It’s that terrifying blue screen of death, or the spinning pinwheel ball of doom that randomly appears when you’re in the middle of an important task. It’s that sudden drop in your stomach when your computer suddenly goes blank and you realize you’ve lost everything you were just working on. It’s the awful realization that your computer has just crashed.
It happens to us all more frequently than we’d like, but the question is, how do you handle the situation when your computer crashes? Do you panic, or do you get straight down to the problem and figure out how to fix it without flipping out? If you’re one that’s likely to panic in such a situation, fear not – for here are some ways that you can help yourself and your computer in the event of a crash.
For starters, all of you panic-ers out there need to learn how to stay calm when something happens to your computer. Of course, you can take that first moment following a crash to feel the despair that is natural in such an event, but remember to take a deep breath and focus on the task at hand: figuring out what the heck might have happened to the darn thing.
Before you start to think that anything might seriously be wrong with your computer, remember to do some troubleshooting and check the obvious things. Did you accidentally kick out a plug underneath your work station? Did your monitor accidentally get turned off somehow? Is your computer already restarting itself, leading you to believe that it just had a minor moment of panic? Try to fix any simple problem that might have happened before further diagnosing the issue as a crash.
If your computer is equipped to do so in a “safe” mode (meaning it won’t further damage or harm your computer should you try to reboot it), try turning your computer back on after you think it has crashed. If everything seems to be running pretty smoothly, it was probably just an internal issue with the computer and you may never run into the problem again. If you can’t reboot, you might have bigger problems.
Call in the Pros
If you still have trouble diagnosing a possible reason why your computer might have crashed, and you’re struggling to reboot it smoothly, it might be in your best interest to call in a professional IT consultant or get on the phone with your service provider’s customer support line. Having a professional come in and take care of the problem for you can save you time and effort, and will insure your computer is taken care of the exact way it should be – no mistakes in diagnosis or correction when you turn to the pros.
Prevent Future Crashes
After a crash happens to your computer isn’t exactly the best time to start thinking about how to prevent disaster if it were to ever crash again, but at least it will get you realizing that a crash can happen to any computer, at any time.
Make sure all of your files are backed up onto an external device before you shut down your computer every night. Many operating systems now offer this as a built-in feature that automatically schedules a backup at some point throughout the day, so you can feel secure knowing that you’ll never lose the information that’s most important to you, even in the event of a computer crash.
Also be sure to install a good anti-virus software that can protect your computer from unwanted malicious attacks by hackers or other unwanted visitors like viruses. Take the tried and true precautionary steps to keep your computer safe – don’t open emails you don’t recognize, don’t click on links you don’t recognize and don’t give out too much of your personal information over the Internet.
Keep your operating system up to date, as it’s easy for hackers to figure out a way into older systems. Protecting your computer before a crash happens may mean the difference between saving your files and losing everything – there is no in-between.
So stay calm, try to figure out what happened should your computer crash, call in a professional and future-proof your computer from crashes as soon as you can. You’ll be back up and running in no time by following these simple steps, and you can avoid a lot of the stress and anxiety that usually comes along with the dreaded crash of your much-needed computer.
Alison Waters is a freelance writer who recently hired a company that offered IT consulting services to diagnose a problem with her own personal computer, so she was recently well-taught on how to deal with crashes and prevent them in the future. She wishes to share the knowledge so that everyone knows they are not alone should their computer crash!