I want a fairly easy way to BSOD a fresh install of Windows 7 or 8 on purpose. Preferably offline, with nothing to undo to get it back up and running again as normal, i.e. a reboot should fix the problem.

  • Can you explain why you want this to happen? Causing a BSoD for testing purposes to solve a problem may not yield to the correct results if the BSoD is not giving the message you're after. Or is this for some kind of prank? – LPChip Jul 27 '14 at 19:12
  • Primarily prank, or because I feel like doing it, but secondarily to learn. – Filip Haglund Jul 27 '14 at 20:02
  • Related: How to mess up a PC running Windows 7? – gronostaj Jul 27 '14 at 21:55

The easiest way on Windows that does not require downloads or anything is actually built right into Windows.

  • Fire up the Registery Editor
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\kbdhid\Parameters
  • Add a new DWORD value called CrashOnCtrlScroll and set it to 1
  • Reboot

From then on, the key sequence RCtrl+ScrLk and then ScrLk again will trigger a BSOD. The only downsides is that the crash message on the BSOD states The end user manually generated the crash dump and some modern laptops don't have a ScrLk and/or RCtrl button.

You can manually revert the registry key to be safe, but as long as you don't touch that key combination again (which is really hard to do by accident) it won't happen again.


Run NotMyFault. Here you can crash the system with different bugchecks.

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This works for Windows 7, not sure about Windows 8.


If you're doing it for research then really a bsod is probably not going to be that useful when you trigger it yourself since it's going to tell you what you already knew (that you killed it.) Occasionally it's useful when programming to capture the exact system state but it's one of those situation where if you were at that level then you'd know what you were doing. :)

As, according to the comments, this is for a prank, the Sysinternals BlueScreen Screen Saver is probably the best tool for the job.


You could over tweak in bios, maybe RAM. This would allow for a easy reboot and get the message "press F1 for default start up settings".

  • That's not a safe way to make a BSOD! – Little Helper Jul 28 '14 at 13:23

I cannot recall the process name off-hand, but I believe killing csrss.exe (while running taskmgr as admin) will instantly trigger a safe BSOD.

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