Symptoms

This is an extremely irritating problem that occurs from time-to-time regardless of what program or application you’re using, or what task you are carrying out. Crash dumps cause computers to freeze suddenly, or in extreme circumstances display the ‘Blue Screen of Death’ which informs users that the machine has ceased to work correctly, and needs to be reset in order to function again. Naturally, this usually results in a user losing all work that they’ve completed if not saved.

There are numerous possible causes of such a crash, these include, but are not limited to, the following: an outdated or misbehaving device driver, a computer virus, a corrupted program, or a problem with the computer’s memory.

Resolution

This can be a difficult problem to resolve, as the potential causes are pretty much innumerable. However, the first thing to do which can come in handy is to write down any error messages that appear on the screen. Failing all else, these could be useful when speaking to technical support.

Next attempt to restart your computer. Assuming that this works, immediately open the program which you were last working with. Particularly if this was an Office application there should be the facility to recover at least some of your work.

If the computer does not start then there may be a more serious issue. The first thing to try is the Windows startup repair mode, which should begin automatically if your machine won’t boot up. During the process, you will probably be prompted regarding whether or not you wish to use a system restore point. This will restore your system back to a time before the crash when it was working. It is usually advisable to answer affirmatively to this prompt.

Once your computer is working again, you will be prompted to send a report to Microsoft regarding the problem. It can often be worth doing this, as it could be a software issue rather than one that is hardware-related.

If steps listed here have failed, you can attempt a factory reset. This is initiated by pressing a function key continually before your computer boots up, usually F11. It does vary depending on the manufacturer of your machine, so if pressing F11 is not working, type the manufacturer of your computer and factory reset into a search engine. You can save data from your computer on a USB drive, which can be purchased from any electronics or computer supplies store.

And if even a factory reset fails, as suggested some time ago, failing all else, you need to seek the assistance of technical support staff from the manufacturers of your computer.