of the days of mainframe Abend-AID.  I was once asked in an interview in 1989 if I remembered how to read dumps without Abend-AID.  And I recall a video training course back in 1981 on how to do just that, with a workbook and a quiz.

Remember the days of Windows ME (around 2000)?  XP was supposed to get rid of the crashes, and it did eliminate most of them. I remember, however, back in 2003, that a Dell 8300 destkop got BSOD’s from McAfee until mcAfee fixed a problem. And I remember that Service Pack 2 took an hour to download  (broadband) and install back in 2004. 

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