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Create a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)

So why would you want a Blue Screen of Death? We used it to test the capabilities of a remote recovery and management tool, details of which will be published soon. This process will lock up your whole machine in classic Blue Screen of Death mode. After using this powerful method, the only way to get back to work is to reboot. This process should work in either Windows XP or Windows Vista, although we have only tried it using Vista.

Here’re the steps:

  1. First you have to edit the Windows registry. For Windows XP users, click on the Start menu at the bottom left of the screen, then “Run…”. For Windows Vista users, click on the Start menu at the bottom left of the screen, and simply type “run” in the command box. Type “REGEDIT”, to enter the Windows registry.
  2. Now you will need to drill down through a rather large file tree. The file path is:


  3. Insert a new “DWORD” entry into the registry.
  4. Once you have reached the “parameters” directory, you need to create a new “DWORD (32-bit) Value”. Name this value “CrashOnCtrlScroll”. Now right-click on this new entry and click “modify”. Change the data value to “1”. 

    Set the data value to “1”.

  5. Now close the Registry Editor and restart your machine. Once your machine has restarted, hold down the right “Ctrl” key. Note that this won’t work with the left Ctrl key, so make sure it’s the right. Now tap “Scroll Lock” key twice.

You should now see the blue screen of death. After rebooting, hold the (right) control key and hit scroll lock twice, this should give you a blue screen error. The only way to get back to work is to reboot your entire machine.

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