Everyone that owns a PC has experienced it at one time or another. You are typing along, minding your own business, likely working on something important, when, *Crash* your monitor displays a blue screen and your computer reboots.
Among gurus, this is known as the “Blue Screen of Death,” and it can be catastrophic. The blue screen of death almost always seems to happen at the most inopportune times and will surely result in the loss of any unsaved work you have going. So, we wonder, what causes these crashes, and how can you prevent them? The majority of PC crashes can be traced back to a few core problems.
First, the most common cause for a PC crash is driver incompatibility. Every piece of hardware in your computer has a software component, known as a driver. The driver is a set of instructions that tell the rest of your computer how to use the hardware. If you have problems with a driver, your computer is essentially receiving bad instructions and will try to use hardware incorrectly. This causes a crash.
Driver incompatibility often occurs just after changing out or adding new hardware, or after a driver update. Drivers can be updated using the build-in Windows Update utility, so you do not necessarily have to update them yourself manually for it to cause a problem. Seeking out the correct drivers for your hardware and ensuring that you are using the most up to date driver for everything in your computer is the best way to solve driver -related crashes.
Crashes can also be caused by spyware/adware or viruses. These are all malicious programs that can unintentionally be downloaded and installed on your computer from the internet. Spyware and adware have become so common, that just about one out of every two computer will be infected with some form of one or the other, and often both.
Adware is typically added with free or trial programs that you may find online. Viruses, which are more malicious and do more damage are most commonly encountered while downloading “pirated” or other illegal software.
Adware and spyware can be removed from your computer with anti-spyware programs. A lot of these can be obtained freely from the internet. Viruses usually require more advanced antivirus software, most of which must be purchased.
Another issue that can cause computer crashes is registry errors. These can be caused by many different things, but the most common is adding and removing lots of programs, usually over a long period of time. They can also be caused by trying to manually edit your registry.