On a mailing list, a member who is also a Terry’s Computer Tips subscriber, wrote that his Windows XP computer had craahed with the infamous blue screen of death. In his case, he had an error message that said "Driver_Power_State_Failure".
I’ve seen that error message before on my own computers, not often and not repeated.
That’s the real issue. If you have a repeatable problem, you have something that you need to fix. If it happens once, it just might be the particular combination of programs you ran that day, in the particular order, that set up the problem. Or, it might have been one of those stray cosmic rays…
I did some research on Microsoft’s site and turned up Microsoft’s answer at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=246243
In my opinion, their solution falls into the category of using cannon to kill a mosquito (anyone else watch the movie Entrapment? "Don’t use a cannon to kill a mosquito."” ). What was it? The usual "tech support answer" — 5 steps ending in reinstall Windows.
Unless this becomes a regular problem, I wouldn’t consider it. In a BSOD situation like this, I’d consider "regular" to be about once a month.
He also had a problem powering down. He was using a notebook computer and finally killed the computer by pulling the power plug and pulling the battery.
There’s an easier way that applies to both desktop computers and notebooks. Modern power supplies can be turned off pressing and holding the power button for 8-10 seconds. Keep holding it until the computer turns off.
The power button in today’s computer is really just a momentary contact switch. The power is always live to the power supply and to the motherboard. All the "power button" does is to make a momentary electrical short across two pins on the motherboard — which is its wake-up signal.
If Windows crashes, you can hold the power button so that the short stays shorted. The power supply will notice after 8-10 seconds and interpret the short as a command to it to shut down. That will still leave electricity on the motherboard, but at the low "shutdown" level.
Note that this is like flipping a switch — it is not a proper shutdown technique and should only be used with Windows has crashed such that it can not shut down itself.
What does this mean with regard to working inside your computer’s case? It means that, as long as the computer is plugged into the wall, the power supply and motherboard are live. Never work inside your computer until after you have disconnected the power cable from the computer. I usually disconnect the video cable from the monitor also, just in case there is any back-feed of electricity through the monitor connection.