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Microsoft Operating Systems Software Windows Build

Microsoft's BSOD Is Getting More Descriptive With QR Codes (cio.com) 156

itwbennett writes: Reddit user javelinnl posted a picture last week showing a new dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) featuring a QR code and a link that may appear in a future version of Windows 10. "Right now, the code and the link take users to a webpage that discusses generic fixes for errors that might cause a crash," writes Blair Frank from CIO. "In the future, though, Microsoft could provide a QR code that leads to more specific information about what caused the computer freeze up." As of this writing, Microsoft had not responded to Frank's request for comment, but when he forced a Blue Screen of Death on his Surface Pro 3, he was unable to get a QR code to appear, though a link to the help page did. The QR code shown in the image simply points to a generic resource page for "troubleshooting blue screen errors."
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Microsoft's BSOD Is Getting More Descriptive With QR Codes

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  • Here is my summary:

    1 - "Right now, it's hard to tell what causes the QR code to appear during a crash"

    2 - "What's not clear is how the feature will end up getting implemented for general consumers."

    3 - "Microsoft hasn't yet responded to a request for comment."

    It hurts.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      4 - "The BSOD was caused by malicious software. The QR code takes you to a bogus phishing site."

      • by shione ( 666388 )

        5 - Phishers on forums/messageboards pretending to be looking for help by posting up bogus QR codes.

        6 - You are the IT expert at a company and you receive the QR code from a colleague while you're out shopping. The only way to read the QR code photo is with another phone.

        7 - How about ms works on putting more description into what a particular window update does first instead of just calling them security updates when they're really some crappy useless thing like telemetry services.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        4.5 - "Reading the QR code with a Windows 10 Phone app causes the phone to crash with a BSOD, revealing another QR code. It's like a Russian doll, QR codes inside another QR codes."

    • Microsoft and descriptive... you gotta be kidding me.

      I try to find out what these patches/hotfixes are for in windows update, by clicking where it says click here for more information .... and that extended "information" is basically the long-winded version of a complete and total information blackout.

      They cant even get an intern to write even the most basic of information about shit.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @02:44AM (#51889859)

    I think what Microsoft really needs to incorporate, is the transformational power of Emojis to liven up each BSOD into a masterpiece.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Slippery slope prediction:

    PC hits BSOD
    PC automatically submits a bug report and uploads full crash dump as an attachment
    PC displays QR code pointing to the bug report
    User posts QR code to forum
    Black hat reads forum looking for QR codes, visits each bug report, downloads all the crash dumps, and mines for sensitive data in the crash dumps.
    Microsoft's official response: If you're worried about your privacy, then you can go to Some > Obscure > Menu and click "Do not automatically submit full crash dumps.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @03:01AM (#51889897)

    Windows Phone sales set to double, as Windows Phone users now need a phone to take a picture of the QR code when their phone crashes.

  • by HideyoshiJP ( 1392619 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @03:05AM (#51889903)
    I mean, I remember when they actually used to include bonafide technical information on the screen, like faulting module in addition to the usual stop code. I know they had to remove it to make room for the :( emoticon and all, but maybe one day you can again find out what's wrong with your Windows PC via QR code. Maybe. One day. Microsoft cannot comment any further at this time.
    • Their text information was always utter garbage and did very little to determine the cause of a BSOD unless you had one very specific and very badly coded driver.

      Now their dump files on the other hand have a whole world of useful information in them which can point back to the exact program driver or call that caused the BSOD in the first place. And those files are still there.

      Seriously determining the problem based on stop code was no different then determining the problem based on interpretive dance, and

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Whatever technical information they were putting on the screen ended up in a Google search, so they removed it. They're putting the information back using QR codes to force people to directly go from BSOD to microsoft.com, sidestepping Google and its ads.

  • by paavo512 ( 2866903 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @03:06AM (#51889905)

    In the future, though, Microsoft could provide a QR code that leads to more specific information about what caused the computer freeze up.

    Microsoft has not been able to provide useful error messages for the last 30 years, why should it be any different with QR codes?

    • But by using QR codes Microsoft is enabling you to research the error using your IPhone and following a link the to an MS Web Site that probably still only works with IE6!
  • Didn't have a BSOD for such a long time... don't really remember when was the last one, but it seems that was just before I started using Linux.
  • Having used W10 since its release on multiple computers, I've never seen a BSOD. I've had the odd freeze requiring a 5-second power button reset but not a single BSOD. I thought MS had done away with them.

    • A BSOD means the OS faced an error so critical, there can be no recovery. To keep data corruption from happening, the system must immediately halt. So what it does is dumps what information it can to the screen, and if possible a dump file, and then halts.

      You generally see them with hardware errors (not all hardware errors manifest as BSODs but some do) but also with serious driver errors and some other things. They are rare, but they happen, and the codes they give can help you figure out what went wrong.

      • Perhaps I should have been clearer: I have never seen a BSOD on Windows 10. As an IT manager in the 1990s I saw more BSODs than I care to remember. Iomega drives were a particularly rich source of blue screens as I recall. But I've never seen one on Windows 10 and I don't think ever saw one on Windows 8 either.

        • by NotAPK ( 4529127 )

          Microsoft effectively disabled the BSOD starting with Win 7 by causing the PC to reboot. This single change was a marketing strategy, and it worked, by ensuring that people would only see the BSOD if they were standing in front of the computer as it happened.

          How to disable automatic restart. [about.com]

          This may well have contributed to why you do not "see" them any more. Doesn't mean they do not happen!

    • Yes, they still exist. I was having hardware problems last year on a Win10 PC and got to see plenty of BSODs.

      The problem turned out to a wonky PSU, meaning it didn't always manifest in the same way and it took a long time and a lot of dump-trawling (via a third-party tool) to diagnose. But the BSODs and their dump-files were genuinely useful in tracing the problem.

    • Having used W10 since its release on multiple computers, I've never seen a BSOD.

      BSODs haven't been a reflection of windows coding for the past 15 years. They exist but it takes real effort to see one, such as failing hardware, or a really incompetent driver.

      I have seen one on W10. But then I also had to file a warranty claim on my Surface the day after.

  • This will probably make me sound like a dick, but are you effing kidding me? After all these years Windows still crashes? How often does this happen? Does it happen less than it used to? Is this behavior so baked in to the OS that it can't be fixed? How much of NT is in Windows 10? Pre-NT?

    • Not a dick, just generally not very computer literate. OS's blue screen, kernel panic etc to protect the system from bad hardware, bad drivers etc. A system that didn't have such a mechanism is an OS to avoid. General consumer hardware is often at best average quality manufactured for price rather than quality. The most common failures are things like dodgy memory or the most common one of SHIT graphics drivers from NVidia or AMD.
    • Linux still causes kernel panics. It's a GOOD thing that your OS stops running when the kernel becomes unstable.
  • by Laxator2 ( 973549 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @04:10AM (#51890031)

    I think they should also patent the idea.

    • So, what you're saying is...
      1. Make OS
      2. Sell copies of OS
      3. Profit
      4. Crash copies of OS
      5. Profit

      You're supposed to leave the "???" in there and only use "Profit" once. It gets a little too scary/real when you actually start inserting Profit everywhere it's really occurring while also filling in the ???.

  • I run the BSOD screen saver on Linux boxes, particularly at work, where any of the MS ones provoke "interest". I'm hoping that there will be an update soon, to add one that has these QR codes. The QR code should point to the OpenBSD home page, I think, since that's what the home computers mostly run.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Tuesday April 12, 2016 @04:43AM (#51890115)

    I foresee malware that fakes a BSOD in order to send your phone via QR-code to a website that then hacks the phone. Genius!

    It seems MS is losing what little expertise it had in the security-space fast. This demented idea is a good example.

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      Press Caps Lock key. If the light comes on, it's not frozen. If the light doesn't come on, it's frozen. Universal with all OSes that are oriented for keyboard use, as far as I know. It has been like this since at least the 1980s. Those lights on the keyboard, they actually tell you stuff - if you know to look. They also have conveyed other information in the past but not so much any more. I think 5 blinks was a boot disk error on an Amiga? I dunno, it has been a while - obviously.

      But yeah, press the Caps Lo

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        I know that. The average user does not. People with a clue will rarely get caught by this. Most lack that clue and that is what the design of a "average user" OS like Windows must expect.

  • They're saying that to interpret a BSOD, I "MUST" point a smart phone at the screen... scan the QR code... and then MS will tell me what the fuck is going on?

    Look, I have no problem with there being a QR code on the screen. Whatever. But why isn't there an error code? I'm not asking for much here.

    More reasons to shift things to Linux... MS is going full retard with Windows 10. Can't wait for Windows 11. Why is it that even numbered releases are always full of AIDS... its just painful.

    • But why isn't there an error code?

      What have you ever gotten out of an error code? All you do with that is go to a website type in a number and get a "something went wrong somewhere" response. The only decent data you get from a BSOD is afterwards when recovering and digging through the dump file.

      More reasons to shift things to Linux

      Look I like a good MS bash as much as the next guy, but are you insane? The kernel panic on Linux just shits numbers onto the screen which are nearly always indecipherable. Personally I don't understand why they don't just draw a ASCII art picture o

      • Are you kidding? It will literally tell you the type of error in that error code. So what do I get out of it? typically I know whether I have to start doing ram tests or if there is a corrupted driver. One of the two things tends to be the cause of a BSOD. And the error code tells you which one it is...

        Look you want to play with a smartphone app... go nuts. All I'm asking for is an error code somewhere on the screen. It doesn't have to be blinking or in giant letters or anything. Just somewhere. To literall

        • It will literally tell you the type of error in that error code.

          You mean like irql_not_less_or_equal or a series of numbers that when you type into google just give you irql_not_less_or_equal? Incidentally an error that comes up if you have a misbehaving driver, a fan failing on a video card, or your antivirus program just had a stroke (just to give 3 examples of problems I've had that have resulted in 100% identical error codes in Windows XP but were only actually determined after reading the dump file).

          typically I know whether I have to start doing ram tests or if there is a corrupted driver.

          Garbage. Windows is unable to tell the difference between a corrup

          • I see a lot of error codes. And I am right nearly every time when I see an error code as to what went wrong.

            I know the error codes. You want your bar codes? Have them. I am not trying to take anything from you. Let me have my error code.

            At the very least there should be a setting to make the BSOD give an error code or not. Then I can just enable it.

            Anyway... I have little patience for people that presume to tell other people on their machines how to structure their own user interface. You're like some fello

      • by RoLi ( 141856 )

        What have you ever gotten out of an error code?

        A search term that can be used in Google?

        Error messages like "File or directory not found" are pretty useless, but "Error 15723" is unique when combined with the program name, sometimes even unique enough that you find the information without the program name.

        • A search term that can be used in Google?

          Error messages like "File or directory not found" are pretty useless, but "Error 15723" is unique when combined with the program name, sometimes even unique enough that you find the information without the program name.

          You don't see many blue screens do you. Error 15723 associated with no error code which will link you to the first page in MSDN as "Something somewhere in your computer croaked" followed by 100 posts of people complaining, followed by a few helpful links on how to determine the error through a memory dump file.

          Sorry but BSOD error codes have been useful for me once and once only in my life with a single RAID controller and a poorly coded driver. Other than that I've never seen an error code on a BSOD accura

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There is an error code. The QR code is just a time saving convenience and not required. You want to go Linux? Good luck with that. Nothing is convenient in Linux.

      • Way to not read or understand anything.

        The error code actually tells me something. I can use my eyeball and get information. Forcing me to use a smart phone does not actually save me time. It wastes my time by forcing me to go through an additional step.

        Its also a potential security problem. And it creates an additional point of failure. Lets say you're in a place that doesn't have internet access? Then that QR code is fucking worthless where as an error code works regardless. And I don't have to associate

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      Nah, Linux error codes aren't really that good. I'm a pretty content Linux user (not a zealot) but there's even a special key combo to save what you can and reboot in the event of a system lock. It's like three buttons and then you press REISUB (or something like that) in sequence. I should probably remember that, actually. ;-)

      But no... Cryptic error messages seem to be the default. At least you get the Event Viewer in Windows.

  • 1. Fix much more bugs with proper testing and QA processes.
    2. Printout a simple error code and dump the core a-la Linux.

    The you can printout a QR code, a web page, a VR scenario or a social network report. But first do your development job more carefully.
  • There were actually a bunch of them published somewhere once. This is the only one I remember (slightly updated):

    Windows 10 has crashed.
    I am the Blue Screen of Death.
    No one hears you scream.

Don't hit the keys so hard, it hurts.

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