Seven Reasons For Computer Crashes
By Bob Rankin
It’s a real pain when your computer just stops working, locks up, or crashes. This sort of problem can be devilishly difficult to diagnose, because many things can cause a computer to crash. Here are seven common causes of computer crashes and some tips on how to deal with them…
Why Is My Computer Crashing?
Often I’ll get a reader question along the lines of ‘My computer is crashing, what should I do?’. As much as I’d like to help, that’s not enough information to diagnose the problem and suggest a solution.
A computer crash can take the form of a complete power down, an unexpected restart, the Blue Screen of Death, or a screen freeze. In some cases, restarting the computer will get you going again. But you probably haven’t solved the problem. Here are seven things that can cause your computer to crash:
1. SOFTWARE ERRORS: If crashes occur only when you’re using a specific software application, that’s the first place to look for problems. Sometimes a software bug causes a crash when a certain operation is attempted. Check the software maker’s Web site for any updates that may fix your problem. It’s also a good idea to scan your computer to ensure that all your software is up to date with the latest security patches. See The Missing Link in Computer Security for some tips on getting that task done.
Occasionally, due to a hard disk error, software may become corrupted or “scrambled;” that can cause crashes too. You can try running the Windows Check Disk utility to see if that will unscramble the corrupted files. If software updates and a disk check don’t fix your problem, you may have to remove and then re-install the corrupted software.
2. MALWARE: Viruses and other forms of malware often causes computer crashes; in fact, some malware is written to do just that. Running a full scan with one or more good anti-malware tools is a good thing to do when crashes occur at random. If you want to replace or supplement your existing anti-virus protection with free alternatives, see my picks in Free Anti-Virus Programs.
Excerpt shared with permission from Bob Rankin.