Fix a Computer System Crash
Edited by Jerry Rivers, Lynn, Eng
Sometimes it feels like your heart crashes also, as you sit there stunned, and see the computer that you depend on crash before your eyes. Your first thought may be to wonder just how bad this situation is, and how much it will hit your wallet. You most likely have an overwhelming feeling that all your precious personal files are damaged, or gone forever. Do not fear, because you can usually find out the cause of it all, and can often recover all the seemingly lost data. The first step is to diagnose the illness and then figure out how to fix it. First, you need to decide if it's a software problem, then if that's not the cause of the crash, you'll need to check for a hardware cause. Once diagnosed, with the "ailment" cured, you need to take further steps to prevent another harrowing crash.
Check for a Software Cause
Updates and Changes
- 1If your computer was operating fine before installing hardware, that hardware may have caused the crash.Advertisement
- 2This may solve the problem.Uninstall it, along with its driver, then install the most current driver.Advertisement
- 3If this is not the culprit, you may be able to pinpoint the cause by first clicking the "Start" menu in the lower left corner of your screen.
- 4Then, in the search box, type "Event Viewer" It will list information about recent computer activity, and may give you troubleshooting information.
- 5It will explain every category listed in the Event Viewer. For example, it will list errors, their frequency, and more.You may have to go online to consult the Microsoft Guide to understand the jargon, however.
If a recently added device and driver were was not the cause, you should start your computer in "Safe Mode." This mode will only allow the most needed drivers to allow your computer to perform. It will serve to allow you to find the crash cause, and to fix it. To get your computer into Safe Mode, press your F8 key several times. A menu will pop up, with Safe Mode as one of the items.
Returning your computer to a time when it was functioning normally is sometimes a quick-fix.
- 1Go to your "Start" menu.
- 2Type "System Restore"
- 3Click "Restore Your Computer to an Earlier Time"
- 4Click "Open System Restore"
- 5Choose an earlier date in the calendar, from when your computer was stable.
If you have any Windows operating system, your computer can become unstable if lacking updates, and this may have caused your computer's demise. You don't want to learn this the hard way when your computer suddenly crashes a time or two every day. Not updating your computer could trigger this instability, so make sure that your Windows updates are turned on to help prevent a future crash.
- 1Go to the "Start" menu.
- 2In the search box, type "Windows Update"
- 3Click" Change Settings" Windows will say "Check for Updates"
- 4Click "Install Updates Automatically"
Check for a Hardware cause
The cause of your computer crash could be literally "as plain as dirt." Dirt is a certain enemy of your computer's performance, and is one problem that is easy to eliminate. If dirt builds up on your cooling fan, your computer can overheat, causing damage and a crash. With the design of a Laptop, it can overheat very quickly when the fan is clogged. Just as significant is the fact that dirt can even act as a conductor of an electric current. In both cases, dirt can damage your motherboard.
- 1Usually, you won't have to take your computer apart to unclog its fan. If you can, clean the fan externally, a vacuum cleaner can blow it out.Clean your fan(s).Advertisement
- 2Instead, use a hand-held (battery-operated only) portable vacuum, or even better, an aerosol air can. This, you can acquire at any PC shop.Due to the risk of damaging your computer from static electricity, Do Not use your vacuum cleaner, your fingers, or a brush if you must open your computer.
- 3Never touch the pins on the components as you do this!If you are inside the computer, wear rubber gloves or an insulating wrist band, unplug all plugged-in components, and replace them snugly.
- 4Choose a highly recommended software utility that can be downloaded, such as "Risingware Exp+", or Advanced System Optimizer .
- 5If it is the power supply unit's fault, it is advisable that you let a technician do this repair or replacement due to the high voltage.If your computer is totally dead, meaning that you press your ON switch, and your computer remains off, you have either a simple fix with a new fuse, or there is a hardware malfunction.
- 6If your computer lights up and the fan operate when you turn on the unit, but your screen shows either a BIOS error message, or the screen is blank, you have a processor or motherboard that stopped performing, so you will need to follow these steps:
- Back up your computer.
- Even if you have an antivirus program, download the Malwarebytes antivirus program. It is the most highly rated antivirus program on the market, and is highly effective in detecting and destroying malware on a computer.
- Perform the System Restore by following the steps above.
- 7Once again, the entire problem could be from a recently installed hardware and its driver.If you are still getting an error message on a blue screen, affectionately called the BSoD, or Blue Screen of Death, it will describe the details of the error causing the crash.
- 8If you think this is the cause, remove the hardware and its driver, and replace with a new, updated version.
- 9It can cause your computer to become unstable and even crash. This problem can also trigger the appearance of the BSoD glaring at you. Run a "memory test" to detect if your RAM has gone bad.Check your Random Access Memory (RAM).
Prevent another crash
- 1This is a customer service report so that they can diagnose, and prevent the problem in the future.If your computer is using Windows, you should have noticed a Microsoft dialog box offering for you to send a report of your crash to Microsoft.Advertisement
- 2You will see specific help info from the Crash Report you sent.After a crash, and once your computer is operating again, go to Microsoft Help and Support.
- 3If you don't have any made, you should immediately turn off your computer, and have a technician recover your lost data. You more than likely had a hard disk crash, and you will need a computer tech to recover them. For future crashes, use your self-made back-up disks:If your computer makes weird sounds, or if there was suddenly a blue screen with "BIOS Error" displayed, you can use recovery disks that you created.
- Buy a couple DVD disks.
- Click the "Start Menu" in the lower left corner of your computer screen.
- Click "Control Panel".
- Go to System and Security > Back up your computer > Set up back up > DVD RW Drive (E:)
- Insert your recovery disk and follow the instructions.
- 4Install a reliable software utility - If you don't have one pre-installed, I recommend installing a "software utility", and use it to check on your computer system performance regularly
- 5There are plenty of software utilities to choose from, and some like "HW Monitor" are free.Install a software utility - You might find it helpful to get hold of a "software utility" to check on the performance of of your computer, and can pin-point problems.
- 6If Microsoft Word documents are lost - Go to "Automatically save and recover Office Files", then "Use the file recovery converter".
- 7You can find if there was one by using a memory test. It will take about 15 minutes maximum. Some computers have a built-in memory test with utilities. If you have Windows, it is usually pre-installedRun a RAM memory test - A fault in your memory may have caused the crash.
- 8A Menu will pop up on your screen with two choices:Go to your Start Menu > Search Box, type "Memory Test" > Windows memory Diagnostic.
- Restart now and check for problems.
- Check for problems the next time I start my computer. If your computer has a memory test utility pre-installed, use it in case you still have your PC or Laptop under warranty.
- 9Click the first choice, and it will run a thorough RAM test within 15 minutes.
- 10It is highly regarded and respected by the industry, and is very user-friendlyIf your computer does not have a memory test utility, there are some reliable memory testing applications, such as "Memtest".
- 11You have two downloading options: creating a DVD for an automatic installation, or create a USB flash drive. The instructions for the step-by-step procedure are short and easy to follow for installing "Memtest".Download "Memtest".Advertisement
Often, performing one of these tasks to correct your computer crash will cure the computer ailment. Be sure to prevent a crash from striking again by following the recommended steps. If you continue having computer crashes, transport your computer to a reputable PC repair shop, or contact an at-home service, such as the "Geek Squad". Their repair service cost is very reasonable, by the way.
Tips Tricks & Warnings
- Be sure to wear rubber gloves, or an anti-static bracelet if you are cleaning the inside of your Laptop or PC.
- Do not use a vacuum cleaner, fingers, or brush to clean any of the components inside your computer.
- Back up your computer system files asap.