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There used to be a debug option involving a registry hack on older versions of Windows that let me blue screen a system on purpose. I'd like to see if my usual blue screen diagnosis tools work on Windows 8, so would there be a way to convince windows to BSOD on purpose in a controllable way?

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this does not work any more? –  Karthik T Oct 25 '12 at 7:14
    
You might want to try posting that as an answer in case it works. It seems the most predictable option I have not tried it yet. Currently backing up my system to take the chance on it. –  Journeyman Geek Oct 25 '12 at 7:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Easy way to do this on older versions is set out here.

Basically,

For PS/2 Keyboards:

  • Open Regedit
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\i8042prt\Parameters
  • Add a new DWORD (32-bit) Registry value here with name = CrashOnCtrlScroll and value = 1
  • Now you close regedit and restart PC
  • Finally hold down Right Ctrl and press Scroll Lock twice to trigger the BSOD.

For USB Keyboards:

  • Open Regedit
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\kbdhid\Parameters
  • Add a new DWORD (32-bit) Registry value here with name = CrashOnCtrlScroll and value = 1
  • Now you close regedit and restart PC
  • Finally hold down Right Ctrl and press Scroll Lock twice to trigger the BSOD.
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An alternative method that works on Windows Vista and might work on 8 (not verified on 7 or 8):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ACPI]
"Start"=dword:00000004

Save it as a .reg file and run it. Your computer will blue screen on reboot. Return to last good configuration or change the value back to 0 to fix it.

Source

Installing incompatible drivers can work as well. Try to install out-dated video-drivers.

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3  
Overclocking and changing frequency/voltages for RAM (!!!) could cause hardware damage. And both of those and outdated video drivers may cause instability, but it's not really predictable ('crash on demand'), more 'crash at some random time from right now to never'... –  Bob Oct 25 '12 at 8:16
    
Yes, this can be dangerous, I didn't say it is safe. That's why you should be quite familiar with what you are doing. The guy, can actually take faulty memory DIMM and perform test. Of course, the safest way is to download already available dumps from Internet and simply import to his tool. Besides, there are chances that old tricks won't cause BSODs on new OS. I simply provided a couple of alternatives. –  Volodymyr Oct 25 '12 at 8:24
    
I'm just leaving a note that this is dangerous. Not everyone here is experienced with computers, so it's better to be explicit about dangerous actions than just leave out assurances of safety... –  Bob Oct 25 '12 at 9:07
    
Agree that this is worth mentioning. For OP the safest way would be to download dumps from internet. –  Volodymyr Oct 25 '12 at 9:11
    
I agree with these comments and do not recommend this. You could be left with a system that doesn't boot at all! –  Graham Wager Oct 25 '12 at 9:14

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