Why does my PC crash constantly?

Question

I have had my computer for only a year and a half. Here recently every time I turn on my computer it loads Windows ME then it freezes up shortly after. No error messages appear. Also when the monitor goes into sleep mode it won't wake back up. I have used my recovery disk several times, sometimes it will work for an hour, sometimes 5 hours, but it always ends up freezing back up, and the monitor won't come back on. I ran my Dr. Watson and it says my taskbar is acting funny, and to solve the problem try exiting some type of media file. Any suggestions?

Answer

This question was answered on December 16, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Well, here's where I'd start.

First, I'd step back and see if the PC might be having problems due to overheating This could cause a PC to seize up Blocked ventilation or a dusty environment are both red flags.

Barring that, I'd look to see what kind of software is installed Your DR Watson message indicates you might be loading programs which are using up a lot of resources by cluttering up the task bar More than three or four icons lined up on the right hand bottom of the screen next to the clock is a red flag.

Also, I'd turn off any screen blanking present, and would suspect any mouse pointer software or screen savers which might be crashing your machine.

Be very careful about installing any helper programs from the internet which may run in the background I would install and run AdAware and run a couple of online virus checks Information about these can be found online.

I would open the device manager to see if there are any yellow and black event icons, indicating a hardware conflict I might even unplug the CD ROM drive cables, as this can cause a PC to run very slowly or lock-up if it is bad.

If none of that worked, I would be certain to reformat the PC hard drive before using the restore disks to reinstall the system Be sure to save any data which may be stored on the hard drive

Aside from that, your problems seem so far-reaching, and so generic, it is difficult to determine the cause in this format A trip to the repair shop may be in order.

Sorry I couldn't be of any more specific help.

RG

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Author

Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on December 16, 2002