When a computer crashes, you’re most likely to get a Blue Screen of Death or a freezing screen, leaving you no choice but to force it to restart. It can be the worst part of the day when the crash causes us a great loss of the data or files we’re working on.

Why does the computer crash? Is it not good enough? Don’t blame it too early. Let’s go through the following troubleshooting guide and you’ll find out how to sort out the crashing issue and help your computer work better.

  1. Cool down your computer
  2. Check the hardware connections
  3. Update your device drivers
  4. Scan and repair system files
  5. Scan for hard disk bad sectors
  6. Defragment your hard drive

Before we start troubleshooting, please scan for malware or virus using an anti-virus program, as the computer crashing issue is commonly caused by malware or virus infections. After that, proceed with the tips below.

1. Cool down your computer

In a computer system, heat is generated as it operates, but too much heat can damage the system and cause it to crash. Therefore, once you encounter a system crash, make sure that your computer is running in a cool environment, as higher room temperature can contribute to a PC overheating. Also, check that the cables are properly organized to help with better airflow. Other than that, built-up dust, especially blockages that affect your fans, can cause PC overheating, and thus, results in a computer crash.

If this is the case, clean your computer with compressed air every few months. It is recommended that you consult relevant documentation, or ask a technician for help when opening the case and cleaning your system, as doing so may violate the warranty.

When your computer temperature goes down, check if the issue persists. If it still crashes, move on to the next solution.

2. Check the hardware connections

Sometimes, a problematic external hard drive or memory card, an incompatible USB device, or even a faulty wired game controller can trigger the system crash right when they’re connected to your computer. To prevent this, try to use your computer without any peripheral devices and see if the computer works properly. If so, connect each of the peripheral devices one at a time until the crashing issue occurs again, and we can immediately determine which one is to blame and needs repair.

Also, check that all the cables are connected properly, and the hardware components are firmly seated. For example, if the graphics card or the memory bar is loose, which is most often caused by vibrations or movements of the computer, the poor connection can cause the whole system to crash.

3. Update your device drivers

If there’s no loosening of your hardware and your computer still crashes, one of the first things you should do is to update your device drivers like the graphics driver, since an up-to-date driver always ensures the most optimal user experience and eliminates bugs that may occur.

To update your display card driver, for instance, here’s what you can do (please note that the following screenshots are taken on Windows 11, but the instructions work on Windows 10 as well):

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows key and X at the same time, select Device Manager.
  2. Double-click to expand the category Display adapters. Then right-click your graphic card driver and click Update driver (the name of the device can be different on your computer).
  3. Then click Search automatically for updated driver software.
  4. Wait for Windows to find the latest driver available for you.
  5. When the driver update is done, restart your computer for the change to take effect.
  6. Then check and see if the problem is fixed.

If Windows says that it’s already found the latest driver for you, so no newer drivers are found, then you should consider updating your drivers in a different way with the help of Driver Techie.

Its ever-growing driver database allows you to always have access to the latest device drivers that you need. More importantly, Driver Techie simplifies the driver update process, so all it takes is just 3 clicks (for Pro users), and all your drivers are updated.

To use Driver Techie to find you the latest drivers:

  1. Download and install Driver Techie, then launch it.
  2. Click Scan Now.
  3. After the scan, select all the drivers you need to update and click Update All. Then all your drivers will be updated automatically without you having to do anything else.

Please note that Update All is available for Pro subscribers only, otherwise, you can only manually update the driver one at a time. To see how to manually update the drivers one by one, please check this post.

If you’re a Pro user of Driver Techie, and need our technical support to help with the computer crashing problem, please feel free to contact <support@drivertechie.com>.

4. Scan and repair system files

Another possibility is that there are files corrupted or missing on your system. This can also cause your computer to crash frequently, especially when a Blue Screen of Death occurs. In this case, doing a System File Checker scan would help. Here are the steps:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R together to invoke the Run prompt, type cmd, and press Shift, Ctrl, and Enter together to launch the Command prompt.
  2. Paste the following command lines and press Enter to execute:
    sfc /scannow

  3. Wait until the verification is 100% complete. The scan results will be shown after this process is finished.
  4. Reboot your computer for changes to take effect.

Now, check if the problem persists. If so, proceed with the next tip.

5. Scan for hard disk bad sectors

Where there is a hard disk bad sector, Windows will be unable to read or write files, causing the hard disk to be stuck and dead, and as a result, the whole system crashes and data is lost. Therefore, it’s necessary to check that your hard disk is working well.

Before we check for hard disk bad sectors, please restart the computer and do not open any files or applications on your hard drive, since the drive should be locked when doing the hard drive scan. Then, you can use the CHKDSK command as follows:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R together to invoke the Run prompt, type cmd, and press Shift, Ctrl, and Enter together to launch the Command prompt.
  2. Paste the following command lines and press Enter to execute:
    CHKDSK /r

    If you’re asked to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts, input Y and press Enter, and then restart your computer. This command will locate bad sectors and recover readable information on your hard disks. Note that this command may take a large amount of time to complete.
  3. Once CHKDSK finishes, restart your computer.
  4. If there are too many bad sectors on your hard drive or if they cannot be fixed, we recommend you replace or upgrade the hard drive.

Now, check if your computer works properly. If not, continue with the next solution.

6. Defragment your hard disk

Fragmentation can occur if you use your hard drive for a long period of time, increasing the drive’s workload and slowing down or even crashing your computer. It is advisable to try defragmenting a hard drive partition by using the Disk Defragmenter in Windows. This will prevent your computer from crashing, and make your disks and drives work more efficiently.

To do this, follow the steps below (Note that you might need an administrator password or confirmation to complete):

  1. Close all the programs on your computer first. (It’s better to do a system restart.)
  2. Click the Start button, type Disk Defragmenter in the search box, and then click Defragment and Optimize Drives from the search results.
  3. Under Status, select the disk you want to defragment. If you’re not sure whether or not a disk needs to be defragmented, just click Analyze.
  4. Once the disk analysis finishes, check the Current status column and see if the percentage of fragmentation is above 10%. If it is, do the defragmentation.
  5. Click Optimize. This may take some time to finish.

It’s highly recommended to run the CHKDSK command before you defragment your hard disk, as a disk that contains errors cannot show up under Current status in Disk Defragmenter. When complete, restart your computer and you should be able to use your computer without the crash issue. If you have any ideas to share, please feel free to leave a comment down below.