Windows has crashed: Main causes and solutions

When we see that Windows has crashed we do not always know how to react, and it is normal since we do not know why the crash has occurred and our nerves can end up playing a trick on us. In most of the cases, we end up pounding the keyboard overwhelmed by frustration, and in the end we end up by force a system reboot, or pay for it and turn it on.

If we force a reboot or shutdown of the computer when Windows has locked up we run the risk that the computer will stop working properly. If this happens, we will most likely end up having to reinstall the operating system, and if that happens we may lose important data or information. Therefore, it is best to try to recover the system without forcibly resetting or shutting it down. It is not always possible, but we do not lose anything by trying.

Before talking about the possible solutions that we can address to recover a computer when we see that Windows has crashed, it is necessary to deepen, in a clear and direct way, in the most frequent causes that are behind these crasheswithout these we will not have the necessary basis to understand each possible solution.

Windows has crashed: Why? Discovering the causes

A Windows-based PC that is properly maintained, and kept in good condition, is less prone to crashes than one that does not receive such care. This is very important, but it is also true that this will not make it immune to this type of problem. Normally, one of the most frequent causes of crashes in a PC that is well cared for are usually the hardware incompatibilities, although problems can also occur arising from the use of drivers that create conflicts, for example.

At the end, no team is completely safeso let’s take a detailed look at the most common problems that can cause a Windows-based PC to crash, and then assess the key solutions for each of these causes. As always, if you have any questions you can leave them in the comments.

1.-Incompatible hardware

Windows has crashed

RAM is often one of the most important sources of conflict, especially on relatively old computers.

And in this case we also include the peripheralsas these can also end up causing problems, especially when used in conjunction with dedicated software, such as function control or lighting applications.

Hardware incompatibilities are usually very easy to identify, because it is a problem that usually occurs immediately or shortly after a component or peripheral change. For example, if we see that Windows has crashed shortly after installing two new RAM modules it is quite clear, and the same would apply to any other hardware change that leads to a similar situation.

However, there may be other cases in which this is not so obvious, such as when a hardware change leads to a slight incompatibility initially, but after some time leads to a severe incompatibility which leads us directly to see that Windows has crashed.

2.-Malware infection

This is a fairly frequent problem, in fact not long ago I had to help a family member because his computer had been infected with an annoying malware that was mild in terms of damage to the computer, as it was not aimed at deleting data or “destroying” the system, but merely reduced its functionality to continually taking you to a web site to buy a supposed remedy to the problem he had created for himself. When he tried to break the loop, the computer would crash.

In the end he can clean the system and do an antivirus scan by booting in safe mode. Subsequently, I did a normal boot, a backup and reinstalled the operating system, wiping the drive completely clean. He was lucky, as he had important photos on his computer that he did not want to lose.

Not everyone is so lucky when infected with malware. There are many types of security threats, but if your computer was working fine and you notice that, overnight, it starts to go wrong for no apparent reason, you should rush to perform a comprehensive security analysis.

3.-You are asking a lot of the team

Let’s be honest, this is something that has happened to many of us on more than one occasion, and I’ll tell you a personal anecdote to break the ice. I remember when I installed Quake III on my 133 MHz Pentium and tried to run it, I wanted to test how it went since, other games for which in theory I did not meet the requirements, such as Resident Evil 2, worked quite well in the end. What can I say, it was an absolute mistake, because when I launched the executable it loaded the startup menu and it locked up my PC.

It was totally normali was running a game that required a 233 MHz Pentium MMX CPU, 64 MB of RAM and a 3D accelerator graphics card on a 133 MHz Pentium-based machine with 32 MB of RAM and a basic 3D card with 4 MB, although I admit I got excited when I saw the startup menu.

Well, this is a problem that still occurs today. If we take our PC to the extreme and ask it for much more than it can giveif we take our PC to the extreme and ask too much of it, we are likely to find that everything is extremely slow and it is almost impossible to use the PC, or that Windows has crashed.

4.-Conflicts at the level of drivers, or by updates

Windows has crashed

Keeping the system up to date and using the latest drivers is ideal in most cases, but this does not mean that we will always be guaranteed a good experience. When we are the first to update we always run the risk that something has gone wrong, and that it has been overlooked. We may also find that the newest thing clashes with something relatively old, and that we find what no one wants to see, that Windows has crashed.

I am a strong advocate of updates, that they represent a clear way to create value, but after suffering in my flesh, and on more than one occasion, all the problems that can give an update or a driver that have not been properly tested before reaching the end user, I always recommend the same update, but with headwaiting first to see how this new update or these new drivers behave.

Now that Windows uses a service model, focused on periodic updates, rather than a product model, we need to be more careful than ever about upgrading and installing new drivers. Yes, it is good to update, but leaving a little leeway so that we don’t become “beta testers”.

5.-Errors and bugs at the software level

This is a rather general category in which we can enter a wide variety of problems, including from the installation of programs, applications and games that present some kind of error or serious incompatibility to those cases in which the application simply stops working suddenly and crashes completely.

Typically, if Windows has crashed due to such a failure, the situation is usually not serious and getting out of it is quite simplehowever, we can also encounter complicated cases, such as when an application crashes but continues to consume such a high rate of resources that we can barely move the mouse.

In extreme cases, this situation can lead to a blue screen of deatha topic on which we have already published a guide that is very good to bring up in this article. In it you will find information about blue screens in Windows 10: what they are, what they mean and how to interpret them.

Windows has crashed: How can I fix it?

Windows 10

We already have clear the most important reasons why Windows can suffer a crash, so now we are ready to enter to see the possible solutions to each of these problems. However, before we start I remind you that if the blocking that your computer has suffered does not allow you to do anything at alland if you do not get any response from basic keystrokes such as “Alt + Tab” or “Ctrl + Alt + Delete”, your only option is to force a restart.

The first thing we should try, if we find that Windows has crashed, is to open the “Task Manager”. We can do this by pressing “Ctrl + Left Shift + Esc”, a shortcut that will take you directly to it. If we were in a game, we can also try “Alt + Tab”, a keyboard shortcut that will allow us to switch applications and exit the locked game.

If we have chosen to minimize the application or the game that has caused us to crash, we can do the following right-click on it in the taskbar to force it to close. In case this does not work, we go to the “Task Manager”. Through it we will be able to do many things that will help us to get out of the way when Windows has crashed, such as:

  1. You can search for the program that caused the crash and force it to close. They are usually identified with a  “Not responding”.
  2. We can also display the programs or applications that are consuming a lot of resources, or that have important components like rAM or CPU at 100% usage and close them to “free” the computer and overcome the lockout.
  3. In the ⠓performance” tab we can also visualize possible hardware abnormalities and erroneous behaviors.
  4. If we do not quite know what to do, or if we have tried the above but are unable to resolve the situation completely, we can press “Ctrl + Alt + Del” and click on the “on/off” icon to safely restart the computer. We may have to force close some applications in the process.

Windows has crashed: Main causes and solutions

Another option that usually works quite well when Windows has crashed due to a conflict at the driver level is to press  “Win + Ctrl + Shift + B”. This keyboard shortcut is not very well known, but it is used to solve problems generated by the graphics card drivers. When executed, a restart of these drivers is performed, we will momentarily lose the screen signal and then everything will return to normal. This does not affect the applications we have open, nor will we lose information, but only works with Windows 8 and higher versions.

In case none of the above works for you, the best thing to do is to try to save all the information and data that you may lose when you restart your computer Once you have done this, reboot your PC by following step number 4. If you are afraid that after the reboot your computer will become unusable and you do not have a backup done, you can try to minimize applications and move around with the file explorer if you cannot exit to the desktop to try to make a backup on the spot.

To do this, you just need to press at the same time the windows and “E” keys on your keyboard at the same time. Pressing them twice will open the explorer in two windows, which will allow you to easily make a backup copy using the classic drag-and-drop method. In many cases this is a very useful solution, since it usually works even if Windows has suffered a crash due to any of the five causes we have seen.

Once you restart your computer, it is essential to that you resolve any software or hardware incompatibilities, as well as any other errors that may have been behind the Windows crash. Reinstalling applications or games, updating drivers or reverting to previous versions and replacing unsupported hardware are the quickest and easiest options.

Reinstalling Windows: A radical but effective solution

reinstall windows

With the simple use of the computer, and the changes that we make at the hardware level, the Windows system registry is filling up with things that, in the end, can end up giving problems and that a simple registry cleanup can’t really solve. It is true that there are programs that can be of some use in this regard, but in the end there comes a point where it ends up being best to do a reinstall of the operating system.

Think, for example, when you change graphics cards. If you use models of the same brand, NVIDIA or AMD, there is no relevant change in the system that can generate conflicts or performance losses, but if you switch from AMD to NVIDIA, or vice versa, it would be ideal to make a reinstallation of the operating system It is not essential, but it would be recommended.

On the other hand, when a much more profound change occurs, e.g when changing the motherboard and the CPU of the equipmentif we want to make sure that everything is going to be fine, it is essential to reinstall the operating system. Moving from an Intel CPU to an AMD CPU, or vice versa, with the corresponding change of motherboard and not reinstalling Windows is “playing Russian roulette”. If you want to take the opportunity to make the leap to Windows 11 but you are not sure how to do it, do not worry, in this guide you will find everything you need.

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