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How can I Prevent a Computer Crash?

By Patti Kate
Updated May 17, 2024
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Some of the most effective ways to prevent a computer crash are to install a quality anti-virus program on your computer and avoid questionable websites that may harm your computer. Another thing you can do to prevent a computer crash is to never open files or attachments from unknown sources that may contain harmful or infected files. Scheduling routine maintenance for your computer, such as regular defragmentation and disk clean up, can help avoid crashes as well.

Occasionally, crashes that occur while surfing the Internet are inevitable and out of your control. This might include a website server crash. When this happens you can only wait until the server is back up and running, as this event has nothing to do with the operation of your computer. When your computer crashes, however, there could be a cause that may have been avoidable. In many cases, the files on your hard drive may have become infected by a computer bug, otherwise known as a computer virus.

Computer viruses enter your computer when you visit a website that poses a threat to your computer, open an email attachment that contains a virus, or download material from the Internet that contains harmful data. One simple way to avoid this is to install a decent anti-virus program on your system. Make sure your definitions are updated regularly, and be sure to run a systems check often. Be sure your anti-virus program includes an anti-spyware feature. Spyware can slow down your system by installing harmful malware as you surf the web, making your computer more vulnerable to crashes.

Never open an email attachment from an unknown source. This can cause your computer to become infected. If you are uncertain of the attachment, you can run a virus scan. To be completely safe, however, it is best to only open attachments from a source you are familiar with.

Checking your computer applications can help avoid a computer crash. You may be running too many programs at once, and your system may not be able to handle the immense load. If your resources are running low, you may risk a crash. If you have important files you do not want to lose in the event of a major computer crash, you should back up your files onto a disk or external hard drive.

If you are running an older version of an operating system, perhaps update to another system. If you want to stay with your current operating system, check the system's website for updates or patches to download. Staying updated will improve your security, thus helping to prevent computer crashes.

Many times, a computer tower is left in a dusty, poorly ventilated location. Poor ventilation can lead to a computer crash. Always allow enough space between a wall or other areas to allow proper air circulation. You should also clean the vents regularly to ensure dust and debris are not blocking the flow of air.

One crucial step you can take to avoid a computer crash is to be sure your system does not overheat. This is particularly a risk with a laptop computer. If you intend to use your laptop or netbook computer for an extended period of time, be sure to use some type of cooling device. A device that contains a fan can cool the system as you work, thus preventing crashes due to overheating issues.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Vincenzo — On Mar 31, 2014

@Melonlity -- but are the Linux and Mac operating systems really that secure or do virus programmers just target Windows because it's the most common OS on the planet? That debate has raged for years.

Still, Microsoft has taken some proactive steps to deal with viruses and such. When you buy a copy of Windows 8, Windows Defender is already turned on and running by default. That is a free app from Microsoft and demonstrates that the company is trying to root out problems instead of giving users the option of protecting their system with third-party scanners. It might not be the best virus protection program on the planet, but it is a step in the righ direction.

By Melonlity — On Mar 30, 2014

The operating system you choose is also important when it comes to system crashes due to viruses, spyware and malware. Linux is very secure when it comes to those as is Max OS X. Like it or not, most viruses infect Windows-based computers.

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