Have you ever been happily typing away or playing your favorite game, to
suddenly witness the screen freeze? You sit there hoping it is just a temporary
pause while something loads, but then as the seconds turn to minutes, you
realize that you have just been a victim of the frozen screen of death, or a
Anyone who utilizes windows is familiar with the ubiquitous and horrible
effects of the computer crashing while you are in the middle of working, and it
is no fun losing your hard earned data all in a second. Listed below are some of
the most common causes of computer crashes, and a few things you may be able to
change in order to avoid them.
The most common reason for a computer crash is known as hardware conflict.
Hardware conflict occurs when two pieces of hardware-a keyboard and mouse, for
example-share the same interrupt request channel (IRQ). If you have a number of
devices attached to your computer, the probability of a pair of them not being
installed correctly increases and can cause two of them to share an IRQ, and
when this happens your computer can crash.
The simplest way to avoid this is by checking the IRQ's being utilized at a
given moment, and then re-installing any device that is using a repeated
Random Access Memory or RAM problems could be causing your computer to crash.
The error typically displayed when RAM is the problem is fatal exception error.
A fatal error can mean there is a serious hardware problem, but sometimes it is
simply a RAM problem caused by mismatched RAM chips. By mixing RAM chips of
different speeds, your computer will be forced to run them all at a lower speed
and can hence cause a crash.
You can avoid this problem by making sure all the RAM chips installed within
your computer are the same speed, or by increasing the wait state of the RAM
within the BIOS settings on your computer.
All motherboards are supplied with a given range of chipset settings by the
manufacturer. Sometimes these settings can be a common culprit for computer
In order to access the chipset settings, you usually need to press F2 or
delete during the first few seconds of booting up your computer. Once you are
looking at the BIOS, a few things that could be causing your computer to freeze
are CAS latency discrepancies where the latency does not match the RAM, which
you are using. Older RAM uses a latency of 3 while newer SDRAM uses a latency of
2. Another thing, which can be adjusted within the BIOS, is the IRQ
Hard Disk Drives
After a few weeks of use, the information on your hard drive begins to become
fragmented. It is an excellent idea to defragment your hard drive every week or
so to keep your computer running smooth and fast.
Fatal VXD Errors and OE Exceptions
Fatal VXD Errors and OE Exceptions are typically caused by video card
problems. These can usually be fixed quite easily by reducing the resolution of
the video display.
Obviously, viruses can cause many problems other than simply running
malicious code on your computer. The instability caused by viruses lurking in
the background of your system is a common cause of crashes. The easiest way to
deal with these is by scanning anything you download onto your hard disk, and by
performing regular virus scanning and quarantine.
Sending a document to be printed creates a bigger file, referred to as a
postscript file. Since the printer only has a small amount of memory, it is easy
for it to become overloaded when you are attempting to print a large document
and can cause your computer to crash. It is a good idea to turn off the printer
for ten seconds and turn it back on if you suspect printer overload.
Another cause of computer crashes is software that has been installed
improperly. The easiest way to fix this problem when you suspect software
malfunction is by completely removing the suspect software, then re-installing
All central processing units or CPU's generate a lot of heat and are fitted
with factory installed cooling apparatus. When the CPU overheats, it causes a
crash, which is known as a kernel error. A great investment to remedy this
problem is an after market cooling system, or larger fan.
Power Supply Problems
The final problem, which could be causing your computer to crash, is the
power supply. An interrupted power supply or surge can wreak havoc on your
system. A good idea is investing in an uninterrupted power supply.