How to Get the Blue Screen of Death Via the Command Prompt

Written by theon weber
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The Windows STOP error screen -- unofficially and perpetually known as the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) -- appears when your computer has suffered a serious error and must shut down immediately. The BSOD contains some encoded data about the error and some generic instructions about fixing it. If you for some reason want to force a BSOD, you can use the unique program StartBlueScreen to engage Windows' crash function without actually doing any damage to your computer. StartBlueScreen is a command line program with a handful of necessary parameters.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Follow the link in "References," then scroll down and click "Download StartBlueScreen."

  2. 2

    Double click the downloaded .zip file to open it, then drag the .exe file inside to the "C:" drive in the Windows Explorer.

  3. 3

    Open a command prompt. In Windows XP and 2000, do this by clicking "Start," then "Run," and typing "cmd". In later versions of Windows, simply click "Start" and type "cmd."

  4. 4

    Change to the C:\ directory by typing "CD C:\".

  5. 5

    Enter a command of the following format:

    StartBlueScreen.exe 0x10 0x1111 0x2222 0x3333 0x4444

    The first parameter here is the bug check code you want the screen to display. The remaining parameters are the additional bug check parameters that will be displayed in parentheses following the code. If you don't know what you want for this, it most likely doesn't matter -- use the variables above. Your computer will crash and display a BSOD when you press "Enter."

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