Why does Windows crash? Check out these following software issues & hardware issues.
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Windows XP and Windows 2000 are both supposed to be (and typically are) much more stable than Windows 9x/Me, but there are still things that can bring down the entire system in a heartbeat, displaying the BSD (Blue Screen of Death) or simply restarting. If you're lucky, it only ruins your day. More than likely, you're in for several bad days followed by a few stressful weeks or months. After all, systems rarely fail only once. Rather, they keep crashing until you find the cause and fix the problem. Go over this checklist and see if any of these apply to you.
Why does Windows crash? Software issues.
To date, Windows has been used most commonly on the x86 processor. The x86 implements a protection mechanism that lets multiple programs run simultaneously without stepping on each other's toes. This protection comes in four levels of privilege or access to system memory and hardware. Two of these levels are commonly referred to as kernel mode and user mode.
Kernel mode is the most privileged state of the x86. Both the Windows OS and drivers are considered trusted, and, therefore, run in kernel mode. This ensures unfettered access to system resources and the ability to maximize performance. Other software is assigned to user mode, the least-privileged state of the x86, restricting direct access to much of the system. Applications, such as Microsoft Word, run in user mode to guard against applications corrupting system-level software and each other.
Although kernel-mode software is protected from applications running in user mode, it is not protected from other kernel-mode software. For example, if a driver erroneously accesses a portion of memory that is being used by other software (or not specifically marked as accessible to drivers), Windows stops the entire system. This is called a bug check or a crash, and Windows displays the popularly known Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). About 95% of Windows system crashes are caused by buggy software (or buggy device drivers), almost all of which come from third-party vendors. The remaining 5% is due to malfunctioning hardware devices, which often prompt crashes by corrupting memory contents.
Another little-known fact is that most crashes are repeat crashes. Few administrators can resolve system crashes immediately. As a result, they typically happen again and again. It's common to see weeks and months pass before the answer is found. By solving a crash immediately after the first occurrence, you can prevent time-consuming and costly repeat crashes.
Why does Windows crash? Hardware issues.
A bad (or insufficient) power supply is the most common cause for random crashes, especially if you have a lot of cards, drives, or fans, or have a dual-processor motherboard. A 350W or 400W power supply is recommended if you're experiencing this problem.
A mix of FAT32 and NTFS drives
If you have more than one hard disk, and there are different file systems on each one, try converting them all to NTFS.
Audio Card Drivers
Try removing your sound card, or at least uninstalling and then reinstalling the drivers.
If you have a USB hub, try eliminating it and see if that solves the problem (especially if you have a USB-based Palm cradle and your system crashes every time you hotsync).
A computer will crash if the processor overheats. Make sure the CPU fan/fans are working, and that the processor temperature (read in the BIOS screen) is within normal limits. Make sure your computer case has adequate ventilation.
A bad memory module can cause this problem. Try removing one of the modules (if applicable) to see if that solves the problem; rotate through all modules until you've found the culprit. Note that some computers require memory to be installed in pairs, so, for example, if you have four modules, you'll have to remove two (no more, no fewer) for this test.
Note: these things aren't necessarily problems in and of themselves, so if you're not experiencing random crashes, don't waste your time solving problems that aren't there.
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