Top 10 reasons of computer crashes

Learn more about the solutions and reasons for why the computer crashes. Understand the basic problems of computer crashes.

Computer Crash
There are many reasons of computer crash. The crash like : Fatal error, the system has become unstable or busy, it says “enter to return to windows or press control + alt + delete to restart the computer. If this is done, any unsaved information in open applications would be loosed or sometimes we have just been struck by the blue screen of death.
Anyone who uses Microsoft windows will be familiar with these crashes.

So Top 10 reasons behind computer crashes are :

1) Hardware conflict.
Hardware Conflict
The first reason that why windows crashes is hardware conflict. Each hardware device communicates to other devices through an interrupt request channel ( irq ). These are supposed to be unique for each device.

For example, a printer usually connects internally on irq 7. The keyboard usually uses irq 1 and the floppy disk drive uses irq 6. Each device will try to hog a single irq for itself.
If there are a lot of devices or if they are not installed properly, two of them may end up sharing the same irq number. When the user tries to use both devices at the same time, a crash can happen.

The way to check if computer has a hardware conflict or not is through the following route :
Start  >>  settings  >>  control panel >>  system  >>  device manager.

Often if a device has a problem a yellow ‘!’ appears next to its description in the device manager. Highlight computer (in the device manager) and press properties to see the irq numbers used by the computer. If the irq number appears twice then two devices may be using same irq at same time.

Sometimes a device might share an irq with something described as "irq holder for pci steering". This can be ignored. The best way to fix this problem is to remove the problem device and re install it.

Sometimes we may have to find more recent drivers on the internet to make the device function properly. If the device is a soundcard or a modem, it can often be fixed by moving it to a different slot on the motherboard.

2) Bad ram.
Ram (random access memory) problems might bring the blue screen of death with a message saying fatal exception error. A fatal error indicates a serious hardware problem. Sometimes it may mean a part is damaged and will need replacing.
But a fatal error caused by ram might be caused by a mismatch of chips.

For example, mixing 70 nanosecond ( 70 ns ) ram with 60 ns ram will usually force the computer to run the ram at the slower speed. This will often crash the machine if the ram is overworked.

One way around this problem is to enter the bios settings and increase the wait state of the ram. This can make it more stable. Another way to troubleshoot a suspected ram problem is to rearrange the ram chips on the motherboard, or take some of them out. Then try to repeat the circumstances that caused the crash. When handling ram try not to touch the gold connections, as they can be easily damaged.

Emm386 error messages refer to memory problems but may not be connected to bad ram. This may be due to free memory problems often linked to old dos based programmes.

3) Bios settings.
BIOS Settings
Every motherboard is supplied with a range of chipset settings that are decided in the factory. A common way to access these settings is to press the F2 or delete button during the first few seconds of a boot up.

Once inside the bios, great care should be taken. It is a good idea to write down on a piece of paper all the settings that appear on the screen. That way, if we change something and the computer becomes more unstable, we will know, what settings to revert to ?

A common bios error concerns the cas latency. This refers to the ram. Older edo ( extended data out ) ram has a cas latency of (3). Newer sdram has a cas latency of (2). Setting the wrong figure can cause the ram to lockup and freeze the computer’s display.

Microsoft windows is better at allocating irq numbers than any bios. If possible set the irq numbers to auto in the bios. This will allow windows to allocate the irq numbers. Make sure that bios setting for plug and play os is switched to yes to allow windows to do this.

4) Hard disk drives.
Hard Disk Drives
After a few weeks, the information on a hard disk drive starts to become piecemeal or fragmented. It is a good idea to Defragment the hard disk every week or so, to prevent the disk from causing a screen freeze.
To do this go to Start  >>  programs  >>  accessories  >>  system tools  >>  Disk Defragmenter.
This will start the procedure. We will be unable to write data to the hard drive while the disk is defragmenting, so it is a good idea to schedule the procedure for a period of inactivity using the task scheduler.

Some lockups and screen freezes caused by hard disk problems can be solved by reducing the read ahead optimization.
This can be adjusted by going to Start settings  >>  control panel  >>  system icon  >>  performance  >>  file system  >>  hard disk.

Hard disks will slow down and crash if they are too full. Do some housekeeping on your hard drive every few months and free some space on it. Open the windows folder and find the temporary internet files folder.

Deleting the contents (not the folder) can free a lot of space.
Empty the recycle bin every week to free more space. Hard disk drives should be scanned every week for errors or bad sectors.
Go to : start  >>  programs  >>  accessories  >>  system tools  >>  scandisk.

5) Fatal oe exceptions and vxd errors.
Fatal Error
Fatal oe exception errors and vxd errors are often caused by video card problems. These can often be resolved easily by reducing the resolution of the video display.
Go to : Start  >>  settings  >>  control panel  >>  display  >>  settings.

Another useful way to resolve video problems is to go to : start  >>  settings  >>  control panel  >>  system  >>  performance  >>  graphics.

Here hardware acceleration slider should be to the left. As ever, the most common cause of problems relating to graphics cards is old or faulty drivers.

6) Viruses.
Virus causing Computer Crash
Often the first sign of a virus infection is instability. Some viruses erase the boot sector of a hard drive making it impossible to start. This is why it is a good idea to create a windows start up disk.
To create it go to : start  >>  settings  >>  control panel  >>  add / remove programs.

Here, look for the start-up disk tab. Virus protection requires constant vigilance.
A virus scanner requires a list of virus signatures in order to be able to identify viruses. These signatures are stored in a dat file. Dat files should be updated weekly from the website of the antivirus software manufacturer.

7) Printers.
Printers causing Computer Crash
The action of sending a document to print creates a bigger file, often called a postscript file. Printers have only a small amount of memory called a buffer. This can be easily overloaded. Printing a document also uses a considerable amount of CPU power. This will also slow down the computer’s performance.

If the printer is trying to print unusual characters, these might not be recognized and can crash the computer. Sometimes printers will not recover from a crash because of confusion in the buffer. A good way to clear the buffer is to unplug the printer for ten seconds. Booting up from a powerless state called as cold boot will restore the printer’s default settings.

8) Software.
Software causing Computer Crash
A common cause of computer crash is faulty or badly installed software. Often the problem can be cured by uninstalling the software and then re installing it. Use uninstall shield to remove an application from the computer properly.

This will also remove references to the program in the system registry and leaves the way clear for a completely fresh copy. The system registry can be corrupted by old references to obsolete software that we thought was uninstalled. Use Registry cleaner to clean up the system registry.

9) Overheating.
Overheating causing Computer Crash
Central processing units ( CPU’s ) are usually equipped with fans to keep them cool. If the fan fails or if the CPU gets old it may start to overheat and generate a particular kind of error called a kernel error. This is a common problem in chips that have been overclocked to operate at higher speeds than they are supposed to.

CPU problems can often be fixed by disabling the CPU internal cache in the bios. This will make the computer run more slowly but it should also be more stable. Overheating can be also due to Dust which can further decrease the computer speed, so have a look over the
10) Power supply problems.
Power Supply Problems
With all the new construction going on around the country the steady supply of electricity has become disrupted. A power surge or spike can crash a computer as easily as a power cut.
If this has become a nuisance, then consider buying a uninterrupted power supply.

This will give a clean power supply when there is electricity and it will give a few minutes to perform a controlled shutdown in case of a power cut. It is a good investment if the data are critical because a power cut will cause any unsaved data to be lost.

So these are top 10 reasons of computer crashes.

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