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How to deal with frustrating computer crashes

By Jean-Claude Elias - Aug 05,2020 - Last updated at Aug 05,2020

Experiencing a computer sudden crash or freezing is annoying and unpleasant. If it comes round once in a blue moon most of us can live with it, for all it takes to go past it is to do a machine forced shutdown and then a restart — a mere two to three minutes operation, depending on how powerful and fast the computer is.

Things get really frustrating when the freeze occurs repeatedly, and worst of all, when you are unable to tell why it is happening, what is causing the system to crash.

The complexity of operating systems, like Windows or Mac OS for example, the large number of software applications we install and run, uncertainties pertaining to networks connections, the various hardware components that make a computer, and the all too frequent updates that are forced upon us, they all make troubleshooting and diagnosing a crash difficult, even for seasoned pros.

As for which of Windows or Mac OS crashes more frequently there is no consensus about it among the technical community. Naturally Windows aficionados believe that “their” system is definitely more reliable than Apple’s, and… vice versa.

Back to troubleshooting the possible reason of the crash.

One can always try to make note about when exactly the accident took place, what software was in use, if it was a USB flash drive that was inserted at that precise moment, a specific website that the user was browsing, a new software programme that you just installed, etc.

This does help and may lead to tangible results, but only in the smallest number of cases. In the largest number, however, this would leave you without the faintest idea about the cause of the crash and would only add to your frustration.

Trial and error also rarely helps, given the overwhelming number of possible cures: to remove and to re-install software, to refrain from using specific applications or tools, etc. Too long and not really practical!

If you are reasonably tech-savvy, googling the issue sometime may help, provided you can put it in clear, concise terms for your search: “My computer crashes every time I open Photoshop,” or “My computer freezes if I leave it unattended for more than one hour,” for example.

Then you also have to filter the results you would get this way, avoid without hesitation any advice that starts with “click here to solve your problem”, and make sure you understand and are able to apply anything that looks like a reasonable solution, one you can trust.

Asking for professional help, from an experienced technical person, usually is the safest way to go — with a stress put here on “experienced”. Indeed, even a smart IT techie may not be able to crack the case unless he has some years of experience in the field.

There is another approach that many have found easy, practical and efficient. It comes in the shape of a small software utility tool aptly called Who Crashed. It is legally free and easily available on the web. Once downloaded and installed, you leave it there, waiting for the next crash to happen.

Once and if the crash takes place again, you just restart the computer and run Who Crashed before doing anything else. The smart app starts by analysing your computer, and in more than 90 per cent of the cases it will be able to tell you what exactly caused your machine to stop working, paving the way for a clear remedy and sure corrective action plan.

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