Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Blue screens are bad enough, but they're further complicated by the fact that capturing the information presented is nearly impossible without a trick.
When I get an error it takes up the whole screen, and I lose my ability to print. How can I print the actual page with all the error information? There are a lot of numbers and it's very hard to copy them all down.
Yep, that's a problem. How do you print when you can't print? How do you copy to the clip board when there's no more clipboard?
It's a real, and honest problem that has no elegant solution. Sometimes Windows has an error so severe it simply cannot continue running at all.
From the description of your problem, I'm assuming that what you're seeing is the "BSOD" or "Blue Screen of Death". Here's one example:
It's gets the name "of death" because it appears in those cases where Windows has encountered an error so severe that it cannot continue to run; in a sense, Windows has died.
Because Windows is no longer running, all support for ... well, for anything is no longer available. Naturally, that means there's simply no way to actually print the screen, or copy it to the clipboard. At this point, the printer and clipboard, along with the rest of Windows, simply no longer exist.
There are various approaches to capturing this information.
Pencil and paper come to mind, but as you've indicated that's painful, and often error prone work.
I'm sure that there's special hardware out there that you can use in lieu of your display connection that would somehow allow the display itself to be captured in some way. It's probably expensive, cumbersome, and totally overkill for this kind of problem.
Then there's a more practical, though much less elegant approach, which is the approach that I recommend.
Get your digital camera, and take a picture of the screen.
It's the technique I used to capture screen shots of the administrator password tool for a previous article I've lost the password to my Windows Administrator account, how do I get it back? Here's an example:
No, it's nowhere near as "pretty" as the first example, but that actually doesn't matter. You can easily read the text, even in this version of the image that was resized down from the much larger original.
It's quick, it's easy, and it captures all the information without error.
Hopefully, then, you'll have someone that can help diagnose what the error means.
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