Have you ever been interrupted while working on your PC, by a message box popping up with a big “X” marked in red on one side? It is a runtime error message, indicating that your operating system has suffered from some serious error, either with an internal file, or with a third party application.

Runtime errors can occur under different causes. For instance, these pop up when your operating system faces some problem while dealing with a chunk of memory in your hard disk (for system errors, virus infections, and such). These can also show their faces when your PC hardware is having some serious issue with some software you installed recently. For instance, some users with a few particular brands of video cards on their systems have reported getting runtime errors after installing Adobe® Photoshop. This is because the software is unable to communicate with the video card properly.

Runtime errors can have different consequences. Some let you work peacefully after you click on the OK button. At most the software causing the error is shut down by Windows®, making you lose any unsaved changes. Still, it is not so bad. There are, however, some runtime errors that can shut down your PC immediately. These include those occurring from RAM errors, bad sectors in hard disk and computer viruses. It is the most dangerous type of runtime errors, and if these show up on a regular basis, then there could be something seriously wrong with your PC.

Runtime errors can be corrected by undertaking some relatively simple measures, such as:

  1. Making sure that your PC is virus-free at all times by installing a good antivirus and updating it regularly.
  2. Regularly defragmenting your PC in order to ensure that there are no fragmented files in your hard disk. Fragmented files can cause a number of runtime errors, because when Windows® searches from one end of the disk to another in search of the fragments of a file, it can miss a piece, resulting in a runtime error. You should also defrag your page files in order to ensure that Windows® does not have any trouble while accessing it.
  3. Get your RAM tested at least once a year, preferably by a system administrator. Structural errors in RAM are responsible for a number of runtime errors.
  4. Check the system requirements of any software carefully before installing it. Also, update the software installed in your PC regularly, in order to ensure that those develop fewer errors.

These steps should help you avoid the majority of runtime errors. Runtime errors can damage your PC on repeated occurrences. Take care of those from the beginning in order to ensure trouble free operation of your PC.