Who wrote the original BSOD (and why white-on-blue)?

An interesting bit of trivia:

John Vert, ex-Windows NT kernel guyex-Windows NT kernel guy


Back in 1991 I wrote the original code for Windows NT 3.1 that put the video screen back into text mode and the routines to put text on it (and a truly gnarly bit of code it was!). I used the white on blue colors for two reasons.

  • The MIPS workstations we were using for the MIPS port had firmware that presented a boot option screen in white on blue, so it made sense that the bugcheck screen would match.
  • I (and many others) were using SlickEdit as our text editor and at the time its default color scheme was also white on blue.

I believe Mark Lucovsky wrote the original code that dumped a bunch of text to the screen. This was a bugcode and a stack dump, resulting in a bunch of useless hex numbers which product support would occasionally dutifully transcribe from the customers and include in the bug report.

There was no "typesetting" as we used standard VGA text mode on PCs.

I don't know the history of the Win3.1/Win9x blue screens, I think the fact they were the same color is just coincidence.