Most of us use computers in order to help us out with something. Whether that is some productivity related application, communication logistics or just plain old entertainment, we have access to one of the most versatile and powerful tools that have been available to man.
This is all thanks to the relatively fast developments in the field of computing. Every single part of what constitutes a computer has been improved by leaps and bound as the years roll on:
- Processors are measured in Gigahertz instead of Megahertz. They are also smaller and more complex, allowing for more flexibility and power when performing the tasks required of them by modern users.
- Monitors are no longer Cathode Ray Tube screen, but have switched to LCDs and LEDs. There is also the not-so-small fact that most monitors these days are capable of displaying HD resolutions at an affordable price.
- Dedicated GPUs have also become less expensive, relatively speaking. They are still worth a pretty penny, but are capable of pushing some incredible graphics compared to their predecessors.
- RAM (Random Access Memory) is now really cheap and really fast. Nowadays you can buy 16 Gigabytes of RAM for half or even a quarter of the price that 16 Megabytes would have cost at the beginning of the 90s.
- Operating Systems have also evolved enormously. From the command line interfaces of MS DOS and PC DOS (to name two popular ones) to the sleek, responsive and increasingly user friendly (not to mention the fact that Microsoft actually gave their latest OS to users who had the previous version for free).
In this article, we will centre on the last one of the items on that list. We’re going to take a look at some of the most common system errors that can cause crashes on Windows machines and some of the ways you can try to fix them.
- POST Beeps. POST stands for Power-On Self-Test, and your PC performs it every single time you turn it on. Normally you would hear it beep once and go on its merry way. When there’s a problem it’ll beep more times in an attempt to communicate the problem to the user.
These can range from badly seated RAM to a no longer functional GPU.
The number of beeps and their duration are the way your PC tells you what is wrong. Unfortunately, these beeps change depending on the motherboard’s manufacturer and BIOS version, but a quick internet search should get you the “translation” codes for it
- Virtual Memory Too Low. Quite a common problem that people encounter, it could be because there’s a program or process that’s either leaking memory like crazy or using up too much of it for a variety of reasons. this can be solved in one of two ways: either buy more RAM or increase the virtual memory by changing the PageFile options:
o Control Panel
o Click on “System” and then “Security”.
o Click on “Advanced system settings”
o From the Advanced tab, inside the performance pane, click on settings. It is suggested to have the size of PageFile about 1.5 to 2 times your RAM memory.
- System crashes. If the drivers become terribly outdated, there’s a high chance that at some point they will not only fail to properly communicate with your machine, but cause a conflict. This will (if you’re using a Windows PC) inevitably leave you staring at a blue screen with no clue as to what happened. This is especially true of video drivers, as one of the most common crashes Windows users experience is actually related to the GPU’s drivers being outdated, so pay especially close attention to it.
- Device errors: If a device suddenly stops working, simply go to the device manager and:
o Locate the device that is giving you trouble
o Right click on it and go to “properties”
o Click on the “update driver” button and see if that makes it work.
o If it doesn’t, click on “Device Status” and look for an error code.
o Paste this code into your browser to find possible solutions to it.
- Fatal Exception errors: These can be quite nerve wracking. If for some reason a program doesn’t get its request fulfilled, you can get errors that say “unhandled exception” and the program will hard crash. In the worst-case scenario, your whole computer will hard crash and shut itself down. Each of these errors will however generate an error code that you can look at (hopefully the PC won’t have shut down at the moment), jot down and then go to Microsoft’s official web site. Once there you can find a veritable trove of articles and information for every existing error code there is, which will hopefully help you solve your problem.
On a final note, if you’re uncomfortable with having outdated drivers but don’t want to look for the correct ones yourself try SafeBytes DriverAssist! (www.driverassist.com). With this handy lightweight program you get all the benefits of always having your drivers completely up to date, without the hassle of actually having to do it yourself!
Here are some of DriverAssist features:
- Automatic Driver Installation. You have no need to do anything else with Driver Assist other than install it onto your PC; the sophisticated software does all the work for you.
- Massive driver database always ensures you can identify hardware, even when Windows can’t!
- Smart Driver ID. The Driver Assist software is based on sophisticated technology that automatically detects all of the appropriate PC drivers in a matter of seconds. It will then match them with the latest available version, and update every driver required by your system with a compatible version on a regular basis.
- Full driver back-up and restore. Driver Assist helps you backup all of your data and restore your machine to the time when it was previously working if you encounter any problems.
- Enhanced USB management. Driver Assist also helps you manage USB devices. There is no need to worry about safely removing hardware with Driver Assist, as it makes the ejecting process and safely removing hardware from your PC extremely straightforward.
- 24/7 customer support. SafeBytes is on call 24/7 to assist you with any problems that you might encounter.