Things that can crash your PC
Here are the main reasons your system could become unstable or even halt. 1. You have a hardware conflict Each device communicates with the …
Here are the main reasons your system could become unstable or even halt. Each device communicates with the other parts of your computer using intrerupt request signals. These are marked by IRQ numbers. FOr this to happen, each device must have an unique IRQ value. (ex: a floppy disk drive had the IRQ 6 normally).If you have many devices installed to your system, some of them can start share the same IRQ number. When you try to use both devices the same time, a crash can occur because Windows cannot handle the data.See your device status in Control Panel – System – Device Manager.Search for components with a yellow exclamation mark next to them. You can select the device and click Properties to see it’s assigned IRQ. If it’s written twice, two devices may be using it.A normal behavior in IRQ sharing is when an IRQ value is assigned to the device and to something called “IRQ holder for PCI steering”. This not leads to system instability.To resolve an IRQ sharing problem, reinstall the device (hardware ans software).The Basic Input/Output System (or BIOS) is the chipset that controls what happens with your hardware. If you get it’s settings mixed up, you can have undesired effects.The worst case scenario is when your computer won’t start anymore. If this happens, you must reset the BIOS’s memory (CMOS). TO do this, you need to reset a jumper on your motherboard. See your motherboard’s manual for this. Resetting the jumper can wipe out a BIOS password too.If you computer starts but it doesn’t act normally, enter the BIOS (press the key indicated for Setup at power on – usually Del or F2) and select the Default settings. These are the Factory settings that come by default with your motherboard. This kind of error occurs usually when you modify RAM parameters or video card settings.The RAM (random access memory) is a temporary memory used by your computer to make a fast data swap. Memory allocation problems lead usually to the Blue Screen of Death saying a Fatal Exception error occurred.This kind of errors appear when an application is not working properly and uses unaddressable zones of your RAM or if there is a hardware mismatch.Use RAM chips that are the same, in latency and frequency. Check for ECC and non-ECC and select all modules to have the same.Place the highest capacity module closest to the processor and always consult the motherboard’s manual or vendor’s website to see what’s the compatible memory for your configuration.Information is written continuously on your hard drive. This means that if you have a 10Mb file, it will occupy a 10Mb space, not 5 spaces of 2MB let’s say.Now if you write a 10Mb file and then another 20Mb file and delete the first, you have a 10Mb gap of free space on your disk. You can write there a file smaller or equal to 10Mb, and no more. This is called disk fragmentation (free space is scattered across the disk).Once in a while, its good to do a disk defragmentation (not very often, it causes disk fatigue; every 6 month let’s say it’s ok for medium usage). To do this, go to Start – Programs – Accessories – System Tools – Disk Defragmenter.Another good tool is Scan Disk. You can find it in the same place. This will scan your hard drive for write errors, like cross linked files or bad sectors (physical damage). This operation can be done once in a month as a precaution.For both you should use Task Scheduler to start them at night; it’s not a good idea to work on the computer while the hard drive is under maintenance.Another tip is to empty temporary folders from time to time and delete unneeded files. Try to keep at least 1GB of free space constantly on your hard drive for best performances.Viruses can make your system unstable or crash it. Try to update your antivirus (AND USE ONE) as often as possible; a daily update is the best of course if possible. Keep it enabled and do a full system scan once in a while as a precaution.Use spyware detection tools. Spyware usually slows down the computer until it becomes unusable in the worst case. Spyware uses your computer to send sensitive and private data to marketing companies or hackers.Also use a firewall to prevent applications from downloading data without your knowledge. A firewall also blocks network exploits that can crash your computer. As a security precaution, update your operating system. Use it’s auto update feature.The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is equipped with a fan that blows the heat away from it’s radiator. The fan is a mechanical device that can fail due to fatigue. If this happens, your computer may restart often or crash. If you don’t change the fan, it could finally harm the processor.This is your applicable to your power supply to. It’s fan can fail too, but this is indeed more rare.Fans usually start making loud noise when their lifetime is about to end.Be careful what power supply you use with your computer. If it’s overloaded (simply can’t provide enough power for your components) the system will not start or halt and restart often. If this happens, get a higher capacity power supply.A power supply can fail due to a spike on the electrical distribution network. A spike happens when the voltage goes higher than it should be. The best precaution against these kind of events if using an UPS with a surge protector.