Category Archives: Windows

How to change the Blue Screen of Death into another colour

We have all had a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) when something catastrophic has happened with Windows – which is usually when you try to do anything useful, but if you get tired of it being the standard Blue or if you have a visual imparement so the default settings are useless for you, here’s how to change it.

First open the SYSTEM.INI file found in the %systemroot% folder (usually C:\Windows) and locate the [386enh] section.

Add the following two entries if they are not present:

MessageBackColor=

MessageTextColor=

Each of those entries take a single hexadecimal digit defining the colour:

  • 0 – Black
  • 1 – Blue
  • 2 – Green
  • 3 – Cyan
  • 4 – Red
  • 5 – Magenta
  • 6 – Yellow
  • 7 – White
  • 8 – Grey
  • 9 – Bright blue
  • A – Bright green
  • B – Bright cyan
  • C – Bright red
  • D – Bright magenta
  • E – Bright yellow
  • F – Bright white

So to change it to Cyan and bright white text, then use the following:

MessageBackColor=3

MessageTextColor=F

The settings will take effect the next time you restart Windows.

NB: The values must be in upper case hence using F and not f in the above example.

How to change the Blue Screen of Death into another colour

We have all had a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) when something catastrophic has happened with Windows – which is usually when you try to do anything useful, but if you get tired of it being the standard Blue or if you have a visual imparement so the default settings are useless for you, here’s how to change it.

First open the SYSTEM.INI file found in the %systemroot% folder (usually C:\Windows) and locate the [386enh] section.

Add the following two entries if they are not present:

MessageBackColor=
MessageTextColor=

Each of those entries take a single hexadecimal digit defining the colour:

  • 0 – Black
  • 1 – Blue
  • 2 – Green
  • 3 – Cyan
  • 4 – Red
  • 5 – Magenta
  • 6 – Yellow
  • 7 – White
  • 8 – Grey
  • 9 – Bright blue
  • A – Bright green
  • B – Bright cyan
  • C – Bright red
  • D – Bright magenta
  • E – Bright yellow
  • F – Bright white

So to change it to Cyan and bright white text, then use the following:

MessageBackColor=3
MessageTextColor=F

The settings will take effect the next time you restart Windows.

NB: The values must be in upper case hence using F and not f in the above example.

Finding the process id of the process owning a port

Occasionally there’s time where you need to find out what process owns a port currently open.

On the Mac this can be done easily by using the following line – here we are looking for port 8080:

ps u –no-heading -p  `netstat -nlept | awk ‘/[:]8080 / {split ($9,t,”/”); print t[1]}’` 2>/dev/null

For windows you don’t have a decent shell (and cygwin would probably not work here), so you can use the following batch script to do the same:

@echo off

for /F “usebackq tokens=5″ %%f in (`netstat -b -n ^| find “:%1″`) do call :process %%f

goto :eof

:process

tasklist /FI “PID eq %1″ /NH

If the above code was called findport.bat then running findport 8080 would then find the process owning port 8080.