Recovering From a Computer Crash

A computer crash is a reality that is unavoidable, unpredictable, and unbearable. Anything from a software update, a new game, or a new hardware, can create conflicts on your computer, causing it to freeze. If your computer work center is not dust free, then small dust particles can sneak into the hard disk enclosure and damage the file system. Power fluctuations and bad weather conditions can also seriously damage system components such as the motherboard and memory chips, rendering your system unusable.

Many times, flaws within the operating system itself can cause system failure. Although all Windows operating systems are thoroughly tested before release, some bugs still remain due to the complexity of the system. Most of these bugs are minor and do not cause major hassles in daily functioning of your computer. However, certain malware such as Trojans and spyware can make use of these glitches to enter inside the system and mess with your data. They also tend to corrupt your system files and registry, which in turn, gives rise to system halt errors. Fortunately, most of these bugs can be fixed by downloading and installing hotfixes from the Windows Update Website.

Methods to Recover From a Computer Crash

Not all problems that cause computer crashes are severe. If you carefully analyze and try to find out probable causes, you usually have a good chance to quickly and completely recover your system.

Most of the time, it is quite simple to point out the main reason behind a problem. Suppose that your system starts freezing when you restart after installing a new hardware or software or if you have made some changes to system configuration, then you can safely say that the new device, driver, or software is the reason behind the problem.

Windows XP comes equipped with a number of options that you can use to troubleshoot and repair your PC problems. Here, we are going to discuss a few common options that can help you recover your Windows XP system after a crash.

Safe Mode

If your system frequently hangs during startup, then you must try to start your system in Safe Mode. To do this, restart your PC and press F8 as soon as your system starts booting up. Now, scroll down the displayed options using arrow keys and select one of the three Safe Mode options displayed. You can perform a number of activities to fix your computer in this mode. You can uninstall the suspect driver or software, and change configuration settings.

Last Known Good Configuration

The Last Known Good Configuration option also appears when you press the F8 key during system boot up. This option helps you in reversing any driver and hardware changes that you would have done since your last successful startup.

Recovery Console

In case your system is unable to start up even in the Safe Mode, then you may have to use the Recovery Console. You can start the Recovery Console by booting up from the Windows XP installation CD, and selecting the Repair option. This utility helps you delete corrupted software and driver files to stop services that might be causing frequent system crashes.

System Restore

System Restore is a boon for all computer users. The tool monitors all changes on your system, periodically takes snapshots of system files and settings, and stores original files in compressed form in a protected location on the hard drive. To perform system restore, log on as an Administrator, and open the Start menu. Next, select All Programs-Accessories-System Restore command to display the System Restore dialog box. Follow the simple instructions in the dialog box to rollback your computer to the most current system checkpoint.


If none of the options above work, then you may have to reinstall the operating system. If you are careful with this step, you can easily reinstall the operating system without effecting your system preferences and settings.


Corrupted software, driver files and registry, malfunctioning hardware, and incompatible peripherals are a few of the reasons why computer crashes may occur. However, with careful diagnostic steps available with the Windows XP operating system, you can easily recover from most of these problems. Also, as a preventive measure, you must use a registry cleaner utility and an antivirus software, to periodically scan your registry and system for possible problems and remove them before they cause any serious damage to your PC. You must also keep your desk clean and free from dust, to prevent particles from damaging your system’s hardware.