How to Fix a Computer Crash
Level of difficulty:
Personal Computer systems like most electronic devices in one time or another will come to its end of lifecycle and eventually fail to properly function or will no longer power up completely. However, there is a possibility that computer systems may suffer from system crashes due to either a failure in hardware component or a conflict in the execution of its software elements. For computer systems running under the Microsoft Windows Operating System platform, a number of signs of system crashes include the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSoD), automatic restarting of the machine, or simply just freezing up preventing the user from restarting it or shutting it down completely from its Graphical User Interface-based Operating System. Due to the complexity of this problem, this guide will attempt to focus primarily on the possible causes of software component failure thereby assuming that all hardware components are functioning properly.
- Web browser
- Internet connection
- registry cleaner utility
- Operating System installation disc
When a system crashes, the first thing to do is to reboot the machine. If possible, do a soft reboot by clicking on the 'Start' button, selecting the 'Turn off Computer' option and clicking on the 'Restart' button. If this is not possible, do a hard reboot by pressing the restart button or pressing and holding the power button on the PC case.
If the system reboots fine, trace your steps prior to the crash. If you installed new software, proceed to Step 7. Majority of system crashes are caused by conflicts and errors in the system registry.
Because the Windows Registry is a complex database of configurations and options associated with all programs installed in the machine including the Operating System, it is virtually difficult to identify potential errors manually. Open the Web browser and connect to the Internet.
Download and install a registry cleaner. Once completely installed, launch the registry cleaner and initiate a registry scan.
The registry cleaner will attempt to fix any problems found in the system registry keys and would usually prompt the user for a preferred action once an encountered error cannot be resolved. Allow the scanning and cleaning to finish and reboot the machine.
The system registry should now be clean. As a preventive measure, regularly scan and clean the registry at least every two weeks.
If the crash was caused by a newly installed program, boot into Safe Mode by pressing the F8 key on the keyboard during the reboot process.
Select 'Safe Mode' from the Operating System boot option. This will ensure that only the essential components required by the system will be loaded.
Click on the 'Start' button and select the 'Control Panel' option. In the Control Panel window, choose the 'Add/Remove Programs' category.
The next screen will display all the currently installed programs in the machine. Select the program that caused the crash and click on the 'Change or Remove' button.
Follow the prompt to complete the uninstall process. Reboot the machine in Normal Mode.
Repeat Step 4 to make sure that the system registry remains healthy and clear of orphaned registry keys.