Do Not Taunt the Black Screen of Death, Microsoft’s on It



More than Keyser Söze or the Bogeyman or Mac’s comparatively jovial “pinwheel of death,” PC users have lived in fear of the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. That’s the moment when white text appears on a deep indigo screen signaling a fatal error that has occurred, and the PC in question is officially kaput. But now PC users have another nightmare to contend with: The Black Screen of Death. You go to turn on your computer and then–BAM!–utter silence and a jet-black screen. What could be more frightening?

Blue Screen of Death

But according to PC World the error, which has reportedly dogged Microsoft operating systems from Windows 3.1x to the just released Windows 7, is actually nowhere near as deadly as the horror-inducing Blue Screen of Death. The blue screen often means your computer has gone to a better place. But the Black Screen essentially reduces your computer catatonic after you turn it on. Not dead, but barely breathing.

At first it was reported that the Black Screen was caused by the latest security updates offered by Microsoft early last month, but the company has denied this charge. Instead, Microsoft believes that the problem is caused by vicious malware like Daonol (not nearly as scary sounding as Black Screen of Death but a real threat nevertheless). However, no one seems to be sure. A Microsoft spokesman told the BBC, that it has identified “at least 10 different scenarios which might cause” the dreaded BSOD. So at least one thing is for sure: the Black Screen of Death is real and has been around for years (there’s even a Wiki page on the mysterious computer disease.)

While Microsoft is still investigating the causes of the problem–and how to fix it–for now the firm recommends reloading Windows if all else fails. Warning to distraught PC users: This may or may not work.

This all sounds like about as much fun as The Road. Can’t wait to see what the producers of those “Mac vs. PC” commercials do with this.

[Via, BBC]