Blue Screen of Death in unexpected locations

The infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) probably hasn’t escaped the notice of anyone who has used a computer in the last decade or so. If you haven’t seen it on your own PC, you probably know someone it has happened to.

There is actually a ridiculous amount of BSOD photos to be found around the Web. And not just of PCs. As this post will show you, the blue error screen seems to show up everywhere, and often in highly unexpected locations.

This is a collection of some of the very best ones we could find. Enjoy! :)

At a Nine Inch Nails concert

Ok, Trent Reznor, the front man of NiN, has stated that they did this intentionally, but we still had to include it because it’s just plain cool.

Photo by LtRandazzo.

At the Olympic Games

This happened during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. It was only visible for about a second before a backup was switched in.

Found at Mac Amour.

In traffic

We’re not sure, but we think this is taken in France somewhere.

Photo by Jakob Fix.

In Las Vegas

Another billboard malfunctioning. Ouch. This one belongs to the Paris Hotel and Casino.

Photo by Raquel Lonas.

On the Strip in Vegas

Las Vegas seems prone to the BSOD. :)

Photo by Woof.

At a NYC subway entrance

According to the photographer, this problem remained for days before it was finally fixed.

Photo by Mike Goren.

On the bus

Picture taken on a London bus.

Photo by Massimo Banzi.

At the ATM

We included this one just because we all know it happens from time to time. We’ve seen this here in Sweden as well.

Found at

At the Heathrow airport

Now, that’s not a very informative flight billboard, is it?

Photo by Graham Anderson.

On a vending machine

Well, we think this is a vending machine. Whatever it is, something is broken…

Photo by Limesik.

At the grocery store

We’re not sure what is supposed to be on this screen, but we’re absolutely sure this isn’t it. :)

Photo by Hayley.

At a car expo

A not-very-helpful information screen at Nissan’s booth. It remained like that the whole day.

Photo by Francis Roque.

On a Toronto department store

The Bay department store in Toronto has four giant screens. According to the photographer, this was going on for days.

Photo by Sean Galbraith.

And finally, a BSOD cocktail?

We hope you liked this collection of blue screens showing up in unexpected locations. A big thumbs up to all the attentive photographers out there who were able to catch these moments.

Even Microsoft, whose Windows 9x and NT operating systems are among the most famous originators of BSODs, seems to regard the BSOD with some measure of affection. They were even serving a blue cocktail named BSOD at a MSN party somewhere. :) It has become cult.

We haven’t seen the blue screen in years, though. It’s not a problem in Vista, which we all run here at the Pingdom office.

Did we miss your favorite BSOD picture? Add a link to it in the comments!


  1. That’s awesome!

    I love the subway one. Anyone living in New York must have passed that specific entrance at one time or another. 😀

  2. I’ve seen that ATM thing happen several times. Once I passed one that had a Windows login screen on it. Not much use to me, that ATM! :)

  3. I once came across an ATM with a ActiveX error box sitting on top of the interface, sadly it popped up after I put my card it and wouldn’t return it!

    I am fairly sure the London bus blue screen isn’t a failure, its just what the cctv system looks like when it boots up, at least thats what happens on the Brighton buses.

  4. Honestly? If you’re using Windows of any kind for mission critical stuff like 24 hour advertising, you deserve what happens next.

    If all you are doing is showing glorified animated presentations, there are better operating systems that you can use, for much much less.

  5. I’ve seen this familiar windows interface also in Helsinki airport. I’m so sorry I don’t have a picture of that. It was spectacular. Like a blue vision!

  6. I’m a contractor for a moderately large digital signage company, and I can tell you that ALL of our products are Windows XP based. That’s what they started with and it’s just stuck, and no one wants to shell out the dollars for *nix developers, even though it would save them money (and embarrassment!) in the long run.

  7. Thanks everyone for the comments so far! Lots of great links, too.

    @Scott: We have no idea how to make that BSOD cocktail, but it looks kinda tasty, doesn’t it? :)

  8. “In traffic
    We’re not sure, but we think this is taken in France somewhere.”

    Yes, you’re right, it is in France, in the north of Paris, in “La Defense” district.

    Nice pictures, many thanks to microsoft for its softwares !!!

  9. I use windows 7 now, and the only BSODs I’ve had were when cocking about with my overclock – and I barely saw them in vista, either. Microsoft has definately stepped up it’s game in crashing more elegantly, or recovering at least the kernel.

    My programs still crash, but they don’t take the OS with them anymore.

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