If you have worked on a computer for any length of time, you know that computer errors can crop up just when you are on a deadline and can shut down your entire system. Computer errors can even corrupt your data to the point where it can’t be recovered. Unfortunately, computer errors cannot be avoided 100% of the time, but they can be prevented to a certain extent. Knowledge is power and knowing what causes a computer error can go a long way toward preventing a computer crash.
The Cause Of Computer Errors
How you use your computer has very little to do with the cause of a computer error. Often there is a conflict between the commands that are running at any given time. A computer operates from a series of commands being performed in a specific way. Most of the time things run smoothly. But there are times when a command from one program will conflict with a command from another program. We all like to multi-task and there are some programs that will conflict with other programs reaching for the same resources – then a collision occurs.
Let’s take a look at an example. All software comes with a specific list of requirements that must be met in order to run within a specific operating system. Always verify that you meet the minimum requirements before you load the software on your computer. (Sort of like reading the directions first, which some of us don’t like to do.) Many programs will not run on older operating systems such as Windows XP or Vista. The program may appear to load just fine, and then when you try to use the software, a problem raises its ugly head and you have a computer crash.
Another cause of computer errors is insufficient memory. When you install new software the instructions will inform you of minimum memory requirements. In today’s world, most computers come loaded with plenty of memory, but it doesn’t hurt to check when you are adding new software. The same holds true for disk space. A program may run fine for several months and then as your computer fills up, a problem is triggered when the program tries to access the space on your hard drive and cannot find what it needs.
There are many programs that share common files and an error will happen when these files are not kept up to date. For example, let’s say you are running a program and it is humming right along. Then you load another program that shares a file with the first program and that file is not current. When the second program tries to run, you will have a problem when the second program attempts to access the out-of-date files. A solution is to download any updates to the program that are usually located on the program’s website. Also, uninstalling a program can cause problems with other programs. If you get a message that a file is shared when you are uninstalling, do not delete the file.
Another common cause of computer errors is drivers that are out of date or an incorrect version. Again, keeping your computer current with all drivers, patches and downloads can help avoid errors. Microsoft provides assistance on their website for updating their programs and drivers. You have probably gotten a message when you reboot your computer that certain programs need to be updated; take the time to update them at that time and avoid the temptation to hit the “remind me later” button.
We have only scratched the surface of the possible computer errors that can happen, but we tried to cover the most common problems. Then next time you get an error, don’t panic! Give PcRx a call and we can help you fix the problem and recover any lost data.
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