MadSci Network: Computer Science

Re: Why do computers freeze?

Date: Sun May 14 17:39:21 2000
Posted By: Bonnie Tam, Research technician
Area of science: Computer Science
ID: 942862788.Cs


Computers can freeze for a variety of reasons.  If you're using software 
when your computer "crashes," it might be due to a bug or problem in the 
program.  Some programs make heavy use of memory and don't release all the 
memory assigned to it when the program closes.  Then when you start up 
another program, the computer might not have all the memory it needs and 
your computer crashes.  Over time, your computer's amount of fragmented 
memory can increase to a point where your computer runs very inefficiently.

There could also be other problems with incompatible hardware such as a 
video card or sound card that doesn't work well with the main board.  Also, 
operating systems such as Windows 95 and Windows 98 have a "registry" that 
controls Windows programs.  Registry damage can cause your computer to 
freeze or send you error messages.  Another cause of crashes is bad drivers.  
Sometimes drivers have bugs in them.  Often, users are not notified of fixes 
although patches can be found on the internet if you suspect a bug in 
certain driver.


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