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Quick Definition

The Blue Screen of Death, aka BSOD, is an error screen that appears when Windows itself crashes and is unable to recover.

This screen features white text on a blue background, the latter of which gives the BSOD its nickname. The text itself describes the error that has occurred, though it's usually technical gibberish that doesn't make sense to the user who has encountered the problem.

Also note that while programs crash all the time, actually crashing the operating system is increasingly rare.