Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
10 REASONS WHY PC's CRASH
The first sign of virus infection is instability. Some viruses erase the boot sector of a hard drive making it impossible to start. This why it is a good idea to create Windows start-up disk.
Go to Start Menu-Control Panel-Add/Remove Programs and look for the start up disk tab.
Virus protection requires constant vigilance. A virus scanner requires a list of viurs signatures in order to be able to identify viruses. The signatures are stored in a DAT file. DAT files should be updated weekly or monthly from website of your antivirus software.
A common cause of computer crash is faulty or badly installed software . Often the problem can be cure uninstalling the software and then reinstalling it.
Another is uninstall some programs that have file sharing components to other programs like operating system that will make your computer unbootable.
If your Windows problem crash, try entering to Safe mode. This can be done during start up and when you see the message "starting windows" press F4 and it will take you to safe mode.
Safe Mode loads a minimum of drivers. It allows you to find and fix problems that prevent Windows from loading properly.
The action of sending a document to print creates a bigger file often called a postcript file.
Printers have only small amount of memory called a buffer. This can be easily overloaded. Printing a document also uses a considerable amount of CPU power that will slow down your computer's performance.
If printer is trying to print unusual characters, these might not be recognised and can crash the computer. Sometimes printers will not recover from a crash due to confusion in the buffer.
A good way to clear the buffer is to unplug the printer for 10 seconds. Booting up from a powerless state called a cold boot and it will restore your printer's default setting.
4. HARD DISK DRIVES
The information on a hard starts to become piecemeal or fragmented. It is good to defragment the hard disk every week or month to prevent a screen freeze.
Go to Start Menu-Accessories-System tools-Disk Fragmenter
Hard disk 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 on C drive and find the temporary internet file folder. Delete the contents that can free a lot of space.
Empty the recycle bin every week to free some space. Hard disk drives should be scanned every week for errors or bad sectors.
Go to Start menu-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Scan Disk
5. HARDWARE CONFLICT
The number on reason why Windows crashes is hardware conflict. Each hardware device communicates to other devices through an interrupt request channel (IRQ). These are supported to be unique for each device.
For example, a printer usually connects internally on IRQ7 and keyboard usually uses IRQ1. Each device will try to hog a single IRQ for itself.
If there are lots 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 your computer has a hardware conflict is checking to the Device Manager.
Go to Start menu-Control Panel-System-Hardware-Device Manager
Often if a device has a problem yellow ' ! ' apears next to its description in the device manager.
The best way to fix this problem is to remove the problem device and reinstall it again. Sometimes you may have to find more recent drivers on the internet to make the device function properly. A good source is www. driverguide.com.
6. BAD RAM
RAM (random access memory) problems might bring on the 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 need replacement.
But fatal error cause by RAM might cause by mismatch of chips. For example, mixing 70ns (nanosecond) RAM with 60ns will usually force the computer to run all the RAM at sloer speed. This will often crash the machine if the RAM is overworked.
One way to solve this problem is to enter to BIOS setting and increase the wait state of the RAM. This can make it more stable. Another way to troubleshoot is is to rearrange the RAM Chips on 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 easily damage.
Parity error messages also refer to RAM. Modern chips are either parity (ECC) or non parity (Non-ECC). It is best not to mix the two types as this can cause trouble.
EMM386 error messages refer to memory problems but not connected to bad ram. This may be due to free memory often linked to old DOS based programs.
7. BIOS settings
Every motherboard is supplied with range of chipset settings that are decided in the factory. A common way to access these settings is to press F2 or delete button during the first few seconds on 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 so that you can revert the setting if you change it and computer becomes more unstable.
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 lock up 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 the windows to allocate the IRQ numbers ( make sure the BIOS setting for the Plug and Play OS is switched to 'yes" to allow Windows to do this).
8. FATAL OE EXCEPTIONS and VXD ERRORS
Fatal OE exceptions errors and VXD errors are often caused by video card problems. These can be resolved easily by reducing the resolution of the video display.
Go to Start menu-Setting-Control Panel-Display-Settings
Here you should slide the screen area bar to the left. Take a look at the colour setting on the left of that Window. For most desktops, high colour 16-bit depth is adequate.
If the screen freezes or you experience system lockups, it might due to video card. Make sure it does not have a hardware conflict.
Go to Start Menu- Setting-Control Panel-System-Device Manager
Here select the + beside Display adapter. A line of text describing your video card should appear.
Select by making it blue and press the properties-Resouces and select each line in the Windoe. Look for a message that says No Conflicts.
If you have video card hardware conflict, you will see it here. Be careful at this point and make note of everything you do in case you make things worse.
The best way to resolve hardware conflicts is to uncheck the Use Automatic Setting box and hit the change setting button. You are searching for a setting that will display no conflicts message.
Another useful way to resolve video problems is to
Go to Start Menu-Setting-Control Panel-System-Performance-Graphics
Here you should move the hardware acceleration slider to the left. As ever, the most common cause of the problems relating to graphics cards is old or faulty drivers ( a driver is a small piece of software used by computer to communicate with a device)
Look up your video card's manufacturer on the internet and seach for the most recent drivers for it.
CPU (central processing units) 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 kernel error. This common problem in chips that have been overclocked to operate highspeeds that they are supposed to.
One remedy is to get bigger fan and install it on the top of the cpu. Some special cooling fans / heat sinks are available also.
10. POWER SUPPLY PROBLEMS
With all the new construction goind on around the world, the steady supply of electricity has become disrupted. A power surge or spike can crash a computer as easily as a power cut.
The solution is to use UPS (uninterrupted power supply) to give you clean power when there is electricity and will give you a few minutes to perform a controlled shutdown in case of a power cut.
Posted by Benjamin... on
Oct 04, 2010 | Computers & Internet
May 07, 2008 | Computers & Internet
123 people viewed this tip
Usually answered in minutes!