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Windows machines are often the subject of jokes within the computer geek community, and much of that bad credit is due to cryptic error messages that reveal very little information even to the veterans of this operating system.

Of those type of errors, BSODs (Blue Screen of Death) are the worst and are often caused by poorly written device drivers, kernel extensions or faulty RAM (Random Access Memory). You can’t recover to the normal software environment without either a soft or hard reset. Soft resets are usually the case, as the computer will try to automatically reboot or display the error code and require the user to initiate the restart sequence, the infamous “Ctrl-Alt-Delete” or “Press Any Key” prompts.

Many of you probably have encountered this type of error and know that any files that weren’t saved at the moment of crash have either lost changes or have been corrupted. Personally, as a writer, I consider this to be one of Windows’ greatest flaws. I have lost a lot of work due to this kind of issues and the problems seem to continue in Windows 7, although the frequency appears to be greatly reduced.

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WhoCrashed, an application developed by Resplendence Software Projects, aims to demystify the error codes and present you with a likely culprit of the crash. Finding out what caused it can be the first step in eliminating the problem and creating a more stable computing environment. RAM memory, as well as faulty drivers, can be replaced  – but your time can’t be.

With the help of WhoCrashed, an error code like “0x0BJS00341110B12″ can point you to a kernel module like “nvlddmkm.sys” which comes most of the time with vendor information. In this case, as the “˜NV’ prefix suggests, an nVidia Miniport driver caused the crash.

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Unlike many applications these days, WhoCrashed is presents you with only two buttons and a simple text-oriented interface. The “˜simple is always better’ motto holds true in this case. All you have to do is press the “˜Analyze’ button and scroll down to the date of the computer crash you want to inspect. Most of the times WhoCrashed will identify the module that failed and allow you to fix the problem.

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When a driver caused the crash, which happens 99% of the time, a simple and easy way to fix the problem is to identify it and download the latest version from the manufacturer’s website. When a Windows component frequently causes a crashes, the problem will most likely be fixed by running Windows Update.

Overheating can also be responsible for faults in data transfer or processing. If crashes happen while playing intensive 3D games, photo or video editing, check the ventilation system and revert to previous clock speeds if you’re overclocking any of the system’s parameters. Overheating can permanently damage the hardware, so fixing the problem as fast as possible is recommended.

Pressing and holding the F8 key while the systems boots will bring up a screen with various system recovery options including Safe Mode, which only loads the basic drivers and modules, and a RAM verification tool. Various Linux distributions including Ubuntu, have a similar memory check module (memtest) which is presented at boot-time when the live CD is inserted or by the bootloader in multi-boot environments.

You can download WhoCrashed for free. Installation is achieved via a simple and straightforward wizard. A Pro version aimed at tech support staff is also available for $35. The Pro license removes the “˜home-use-only’ restriction and provides more details about the crashes among other features.

At under 1MB, WhoCrashed is a must-have in any geek’s virtual toolbox. Check out more posts related to Windows or RadarSync Download Junkies, Update Your System With RadarSync Download Junkies, Update Your System With RadarSync Read More , an application which automatically keeps your drivers and software up-to-date.

Are you annoyed by BSODs or Windows errors? What’s the most common one and what did you do to fix it? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Richard
    July 2, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    While BSoD error messages might be cryptic, they do help identify exactly what caused the problem later on. That's what a good error screen should do.
    On the other hand, the BSoD looks pretty scary, with words like "all files lost" and "fatal error" followed by seemingly random text most people can't understand, not to mention the white-on-blue command prompt like appearance. I think the BSoD from windows 8 up addresses that problem very well, while conveying the fact that an error occurred, it doesn't lead to quite as much panic and confusion (although any unsaved work would still have been lost)

  2. JJ
    December 10, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I would agree with bruno, Nirsoft's BlueScreenView is very similar but this has some great value to it if you know what you are doing.

    Thanks for the post.

    Blue Screen Error

  3. bruno
    August 21, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Nirsoft has a BlueScreenView, a similar utility without the home use restriction.

  4. shocked
    July 28, 2009 at 8:44 am

    An interesting program though. Thank you.

  5. shocked
    July 28, 2009 at 8:42 am

    RAM memory?
    That's as silly as ATM machine? PIN number? lolz, tut tut.

  6. Thor
    July 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I've run my own tech support business for years. The most common BSODs I've found are driver related. Usually, in the BSOD, there will be a line that refers to a file. I look that up on Google to find out what it is. Then I either install an update, do a roll-back, if there is no update, or remove the driver/device and install a clean copy of the driver.
    If the driver was not the initial problem (it got corrupted by something else) the next step is to do further testing and diagnostics to determine what caused the problem in the first place (another driver for something else, a virus, a device, memory, motherboard, etc)

    It will be interesting to see if this program helps in any way.

  7. Jalley
    July 17, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Thank you for bringing this useful app to our collective attention. Using Debugging Tools for Windows alone is often an arduous, time-consuming process. Perhaps this utility will help simplify the detective work.

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