Computer Keeps Crashing: Top 3 Reasons Why it Happens

by Rod Dunne on December 9, 2010

in Articles, Hardware, Performance

Computer keeps crashing | Top three reasons why a computer crash occurs and how to fix the problem.
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A computer crash can occur due to a variety of hardware and software issues. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the checks I do when my computer keeps crashing along with some of the software and computer fixing techniques/checks that can help identify the root of the problem.

My major concern whenever my computer keeps freezing is the possibility of there being a hardware component failing inside the PC. For this reason, it is important to check the hardware to begin with before making any software checks to avoid the possibility of any data loss (e.g. if the computer crash is due to a failing hard drive).

#1: My computer keeps crashing due to overheating issues

The CPU and hard disk can easily begin to overheat if there are problems with the heat sink, fan filters or fans. The temperature can also arise inside the PC if the air inlets are being blocked (e.g. by dust or some other impediment).

You can check the internal temperatures of your PC via the BIOS menu (accessed as the system is starting up). Each BIOS menu will be different so you need to look out for diagnostics settings relating to the CPU temperature and fan speeds. Make sure the temperature is not approaching the automatic shutdown levels (this is one of the settings in most BIOS menus to protect your PC by shutting down once this reaches this temperature).

If the temperature is high then there are some additional things you can check or do:

  • Clean all air inlets of dust.
  • Open the PC and check that fan blades, the heat sink and fan filters are clear of dust and undamaged. You should also check that power connector cables to the fans are securely fastened.
  • Laptop users should make sure the PC is not on an uneven desk surface which could cause the vents on the underside of the computer to be blocked.
  • Keep the PC away from heat sources (direct sunlight or hot radiators).

#2: My computer keeps freezing because of bad sectors on the disk

The hard drive can develop bad sectors over time as result of shutting down the PC incorrectly, damage caused by broken read write heads or corruption to the disk management applications.

Your first priority should be to backup all your personal data in case a computer crash results in the hard drive never being readable again. You can then use Windows disk checking utility to analyze the hard drive sectors for signs of faults. This application will attempt to make repairs where possible, or will flag these sectors as off-limits for storing new files if repairs cannot be made.

You can find the disk checking utility by going to the properties section of your hard drive partition (go to the tools tab, error checking section).

#3: My computer keeps crashing because of registry corruption

The Windows registry file stores a huge volume of configuration data for applications and users and can easily become corrupted as software is installed/removed/updated and due to virus damage on the PC.

It is generally recommended against manually modifying this file if you don’t know what you’re doing. Instead, use a registry cleaner (e.g. XP Repair Pro)¬†or computer fixing software such as Reimage to automate the process of repairing the key settings.

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