In many computeroperating systems, a special type of error message will display onscreen when the system has experienced a fatal error. Computer users have dubbed these messages screens of death as they typically result in unsaved work being lost and often indicate serious problems with the system's hardware or software. Screens of death are usually the result of a kernel panic, although the terms are frequently used interchangeably. Most screens of death are displayed on an even background color with a message advising the user to restart the computer.
The Mac OS X kernel panic alert. This version was first used in Mac OS X 10.6.
The Blue Screen of Death (also called BSoD, or stop error) is a common name for a screen displayed by the Microsoft Windows operating system when a critical system error occurs. By far, this is the most famous screen of death.
A Green Screen of Death is a green screen that appears on a TiVo with a message that includes the words "a severe error has occurred". Its appearance often means that the hard drive of the device has failed. Blue Screens of Death on the Windows Insider builds of Windows 10 appears as green instead of blue, starting with build 14997.
A White Screen of Death appears on several other operating systems, content management systems and BIOSes. One is in iOS 7, and the screen of death appears when a white iPhone 5 or later or a white iPod touch (5th generation) is frozen. Everything on the screen goes white, and a black Apple logo is all that's displayed on the screen.
A Yellow Screen of Death occurs when an ASP.NET web app encounters a problem and crashes.
A kernel panic is used primarily by Unix and Unix-like operating systems: the Unix equivalent of Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death. It is a routine called when the kernel detects irrecoverable errors in runtime correctness; in other words, when continued operation may risk escalating system instability, and a system reboot is easier than attempted recovery.
A Sad Mac is a symbol used by older-generation Apple Macintosh computers, starting with the original Macintosh 128K, to indicate a severe hardware or software problem that prevented startup from occurring successfully. A similar symbol exists for the iPod.