In Windows, one of the major problems, you might be dealing with, is a Blue Screen of Death, or BSOD for short. It represents the major Operation System crash, and presents a significant challenge to recover the computer functionality in many cases. Aside from being cryptic and difficult to decipher -- especially since some BSODs can have multiple causes -- they're just plain annoying. Granted, BSODs happen much less frequently these days, but when they do it's no less of a chore. One of the best tools you can use for help in the BSoD troubleshooting is a free utility BlueScreenView, developed by Nir Sofer (NirSoft).
When a BSOD occurs the results are, whenever possible, saved into a dump file that can be examined later. BlueScreenView scans your system for these files and produces a report from them, which you can read within BlueScreenView itself or save to HTML for separate analysis. Each line in the report describes the BSOD's crash code, the time and date of its occurrence, any parameters that might have been passed with the crash (useful for debugging), and a slew of other minor details. The results are searchable, so you can hunt for a particular crash code, driver, or DLL that you think might be present.
Another thing BlueScreenView does is list all of the device drivers that were running at the time of the crash. If a particular driver was listed as the cause of the crash, it's flagged and displayed in red. You can filter out all the other drivers that were loaded at the time if you just want to focus on the culprit. You can also load dump files copied in from elsewhere by pointing to a folder, or even from computers accessible across the local network (provided you have permission to do so).
- Automatically scans your current minidump folder and displays the list of all crash dumps, including crash dump date/time and crash details.
- Allows you to view a blue screen which is very similar to the one that Windows displayed during the crash.
- BlueScreenView enumerates the memory addresses inside the stack of the crash, and find all drivers/modules that might be involved in the crash.
- BlueScreenView also allows you to work with another instance of Windows, simply by choosing the right minidump folder (In Advanced Options).
- BlueScreenView automatically locate the drivers appeared in the crash dump, and extract their version resource information, including product name, file version, company, and file description.
- BlueScreenView works with Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, as long as Windows is configured to save minidump files during BSOD crashes.
- BlueScreenView can read the MiniDump files of both 32-bit and x64 systems.