How to Fix PC Crashes

by Tricia Goss

Perhaps your computer had been functioning just fine, but suddenly has started to crash for no apparent reason. Or your PC may have been experiencing problems for a while and crashes are a daily frustration. Either way, you need to discover the underlying issue in order to fix this problem. Troubleshooting possible causes will help you determine and fix PC crashes.

Uninstall any software recently added. If your PC crashes coincided with the download of a program, such as a PC game, an antivirus program or other application, it might be conflicting with other software on your computer. Go to your computer's "Control Panel," open "Add or Remove Hardware" and select the program that you suspect is causing problems. Select "Uninstall" and follow the prompts to remove the program.

Check for updates. Drivers of any hardware connected to your PC, such as a printer, may require periodic updates to fix known issues that can cause computer crashes. Visit the website of the hardware manufacturer to check for free updates.

Update Windows regularly. In Windows XP, open the "Control Panel" from the "Start" menu, click "Automatic Updates" and select "Automatic." In Windows Vista, click the "Start" menu and type in "Updates." Select "Windows Updates" and click "Check for Updates." Click the "Install Now" button to download any available updates.

Scan your PC. Malware, such as viruses and spyware, can cause severe system problems that may cause your computer to crash. Run your PC's antivirus and spyware removal programs at least once a month. Remove or quarantine any malicious software found by your scans.

Run Scandisk on your PC, which will check for and fix errors on the computer's hard disk. Open "My Computer" or "Computer," depending on what version of Windows you are using. Right-click "Local Disk (C:)" and select "Properties." Go to the "Tools" tab and click the "Check Now" button under "Error Checking." You may need to restart your computer for Scandisk to begin.

About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for OfficeUsers.org. She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.