Coly Computer Help

Crashed computer

Don't panic!

Do not start frantically clicking things or changing settings you will inevitably make things worse. Sit down with a cup of tea and a note pad. Make sure you write down exactly what you were doing before the crash. Record carefully any error messages you have been getting. Write down when you last updated your anti virus and when you last scanned for viruses and spies. Write down the type of crash, is it a case of frequent repeated crashes or rare crashes, or has the machine died completely.

If you need to call in a technician and he thinks the problem is hardware, he can swap bits such as memory modules, hard drive, or the power supply unit until the cause is tracked down. He can remove the dust from the main chip and motherboard if he suspects over-heating.

Do not run System Restore until all the possible causes have been investigated. If all hardware causes have been eliminated then run a System Restore.

Do not format your hard disk and reload Windows until all possible causes have been investigated. If the most likely cause appears to be a corrupted Windows file, use your recovery disk to try a Repair instead of a full re-installation of Windows, this will leave your data intact. Corrupted Windows files can also be repaired by running the scannow command.








Go to top of page Go to top of page

Adrian West  © 2007 computer help, computer problems solved

A West web design  click here for an example

A crash may be a one-off. Restart the computer and if the crash does not occur again don't worry.

Repeatedly crashing: This kind of crashing can be due to so many things that it can take several hours to track down the cause.  Have you just installed a new program or a new piece of equipment? Try un-installing it and see if that cures the crashing.

A faulty power supply unit (PSU) may be the cause of repeated crashing.
Try fitting a replacement. PSUs cost from £12 to £20. Your local technician will have spare second-hand PSUs that he can try in your computer to prove a point.

Repeated crashes could be due to a faulty memory module, the computer could be over heating, or you have the wrong drivers for a particular program or piece of equipment.

If the computer switches itself off and then restarts itself. You can find clues to the cause by setting Windows XP so that it will give an error message instead of just shutting down. This error message should contain a clue to the cause.
Click Start-->Control Panel. Make sure you are in Classic view and not Category view.
Double click the icon labelled System .
In the next window, click the Advanced tab. Under the heading Start up and Recovery, click the Settings button. Under t he heading System Failure un-tick the box labelled Automatic Restart . Click OK and exit the Control Panel.

If opening a particular folder or program causes the computer to a crash, or causes a Send to Microsoft panel to appear, you need to examine the Event Viewer to track down the cause.
Click Start-->Control Panel. Double click the Administrative tools icon. Click the Event Viewer. In the left hand pane click Application. See if a particular item with red blobs with white crosses is repeated frequently, if so, write it down. Click the latest red blob with a white cross and write down the Faulting application details. Click the next one and do the same. Repeat this for between 3 and 5 red blobs.

Then access the website www.pcsadvisor/helproom. Register as a member (it is free). When your membership is accepted, go to the bottom of the help-room web page and enter your problem together with the details you wrote down. You will receive an email within one to three days. The email will  contain a link which you must click to see any answers to your problem. The people in the helproom are real whiz kids and they have helped me many times to solve unusual and tricky problems.
Jargon    Troubleshoot    How To...    About this site     Suggestion    Donation    Home Page