You were in middle of typing an e-mail or playing your favorite game then the computer becomes slow, unresponsive then hangs up or displays a blue screen! and you wonder what in the world is going on inside the computer. If you are using windows operating system, don’t be surprised, welcome aboard to the world of error, hangups and blue screens of death.
One simple reason that can make a computer to hang is when its running on a low RAM. Of course windows xp recommends a minimum of 64MB of RAM but this must not be an excuse to install exactly 64MB or less unless the situation forces you to do so. Minimum RAM is just an assurance that you will see the windows logo and welcome screen but not a guarantee to install a RAM intensive game or software. The bottom line is upgrade upgrade upgrade. Check the type of RAM in your computer, S DRAM, DDR1 or DDR2 and buy a larger one of the same type or don’t complain the next time your computer hangs up in the middle of a demo. If you are on a budget, you can temporarily increase virtual memory. You don’t have to buy RAM, part of the hard disk will be used as virtual RAM. To set up virtual RAM go to System> advanced>performance settings>advanced>On virtual memory click change. There is initial size and maximum size, increase initial size to maximum size.
Another sure thing is to scan your computer for malware. A lot of malware installs themselves in the computer and run in hidden mode. Even if your system is running on a 1 or 2 GB RAM, it can become slow, unstable, hang up or display a blue screen of death. You can choose to buy a malware remover on the internet or go for the free ones first. For example smadav is a simple taken-for-granted antivirus but i have used it for some years to remove malware that great antiviruses like f-secure failed to detect. Smadav is free tool for removing malware, re-enabling the registry, task manager (malware disables the registry and task manager to enable them to run in hidden mode), hidden files, re-activating the command prompt and repairing windows registry. A bad registry can make computers to become slow or crash. I am not promoting malware removers or antiviruses here but I think somebody needs this kind of info not to mention a broke technician starting up a repair business with $0, H/she might need some free tools. AVG antivirus is also a good malware remover in its free edition, downloads at downloads.cnet.com or the official AVG site. Apart from removing malware, it also enables safe surfing on the internet. Blocking harmful site and detecting and blocking malware on websites. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to start windows task manager. Observe if there are any unwanted processes and applications running that are eating up your system resources, kill them immediately. Track them down delete or uninstall them. Mal-ware is also a common cause of blue screen of death. If windows welcomes you with a blue screen of death instead of a logon screen, restart, press and hold F8. This button takes you into safe mode. Scan the system in safe mode or remove any new device drivers you can also shut it down and remove any hardware you installed recently. Another solution is to repair the operating system. In case of windows, boot from xp setup disk. Keep looking at the bottom of the screen when you see press F6 to install…….. you press F7 and continue with the normal xp repair process.
If all these didn’t work, then blame it on the fan and heat sink assembly. Make sure the fan is running, if not, well replace it. Remove any dust and foreign particles between fan and heat sink, they act as insulators. Read my post on troubleshooting computer boot problems part I for more on heat build ups.