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My wife is experiencing this with her work laptop--she presses Ctrl-Alt-Delete to lock and she gets the BSOD. The first troubleshooting step is usually to "re-image", and it's locked down.

So with this question, I am asking whether the behavior is unique enough that someone in the stack-universe knows exactly what this is (something I can tell her to tell her help desk support).

Update: help desk said to order more RAM. Alt-tabbing caused the same behavior today. And...she learned that multiple users are affected.

I'm not sure I'll be able to clean any additional info that will help w/ troubleshooting. I'll leave the question here for a bit and if an answer ends up being the actual solution, I'll accept it. If not, I think I should probably remove the question (i'll check meta).

Update #2.5: The cause appears to be a ctrl-alt-delete keystroke while Sales Team Configurator is open. This can either be to lock the screen (there are workaround in answers already present) or to unlock the screen (no workaround for that).

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Maybe if you ask her to write down the first few lines of the message, that might help us to figure it out. – Johnny DropTables Mar 1 '11 at 13:09
Tip: to lock a windows session the shortcut is "Win" + " l", no need to go through Ctrl+Alt+Del – Shadok Mar 1 '11 at 13:26
@Johnny DropTables: it reboots immediately, she thought it was something about memory, but who knows...she probably saw memory dump. – Jay Mar 2 '11 at 0:24
@Jay - The question's good, there's no need to delete it - perhaps you could mention what particular business application is causing it? – Sathya Mar 4 '11 at 5:43
@Jay - If you enable the XP Welcome Screen, then you won't need to Ctrl+Alt+Delete to unlock the laptop...… – Joe Internet Mar 12 '11 at 16:58
up vote 2 down vote accepted

BSODs frequently happen on account of a driver issue. In this case, my guess would be the keyboard driver. She might be able to update the keyboard driver via Windows update, or from the manufacturer's website. If this just started recently, it's also possible that an updated driver was automatically installed, and may need to be rolled back. All of this she can discuss with her help desk. Beyond that, there is a lot of info out there on troubleshooting BSODs, depending on how deep you want to follow the rabbit hole.

In the mean time, she can try Windows Key+L to lock her screen, but she may end up BSOD to unlock it. It's possible to configure XP to not require the user to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to log in, which would require her to configure Fast User Switching to unlock the PC. Again, she can discuss all of this with her help desk.

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Saw this with some malware that was trying to prevent loading of Task Manager through CTRL-ALT-Delete Task manager would not load from the Task Bar and CTRL-ALT-DEL crashed the system.

Needed a bootable Symantec Endpoint Recovery disk to get rid of the malware. Worked fine after removal.

Are there any entries in the Event Log after the BSOD and a reboot? That might point to something as well.

But there are lots of other reasons.

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+1, however, these systems are locked down pretty well and she can't view the event viewer. I can't even open a command prompt. – Jay Mar 2 '11 at 0:30

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