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What is a Crash

A crash is when a computer or similar device stops responding. There are literally an endless number of factors which can cause a computer to crash, but some of the most common include overheating, faulty hardware or a bad driver installation. Sometimes a crash ends with a blue screen (BSOD) error message which can provide some useful technical information as to why the computer crashed. Most of the time, however, a crash is simply when the computer stops responding, the mouse freezes and the keyboard doesn't work. The only way to start using your computer again is to press the reset button on the front of the case, since it's impossible to shut the computer down properly if it has completely stopped responding. It is important not to do this prematurely, however.

If your computer stops responding, it might not necessarily be a crash. Sometimes everything on your screen might freeze up and the computer might be completely unresponsive, though only for a short time. Problems like this are often caused by a specific program, usually due to a compatibility or installation problem. Before you reset the computer, you should try pressing CTRL, ALT and DEL on your keyboard, all at the same time. If your computer hasn't completely crashed, this should bring you back to the logon screen where you can open the task manager and close the unresponsive program manually. In many cases, when the computer stops responding in this way, Windows will present you with a more user-friendly solution, explaining the problem and letting you close down the offending program with a single click. Don't hard-reset the computer until you're sure that it has crashed.

Trying to figure out why the computer crashed can be hard work, especially if no error message is recorded in the Event Log, which it often isn't. If the computer started crashing just after installing a certain program or driver, then it's highly likely that that is where the problem lies. To remedy the issue, you should either run System Restore or manually uninstall the offending program or driver.

Crashes which apparently occur for no reason are quite often caused by overheating or faulty hardware. If your computer is randomly crashing and you simply cannot figure out why, then a faulty memory stick is often to blame. You should also make sure that your BIOS settings are reverted to factory default, since customizing BIOS settings can cause problems like this.


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