The current "We are offline" screen on Server Fault when it is down is:

enter image description here

with it's lovely 1996 DateStmp's.

I think it's time to update the Windows BSOD on the page to something more appropriate for the times:

enter image description here


  • Update the old-style Windows BSOD to a newer ESXi-style PSOD? Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 14:21
  • 1
    Shouldn't the BSOD represent the underlying architecture?
    – Scott Pack
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 14:25
  • 6
    @HopelessN00b - We all know Steve, Kyle, Shane, and Greg host these sites on a Windows 2012 VM running on Parallels on Kyle's Macbook Air.
    – TheCleaner
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 14:26
  • 2
    @ScottPack SE runs a Windows stack, so it does. Even so, seems like the error details ought to be updated to reflect a site down, rather than just being a generic screenie of a BSOD slapped up there. Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 14:30
  • 1
    @HopelessN00b - the screen this morning had a statement at the beginning about "offline for maintenance...back up within an hour" or something like that...followed by the generic/canned Windows BSOD and a Linux error screen. I'm just bored enough to throw a 5 minute GIMP pic together of the Windows one after seeing the date/time stamps.
    – TheCleaner
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 14:33
  • @ScottPack Not only do they run Windows stack, they run bleeding edge Windows/SQL. (I follow Brent Ozar's blog.) So the Old Skool graphic doesn't fit, IMHO. Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 16:24
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    @KatherineVillyard If we want to get technical about it, the HAProxy box is the one serving the 50x error pages, so it'd be the one we'd need platform accuracy for. But the images on the error pages are a lot more about fun than accuracy ;) Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 20:11
  • 1
    @ShaneMadden Hee!!! Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 20:13

6 Answers 6


But Windows XP runs fine! Why do we need to update just because Microsoft says it's end of life?

Besides, nobody will recognize that error message. And we'll have to retrain the help desk.




We could randomize between all of 'em with a smidge of javascript?

  • Old BSOD
  • New BSOD
  • Linux panic
  • OS X Panic
  • Old Mac - the bomb restart dialog or sad mac boot fail screen?
  • Crash screen from TomTom's phone

What else?

  • 2
    Guru Meditation Mode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 20:36
  • 4
    Oh, baby... give me some VMS OPCOM messages! i.ytimg.com/vi/O1577ss-3qM/maxresdefault.jpg Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 20:41
  • VMS! That brings back memories... Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 20:41
  • The error screen should be determined or influenced by browser sniffing. Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 8:40
  • 5
    XScreensaver used to have a module with a nice collection of panic screens. Use all of them :)
    – Sven
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 12:50
  • or a javascript pacman game to play while you wait for the site to reload ?
    – Sirex
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 8:29

I recommend faux Google search results asking "is Stack Exchange down", showing a (again, faux) search result of a SO/SF question asking the same. Naturally, the next search result would be the same question on one of the scraper sites.

  • 2
    Upvoted for evil genius-ness. Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 2:25

Let me me the voice of change: OH MY GOD I LOVE THE WINDOWS 8 2012 ONE!!!

I love it so much that I need more exclamation points!!!


Uh, yeah, I'll stop now, but still. Hahahaha!

  • It's Windows 2012...not 8... ;) ;)
    – TheCleaner
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 16:50
  • 1
    Hee!!! Yes, but I've seen it more on 8. ;) Edited! Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 16:51

In the name of cultural sensitivity let's update it to be the OSX Panic Screen, which helpfully says "You're screwed!" in 6 languages:

You're Screwed!

  • 1
    Hah...I like it!
    – TheCleaner
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 17:29

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