Why Does My Computer Crash All The Time?

1. Hardware Conflict

Computer hardware components each try to have their own unique IRQ (interrupt request channel) to communicate with the computer. However, when two hardware components accidentally use the same IRQ number, and the user tries to access both hardware components, a computer crash may occur. To check if you have a hardware conflict, go to the device manager by clicking the Windows key and R, then typing in devmgmt.msc and pressing enter. If there are yellow question marks on any of the hardware components, this may indicate a hardware conflict. Also, to see IRQ’s in use, click the Windows key and R, and type in msinfo.32 and press enter. Expand the Hardware Resources tab on the left side, and click on Conflicts/Sharing and/or IRQ’s.

2. RAM

Ensure that the RAM chips in your computer have the same access times and bus speeds to avoid your computer from crashing. Download and install speedfan (here) and then run the program and click on info to make sure that your RAM chips have the same access time. To check the bus speeds of your RAM, either open the computer and look at the RAM chips, or DOWNLOAD AND RUN THIS PROGRAM.

3. BIOS Settings

Pressing F2, F8, or Del immediately when you start up your computer should take you to the BIOS settings page. Look at the lower bottom of the screen and restore default values if possible. Restart your computer. Restoring default BIOS values ensures that any unstable performance enhancements are disabled from your system, so that you may run your computer normally.

4. Hard Drives

Bad hard drive health can lead to your computer crashing frequently, so defragment your hard drive and delete temporary files by going to My Computer, C, WINDOWS, and then the Temporary Internet Files folder. Also empty your Recycle Bin, use Scan Disk, and reduce Hardware Acceleration on your computer. All of these actions can help to prevent your computer from crashing.

5. Computer Viruses

Ensure that your computer has virus protection (refer to the Programs section of this website to download free anti-virus protection), and update it frequently. If your computer crashes due to viruses, either kill demanding processes by clicking Ctrl-Alt-Del when your computer starts up, which will bring you to the Task Manager. Click on the Processes tab, and then find processes that are taking up too much memory or processing power. Kill them (just make sure they’re User processes, not SYSTEM or LOCAL SERVICE or NETWORK SERVICE processes). Afterwards, run Quick Startup (which you can get here), and uncheck all the entries you do not require to start up that may be viruses. Also, you can repair windows with the Windows CD if the viruses seem overbearing, and running your computer in Safe Mode by clicking F8 just before Windows loads will bring you to a Windows that should be safer. From here or from a regular Windows session, you can try to load anti-virus programs or get an online scan. You can also find rogue files and delete them. Finally, cut your Internet connection by unplugging the cables or turning off the wireless connection, and stop any file sharing utilities and unnecessary programs from running!

6. Software

Some old or deleted software may leave registry entries that slow your computer down and may cause it to crash. Refer to the programs page of this website to download a REGISTRY CLEANER and also go to C, and then Program Files to ensure that uninstalled programs didn’t leave any useless files behind.

7. Overheating

All computers produce heat while they are running, especially computers that are overclocked or have been overclocked. Adequate heat protection is required in computers, or they may overheat and crash. To cool down your computer system, ensure that all hard drives and other components are tightly screwed into the system, and clean your computer regularly (refer to MAINTENANCE ARTICLE). Also, you can use Speedfan to increase the speed of any fans in your computer and to check your computer’s temperatures.

8. Power Supply Issues

A bad power supply can be a dangerous power supply that crashes frequently. To check for a good power supply that is a lot less likely to crash your computer, open your computer and see if the power supply will protect your computer from power spikes and surges. If not, you may want to consider replacing your power supply. Also, use an online power calculator (here), to see if you are overworking your computer’s power supply. Compare the wattage recommended by the online power calculator with the wattage of your power supply to see if you should replace it. For safety’s sake and to prevent the chances of data loss, I highly recommend buying a surge protector.

9. Software and Hardware Combinations

The nearly infinite software/hardware combinations possible for computers. Some computer programs just don't work with a certain video card and sound card combination, or some computer hardware components are just not compatible with a certain program. These kinds of problems are sometimes less obvious than the other problems just mentioned, but they are usually just as detrimental to your computer as the others.

10.Critical File Deletion

The deletion of critically important files. You can delete virtually all non-system files you created, but never delete something if you don't know what it does and it's in the computer's C: drive under WINDOWS. For example, you can delete the whole Music, Pictures, Games, Documents folders in your C: drive and broken shortcuts on your desktop, but don't delete the explorer application in C:\WINDOWS! Critical file deletion by user mistake or virus is another reason why computers may crash.

11.Bad Programming Practises

Software bugs (bad programming errors that are not your fault) may also cause your computer to crash. For example, a computer program that could cause your PC to crash is preconfigured to use no virtual memory (which is like RAM from your hard drive that makes sure you can load many programs and intense applications at the same time on your computer; an article on virtual memory is coming soon). Anyhow, since this program is programmed to use no virtual memory, it divides any virtual memory allocation you currently have on your computer by 0. However, if there is no virtual memory to begin with, it tries dividing 0 by 0. Unfortunately, the answer to this calculation is infinity, so the computer will probably overheat, stall and crash.

12.Computer Hardware

Computer hardware components that are getting old or have been used a lot may begin to fail and start creating hardware conflicts that make your computer crash. An especially common problem is a bad computer hard drive that is causing errors on your computer, because the computer is having trouble reading and writing to it. This easily causes your computer to freeze and then crash.

A computer system overload and/or virtual memory leaks are other reasons why your computer may crash (a computer system overload can cause the computer to calculate improperly when it tries to multi-task, then overheats, and then messes up with all the computer's threads and processes, meanwhile a virtual memory leak occurs when a program keeps taking too much of the computer's resources and this slows the computer down to a crawl and eventually causes the computer to crash).

All of these problems, one of these problems, or a combination of these problems is most likely to make your computer crash. The most common problems are overheating, hardware/software conflicts, computer hardware problems (including hard drives), and bad programming practises and viruses. The least common problems are: RAM, BIOS settings, Power supply issues, and critical file deletion.




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