5 Reasons Your Computer Might Be Crashing

Most of the time, crashes are only a minor inconvenience, but when they happen regularly, it's a signal that something is likely to be wrong. Below are five of the major causes of PC crashes and what can be done about them.

1. Viruses & Malware

From the early days of the internet, this has been a huge problem for computer users. The moment that your computer starts acting strangely, this should be a prompt to run a scan—they are simple to do and can be done in the background while other programs are being used. There is a lot of free and paid software available, and it's a good idea to have both an anti-virus and an anti-malware program on your PC. A common myth is that paid programs are better than free ones, when actually there are free options available that can keep a homer computer as protected and safe as it needs to be.

2. Corrupted Hard Drive

When something happens to the drive where all of your programs and files are stored, as well as the operating system itself, this obviously is bad news for the user. This is most likely to be the case if you notice that accessing certain files triggers the crash, or if your computer freezes or slows and you need to hit the power button to restart and get it going again. Clicking, popping and scraping you wouldn't normally hear are a signal that this may be the source of the problem.

3. Overheating Graphics Card or CPU

This is unlikely to be the case if you only use your computer for ordinary, day-to-day tasks like accessing your emails and the internet, but those who play games or render video may notice that crashes happen during this kind of resource-hungry activity, which suggests that overheating may be the cause. One telling signal is that the crashes are always accompanied by a very loud whirring, which is the sound of your fan(s) speeding up to try to cool the hardware down. You may need a better graphics card or CPU to handle your requirements, or alternatively, you can try to cool your computer down with upgrades such as a better fan, water cooling, or new thermal paste. Computer repair stores can do this for you.

4. Dust

Most people don't pay attention to what's happening inside of their computers, but inside the case, dust is accumulating all the time. If you haven't had a look inside your tower, it pays to crack it open and see if there's dust inside. If there is, you can purchase some canned air and spray it out. Dust jams the fans and seriously impacts the performance of the hardware, so this could prove to be an easy fix to a major problem.

5. Bad Drivers

This is less likely to be the cause now that modern operating systems keep track of drivers and automatically update them, but nonetheless, it pays to check before putting down any money on physical replacements or repairs. Check the details of your computer and use a search engine to find the drivers for your model of PC; manufacturers often have them available for download on their websites. If you have a customized machine, you will likely need to search individually for drivers for the individual parts, such as the GPU, the motherboard, the network, the BIOS, external media, disc drives, and the sound card.

For more help identifying the cause of your computer crashes, check out a computer repair company like Phoenix IT.