back to article BSODs of the week: From GRUB to nagware

It's not always Microsoft's fault. Some of the dozens – literally – of submissions El Reg has received documenting Windows in a state of public undress show the world's most beloved operating system weeping because something else failed. Such as if the bootloader is corrupted or trying to find a hard drive that's not there. …

  1. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Happy

    Linux Kernel Panic

    I want to see one on a billboard or whatever ... just one, well, here is one:

    http://mobilesociety.typepad.com/mobile_life/2006/01/kernel_panic_in.html

    The only true equivalent in Linux world to the all too common BSOD.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Linux Kernel Panic

      Whilst I understand that it would be interesting to see a real kernel panic as a result of a code fault, this isn't one.

      It looks as if the ReiserFS filesystem on device md(9,1) - if I read that correctly, is corrupt, and cannot be mounted, and then cannot umount the RAM filesystem that was loaded during the bootstrap. This looks like it is the root filesystem, and as a result when the kernel that Grub has already loaded tries to start init, it can't.

      From this point there's not a lot the system can do, and it takes the very sensible decision to panic with an appropriate message.

      There's no fault in Linux, so it's not what I would call a real panic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Linux Kernel Panic

        Do you believe any BSOD in Windows is due to a Windows code error? It really looks you don't know what a BSOD is.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Facepalm

          Re: Linux Kernel Panic

          >Do you believe any BSOD in Windows is due to a Windows code error?

          What do you consider a total system lockup (with corresponding data loss and potential FS corruption) to be, over there at MS PR, then RICHTO Vogon? A special USB insertion notification "feature"?

          Do PLEASE go away.

        2. cd / && rm -rf *

          Re: Linux Kernel Panic

          Oh hello, "Good" Guy. Morphing again?

      2. fajensen Silver badge

        Re: Linux Kernel Panic

        From this point there's not a lot the system can do, and it takes the very sensible decision to panic with an appropriate message.

        The sensible decision would be to adopt the spirit of systemd, not panic and just format the ReiserFS partition to something saner.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Linux Kernel Panic @fajensen

          <sarcasm>Gosh, systemd is more magical than I knew! It can be loaded from a missing filesystem, where init can't and then mystically re-populate a newly formatted root filesystem to make the system work! I must quickly switch all my systems to systemd immediately</sarcasm>

          I'm a SysV (and earlier Bell Labs UNIX) init diehard. I've lived with it for 30+ years. I can (reluctantly) cope with Upstart, because it still does the init directory thing, but I'm really thinking of trying to find a Linux that does not include systemd because It's too complicated and non-deterministic.

          Failing this, one of the *BSDs beckon.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        Re: Linux Kernel Panic

        It looks as if the ReiserFS filesystem on device md(9,1)

        I can guess what happened… the two disks were a happily married RAID set until one murdered the other.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Linux Kernel Panic

      When is the last time you saw a BSOD. Better yet when have you seen a BSOD that was not hardware related ?

      1. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Linux Kernel Panic

        When is the last time you saw a BSOD. Better yet when have you seen a BSOD that was not hardware related ?

        Tricky. I've seen quite a few due to shitty drivers. So kind of hardware related, but not because there is any fault with the hardware.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: Linux Kernel Panic

        When is the last time you saw a BSOD. Better yet when have you seen a BSOD that was not hardware related ?

        Most - and that's from spending some years in repair/servicing.

        Many caused by driver errors (not hardware, the hw works fine and in all other OS's, but windows update or fucked with the driver or some condition arose which was unexpected and windows had no graceful way to recover). Seen many of the ones from some bit of data in the registry getting out of sync causing a BSOD on boot relating to specific files and the so-called "security" info that told windows whether it had been tampered with or not (been out of that industry a little while now, starting to blissfully forget some of this stuff!)

        Many caused by interesting errors with badly written software, eg MS Office or IE. Or various games (not looking in EA's direction at all, honest!)

        Unless you count corrupted data on a disk as "hardware fault" (when the disk itself is perfectly fine and something with the OS caused the error) including incorrect information in the registry causing something to fail, then the vast majority of BSOD's I saw were software related. I can't say how much but it would've been less than 1% were directly hardware, and a reload of driver software or repair of the faulty registry entries or (when it worked) using a restore point to go back to before the update where the problem happened would fix it. Actually, aside from a few machines with BSOD's just after a hardware change or upgrade (eg new mobo) I can't think of any cases where I saw hardware realted BSODs. A few stopped loading with failing disks but most of those were brought in because of the bios holding boot with a warning about disk failure.

        So IME most BSODs are by coding or data errors. Not necessarily bad code, just something unexpected and therefore untested.

      3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Linux Kernel Panic @2 ACs after my previous post

        The last real software BSOD I saw was caused by the driver for a graphics adapter in Windows XP, although I have seen the equivalent on Windows 7 caused by not having the correct drivers installed after swapping the motherboard on a system.

        I admit that in neither case was it the primary OSs fault, but device drivers. But the driver model on Windows NT 4 onward, where the graphics driver can bring down the whole OS, compared to Linux, where most of the graphics code runs in user mode so the screen crashes, but the rest of the OS functions so you can either re-start the graphics subsystem, or gracefully bring down the OS is IMHO preferable.

        Ah, wait a minute. An update caused my middle son's Windows 7 system to fail to boot last weekend. Was fixed, I understand (he fixed it himself), by re-loading the Nvidea driver for his 980.

        BTW. I'm old enough that I have worked at the source level on UNIX kernels kernel, and seen (and caused!) real kernel panics caused by code faults.

        I've also seen panics (well, 888-102 and 103) errors on AIX (you see this sort of thing in a support centrre)

        There used to be a standard X11 screensaver that showed the crash screen of several types of system, including SunOS/Solaris, Macintosh OS (OS9 or earlier) and Windows, amongst several others. Used to really surprise people when they saw it unexpectedly. Was also a challenge trying to identify them all as they cycled round.

        IIRC, the Windows mock crash screen had NCC 1701 encoded as one of the fault codes!

  2. macjules Silver badge

    OS X Kernel Panic

    Is there a prize for getting a photo of an OSX KP in an Apple Store?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OS X Kernel Panic

      Maybe on one of the display machines, their advertising billboards are usually Windows boxes I hear.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: OS X Kernel Panic

        "Maybe on one of the display machines, their advertising billboards are usually Windows boxes I hear."

        Highly unlikely.

  3. frank ly

    re. Win 10 upgrade

    The picture seems to show two (1.5?) personal assistants in matching uniforms.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Registry cleaner?

    Is that registry cleaner thing not a malware?

    Do companies not lock down their display systems?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Registry cleaner?

      "Do companies not lock down their display systems?"

      It's an advertising company. All adverts are good. Even the ones for Win10. Really. Honestly. So why would they lock their systems down. Blocking adverts is stealing. I heard that somewhere. And doesn't everyone want to see registry cleaner advertising itself?

  5. Professor Clifton Shallot

    Grub loading

    Sounds about right for Tim Horton's.

    .

  6. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    "Tim Hortons in Canada"

    Stupid menu screens.

    One picks out a sandwich based on the description, and is just about glance back at the item's precise name, when suddenly the entire menu turns into a video advertisement.

    At this exact instant, "May I take your order?"

    "Yeah, I'd like the sandwich listed 3rd from the bottom, with cold cuts, mayo and lettuce."

    "Which one? What's it called?"

    "I don't know. The eff'n menu disappeared just before I memorized the name. Do you mind waiting? I'm sure that the advertisement will be done soon."

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: "Tim Hortons in Canada"

      Crikey , As if fast food menus wernt shit enough without putting ads on them! They generally just try to sell you latest disney movie themed burger stack which is "only" 3x the normal price

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And this is why we use embedded operating systems

    Using off the shelf consumer based operating systems is a shortcut that always ends badly.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: And this is why we use embedded operating systems

      to varying degrees of badly. Throws a hissy fit every now and then and MIGHT not show an ad to some eyeballs is a somewhat acceptable form of bad. Kills a person is a somewhat less acceptable form of bad. Kills us all is ofcourse also somewhat bad -->

      1. getHandle

        Re: And this is why we use embedded operating systems

        I thought "kills us all" was "very bad"?

        1. imanidiot Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: And this is why we use embedded operating systems

          Have you met the average human being? I'm not convinced there may not be upsides to killing us all.

  8. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    FAIL

    Adobe

    Here at work, we use many Adobe products, including Acrobat, which is necessary because Windows doesn't have the ability to display PDF files.

    This leads to popups in conference rooms during presentations, asking us if now is a good time to upgrade Adobe Acrobat.

    No, it's not.

    1. ilmari

      Re: Adobe

      Windows 10 seems able to display PDF these days. As does Firefox and chrome. The PDFs that don't work in those tend to use weird features that make adobe's reader bog down the system too..

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Adobe

      Are you failing to distinguish between Adobes Acrobat program and their PDF reading program? not surprising due to their stupid names.

      Acrobat is for *making* pdfs and costs lots of money . "Adobe Reader" is the bloatware that *displays* a pdf , when its not screaming and bitching like a baby about god knows what . That part is free.

      Both parts can now be substituted for non adobe versions (word 2010 can save as pdf) and if I had my way would be.

      1. Test Man

        Re: Adobe

        "Acrobat is for *making* pdfs and costs lots of money . "Adobe Reader" is the bloatware that *displays* a pdf , when its not screaming and bitching like a baby about god knows what . That part is free."

        WRONG. Adobe Reader changed to Acrobat Reader DC a few versions ago now.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adobe

      So the PDF reader that comes with windows 8 and higher is just a figment of my imagination then ?

      1. Mark 65

        Re: Adobe

        So the PDF reader that comes with windows 8 and higher is just a figment of my imagination then ?

        To be fare the OP did say "at work" in which case W7 is the more likely version to be in use.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adobe

      > Here at work, we use many Adobe products, including Acrobat, which is necessary because Windows doesn't have the ability to display PDF files.

      Displaying PDFs is just a JavaScript file away on any browser.

      Further, modern browsers tend to have built-in support for PDF rendering.

  9. Alistair
    Coat

    @ timmies

    Hang around and watch that after someone hits the restart. Its using a chainloader, and I'm fairly sure that its chainloading a windows variant.

  10. Gene Cash Silver badge

    On a related topic

    Is anyone else as bemused as I am at the number of honking huge expensive LCD monitors restaurants toss around these days?

    I went to a burger joint recently that was plastered with half a dozen LCDs in the 28"-30" size. Just to display the menu.

    I also remember the first very early morning in a Burger King before I realized they were LCDs. "Hang on, it's *scrolling*" - I was not yet awake enough for such a thing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On a related topic

      Those LCD screens are cheap. They are the lamest TFT panels in existence, some can't even get 1080p.

      How do I know? A burguer joint around here just got a BSOD on one of them, and while it rebooted, the Samsung panel showed its resolution. It was 1280 x 720 or something, pumped through the VGA port.

      Old gear, cheap.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On a related topic

      > Is anyone else as bemused as I am at the number of honking huge expensive LCD monitors restaurants toss around these days?

      I am taking a complete guess here, but maybe they change the menu frequently, or they do "dynamic" pricing?

      E-ink devices would probably be a better choice in any event.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On a related topic

        > E-ink devices would probably be a better choice in any event.

        Depends how frequently the bastards are "updating" their "dynamic" pricing I suppose ;)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I first read that last one as:

    "Upgrade for FREE to Windows 10 and we'll throw in a personal insult".

    1. lowwall

      Naw. That's our job.

  12. Cameron Colley

    Quite appropriate for me.

    I've been getting BSODs on the Windows XP machine at work for the last few workdays. The first couple of times I was actually quite excited as I hadn't seen one on a machine I was using for years ,despite having to use Windows daily at work, so it was a blast from the past. I'm getting a bit bored of the BSODs now though.

    Guess I'll have to fire up the BSOD screen server at home and remember I've done it so I don't panic when I see the kernel panic screen included in it like I did last time I used it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GRUB Loader crapping BECAUSE OF Windows..

    Dual booting a machine will cause GRUB to shit over itself only if you have a Windows partition that was loaded recently... and that is the most common cause.

    Windows fault. Always.

    Boy, it's been 15 years since I have last done that dual-booting endeavour. I wonder how it is today... do you create a dual-boot between 2 Windows partitions using one of them, then you replace one with Linux? I guess the only way a Windows won't crap a dual boot, is that if it manages itself how it's done...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GRUB Loader crapping BECAUSE OF Windows..

      Um next time try doing some thing before you speak. I installed windows 10 then ubuntu. Ubuntu was able to resize the partition and install it's self. The two live fine. Infact I've been able to do this since XP.

      1. Kernel

        Re: GRUB Loader crapping BECAUSE OF Windows..

        " I installed windows 10 then ubuntu."

        Yep, worked for me too without any problems - up/downgraded to Win10, resized the Windows partition then installed Mint on the free space - Grub was installed and dual boot happened without any extra trouble on my part.

        I've never had any problem with Win10 and Mint dual boot.

  14. Sam Adams the Dog

    These are not real...

    They are obviously all ads for Apple.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real problem with BSODs

    is that you do not get to complain about the tediousness of raising elephants.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The other day I was at the Singapore-Malaysia border crossing (Singapore side)

    And one of the gantry machines was closed and running Microsoft chkdsk. That familiar black screen where disks are checked for 'consistency' and bad sectors.

    It's a small screen where they display the biometric reading of your thumbprint. It was to my immediate left.

    I would have taken a picture but there were signs banning the usage of cameras inside the building, and there were mean-looking customs officers about 5 metres ahead of me... so that's that.

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