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Windows® Internals, Sixth Edition, Part 2 by David A. Solomon Mark E. Russinovich and Alex Ionescu

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Why Does Windows Crash?

Windows crashes (stops execution and displays the blue screen) for many possible reasons. A common source is a reference to a memory address that causes an access violation, either a write operation to read-only memory or a read operation on an address that is not mapped. Another common cause is an unexpected exception or trap. Crashes also occur when a kernel subsystem (such as the memory manager or power manager) or a driver (such as a USB or display driver) detect inconsistencies in their operation.

When a kernel-mode device driver or subsystem causes an illegal exception, Windows faces a difficult dilemma. It has detected that a part of the operating system with the ability to access any hardware device and any valid ...

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