Oh No, My Computer Crashed!

What to Do When a Computer Crashes

A computer crash can be one of the most devastating things that can happen in one’s business. It can slow down production, mean loss of saved material or contacts and be time consuming to recover or recreate the material lost. And, that’s if you are a small entity. On a larger scale, a computer crash can mean significant loss of revenue and data. But the amount of loss due to a computer crash often has to do with “what” it is that crashed.

The phrase, “computer crash” can usually be classified as one of the following types:

  • Application crashes caused by trying to execute machine instructions with applications that are blocked from a particular resource; attempting to perform I/O operations on hardware devices that it doesn’t have access to; or endeavoring to pass invalid arguments to system calls.
  • Web server crashes
  •  Operating system crashes

Of course, the next logical question many ask is, “Exactly what caused my pc to crash?” Good question! The most common causes are having an outdated computer, a virus, a corrupted computer program, or a problem with the computer’s memory. So what should/can you do about a computer crash? Here are some tips:

  1. Take a deep breath, and then write down word for word any error messages. This can be very helpful if you need to speak to a technical support person.
  2. Restart your computer, then open any documents you were working on when it crashed, to see what, if anything, was lost.
  3. If your pc will not start, or it starts but Windows does not open, try starting your computer using Last Known Good Configuration.
  4. Download CCleaner from Piriform, then launch the cleaner and initiate a registry scan. This will clean the registry and attempt to correct any problems found in system registry keys and typically prompts you for a preferred action once an error has been encountered and cannot be resolved. Once the registry is cleaned, reboot your computer. As a preventative action, regularly scan and clean the registry at least once every two weeks. It is not recommended that one simply do a Web search for a registry cleaner, as you never know what you will get. It is best to stick one from Piriform.
  5. Should the crash have been a result of newly installed software, boot into Safe Mode (key F8) so that only essential components required by the system will be loaded. Click on the “Start” button and choose Control Panel, then select the Add/Remove Programs option to pull up a list of all the currently installed programs. Select the program that caused the crash and then click the Change or Remove option. Follow the directions to finish the uninstall process.
  6. Reboot the machine in Normal Mode.
  7. Repeat step 4, to make sure that the system registry remains healthy, and that there are no orphaned registry keys.
  8. If all else fails, take your computer in to a pc repair technician. It is also recommended that, if possible, you back up your hard drive’s data frequently to avoid significant loss in the event of a crash.

Having your computer crash can be a frightening thing. You immediately think of the worst- lost data, the expense and time involved, and a dozen other concerns that are related to your home or business’ needs. But, a computer crash doesn’t have to mean disaster. Use these steps, and you can often be right back on track. Of course, in the event that you feel out of your league with recovering from a computer crash, give the pros at Computer Renaissance a call or come see us, and we will be happy to help to look at your pc and do our part to get it working again.

Call 678-214-0200