To make crashes 'friendlier,' Microsoft adds QR codes to Windows 10 BSOD

Posted:
in General Discussion
Windows users will no longer be forced to manually Google error messages to figure out why their computer crashed, as development builds of Windows 10 now include a QR code on the Blue Screen of Death.




The QR codes appeared in build 14316 of the Windows 10 Insider Preview, according to Ars Technica. Though it currently points to a generic help page, the QR code will presumably eventually direct users to specific Windows support articles.

Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death was long a spartan, utilitarian affair. It displayed a generic message and an often unintelligible crash code in a monospaced font.

That changed with Windows 8, when the BSOD was redesigned to add a sad emoticon and more nuanced error instructions.

Apple's modern equivalent -- the OS X kernel panic screen -- has always been somewhat more refined, though less helpful. Until OS X 10.8, rather than providing a reason, the kernel panic screen simply instructed users to perform a hard reset of their system; more recent revisions perform the reboot automatically.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,259member
    Or you could just get a Mac and not crash... 
    hydrogenzroger73nolamacguyfotoformatcjcampbelltomkarltallest skilcalimorecklolliver
  • Reply 2 of 51
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 28,371member
    How about bring it into the modern era and just have it show a giant turd emoji instead? 
    edited April 2016 brakkencaliwonkothesanemorecklolliver
  • Reply 3 of 51
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,761member
    jkichline said:
    Or you could just get a Mac and not crash... 
    ... as often" Macs do crash, at least mine does on occasion. Mail's been crashing more than it ever has. Of course, when it does crash it doesn't sit there collecting data, it just dumps the normal crash information quickly. 

    It will be fun to collect the QR codes for all the W10 crashes. I'm sure someone will create a log and present it in a unique and friendly way. 
  • Reply 4 of 51
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,761member
    "Though it currently points to a generic help page, the QR code will presumably eventually direct users to specific Windows support articles." I scanned the QR code and it does indeed go to the website listed above but isn't the contents of this page about as much information as Microsoft has ever given for a BSOD? Not to rag on Apple, but OSX crashes give a lot of technical information that's not much help for 99.999% of its users. At least Microsoft gives three possible reasons. Maybe Apple could learn from this and give OSX users some help with crashes. (What's wrong with me, I'm actually giving Microsoft a backhanded compliment. Not enough tea this morning.)




    anantksundaram
  • Reply 5 of 51
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,758member
    rob53 said:
    jkichline said:
    Or you could just get a Mac and not crash... 
    ... as often" Macs do crash, at least mine does on occasion. Mail's been crashing more than it ever has.
    Right, but that's simply an application crashing within Mac OS X, not Mac OS X itself crashing.  The problem is that the Windows BSOD is Windows itself crashing and requires a reboot.

    The only time I've seen Mac OS X crash these days is on my wife's old 2010 MacBook Pro (where the actual hardware seems to be failing).
    rhinotuffai46brakkenmorecklolliver
  • Reply 6 of 51
    Isn't this about 11 days late?
  • Reply 7 of 51
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,758member
    rob53 said:
    "Though it currently points to a generic help page, the QR code will presumably eventually direct users to specific Windows support articles." I scanned the QR code and it does indeed go to the website listed above but isn't the contents of this page about as much information as Microsoft has ever given for a BSOD? Not to rag on Apple, but OSX crashes give a lot of technical information that's not much help for 99.999% of its users. At least Microsoft gives three possible reasons. Maybe Apple could learn from this and give OSX users some help with crashes. (What's wrong with me, I'm actually giving Microsoft a backhanded compliment. Not enough tea this morning.)
    It's all fine and well that they're trying to make the best of a bad situation.  However, the ultimate solution is to avoid the bad situation as much as possible (and stop wasting people's time).  Which, in my personal experience using both Mac and Windows on a daily basis, Mac OS X does a much better job of.

    So which would you rather have: a computer which crashes fairly often but gives you (possibly) helpful information when it does, or a computer which crashes less often but doesn't give you that information?
    edited April 2016 nolamacguyai46morecklolliver
  • Reply 8 of 51
    OR, with any common sense, they would just display what the error is on the screen.
    rhinotuffbrakkencalimoreckurahara
  • Reply 9 of 51
    why-why- Posts: 305member
    I've been using windows since Windows 95 and never had a BSOD. guess i should consider myself lucky
    singularitymoreck
  • Reply 10 of 51
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 624member
    As a person who writes code for PLCs used on industrial equipment, I've never understood why programmers use cryptic messages for error handling. Instead of displaying a series of hex numbers or a QR code, why not display something more helpful and user-friendly like, "Windows encountered an unrecoverable error while trying to read data from your hard drive. The hard drive is reporting a hardware fault and requires replacement." instead of "0x00000e9" followed by a bunch of other numbers that are meaningless to the user.

    When I code, I think about what the user is going to see and understand when an error occurs. The more they understand and are able to do on their own, the less they have to rely on me to explain what "Error 2" means and what they need to do to fix it.
  • Reply 11 of 51
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    why- said:
    I've been using windows since Windows 95 and never had a BSOD. guess i should consider myself lucky
    I find that very, very hard to believe. 
    jony0calimorecklolliver
  • Reply 12 of 51
    mygigmygig Posts: 15member
    will be seeing this quite often in the future :D why are those damn macs so expensive in EU -.-
  • Reply 13 of 51
    jwbl33jwbl33 Posts: 4member
    why- said:
    I've been using windows since Windows 95 and never had a BSOD. guess i should consider myself lucky
    You need to play the lottery! Shurley you forgot the /s. 
    jony0calilolliver
  • Reply 14 of 51
    auxio said:
    rob53 said:
    "Though it currently points to a generic help page, the QR code will presumably eventually direct users to specific Windows support articles." I scanned the QR code and it does indeed go to the website listed above but isn't the contents of this page about as much information as Microsoft has ever given for a BSOD? Not to rag on Apple, but OSX crashes give a lot of technical information that's not much help for 99.999% of its users. At least Microsoft gives three possible reasons. Maybe Apple could learn from this and give OSX users some help with crashes. (What's wrong with me, I'm actually giving Microsoft a backhanded compliment. Not enough tea this morning.)
    So which would you rather have: a computer which crashes fairly often but gives you (possibly) helpful information when it does, or a computer which crashes less often but doesn't give you that information?
    I really don't understand this has to be an either/or.
    edited April 2016 jony0
  • Reply 15 of 51
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,486member
    bdkennedy said:
    OR, with any common sense, they would just display what the error is on the screen.
    Are you kidding? They can't even display a simple one line message properly. Notice the second sentence from the bottom has all the descenders cut off.
    jony0studiomusiccali
  • Reply 16 of 51
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,486member
    Apparently there is only one QR code which covers any possible situation. It does not contain any specific information about your problem. It just points to that same URL which is a generic blue screen advice webpage. Totally lame.
    jony0brakkenlolliver
  • Reply 17 of 51
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,486member
    auxio said:

    So which would you rather have: a computer which crashes fairly often but gives you (possibly) helpful information when it does, or a computer which crashes less often but doesn't give you that information?
    OS X has a very nice crash log with lots of information. You can get to it Applications->Console.app or you can look in ~/Library/Logs
    jony0calilolliver
  • Reply 18 of 51
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    zroger73 said:
    As a person who writes code for PLCs used on industrial equipment, I've never understood why programmers use cryptic messages for error handling. Instead of displaying a series of hex numbers or a QR code, why not display something more helpful and user-friendly like, "Windows encountered an unrecoverable error while trying to read data from your hard drive. The hard drive is reporting a hardware fault and requires replacement." instead of "0x00000e9" followed by a bunch of other numbers that are meaningless to the user.

    First, how do you know that the hard drive has an error, not the cable, power supply, chipset or overclocked CPU? People are going to change their hard drive 3 times and get upset.

    Second, you don't do this on your PLCs, but Windows supports 109 languages. Every string has to be translated 108 times. Plus, now your panic routine has to handle full Unicode, knowing how to write CJK. Your font you have to keep around in RAM is now 10 MB+ because you can't read it from the hard drive in a crash. Take Arabic, for example, you need RTL support and ligatures. A lot of low-level systems work for something you can write down and Google...
    edited April 2016 afrodrijony0lolliver
  • Reply 19 of 51
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,527member
    jkichline said:
    Or you could just get a Mac and not crash... 
    jkichline said:
    Or you could just get a Mac and not crash... 
    If only that were true. Worked in an office with a Mac-equipped design team and they too experienced complete crashes.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    thewbthewb Posts: 64member
    The funniest part of this is that the device used to scan the QR code will most likely be running either iOS or Android.
    lolliver
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