Tales from the Useless Error Message Bucket: “It’s a driver”

On the train tonight, I had a suspicious blue screen. The reason I found it suspicious is that I received the blue screen and STOP error from Windows as I was using my EDGE phone. About a third of a second after the blue screen, there was a soft beep from the phone letting me know that a caller had left voice mail. I find it hard to believe that these two events were unrelated given that they occurred so close together.

When Windows came back up, the crash diagnostic tool dutifully told me that the error message I had seen was caused by a device driver. Here’s what it told me:

Follow these steps to solve the problem with a device driver

You received this message because a device driver installed on your computer caused the Windows operating system to stop unexpectedly. This type of error is referred to as a “stop error.” A stop error requires you to restart your computer.

If I had an idea of which driver had caused the system to stop, then maybe I could do something about it. The only further advice was to think about new drivers or software I might have installed. Too bad there aren’t any, and I have to chalk this crash up to the bogon capture cross-section of the laptop.

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