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Your computer appears to be malfunctioning – slow down, programs crash or Windows may appear blue. Does your computer hardware fail, or does it have a software problem that you can fix yourself? This can actually be a little tricky to understand. Computer problems and software problems can lead to the same symptoms, common green death screens can be caused by software or hardware problems.
We’ve all heard the news – someone else’s computer is slowing down over time because it installs a lot of software that works initially or is infected with malware. A person concludes that his computer slows down because it is older, so he replaces it. But they are wrong. If the computer is slow, it has a software problem that can be fixed. Hardware issues should not cause your computer repair to slow down. There are some unusual exceptions to this – perhaps your CPU is overheating and slowing down, working slower to keep it cool – but slowing down is caused by software problems.
Modern versions of Windows are much more stable than older versions of Windows. When used with reliable hardware with well-designed drivers, a normal Windows computer should never be blue-screen. If you regularly experience blue death screens, your computer hardware is likely to fail. Green screens may also be caused by poorly designed hardware drivers, however. If you have just installed or upgraded hardware drivers and the blue screens start, try removing the drivers or using system restore – there may be something wrong with the drivers. If you haven’t done anything with your drivers recently and the blue screens start, chances are you have a hardware problem.
If your computer is not starting, you may have a software problem or hardware problem.
Here are some common types of failures and problems that failure can cause:
- Hard Drive: If your hard drive starts to fail, files on your hard drive may be corrupted. You may see a long delay when trying to access files or save to a hard drive. Windows can completely stop starting.
- CPU: A failed CPU may cause your computer to not start at all. If the CPU is overheated, your computer may have a blue screen when loaded – for example, when playing a complex game or coding video.
- RAM: Apps write data to your RAM and use it for temporary storage. If your RAM starts to fail, the app may write data to the RAM component, then read it later and find the wrong value. This may result in application crashes, blue screens, and file corruption.
- Graphics Card: Graphic card problems may cause photo errors while rendering 3D content or while displaying your desktop. If the graphics card is too hot, it may crash your graphics or cause your computer to harden while loading – for example, while playing very difficult 3D games.
- Fans: If any fans fail on your computer, the components can get very hot and you may see excessive CPU or graphics card problems. Your computer can also shut down quickly so it doesn’t overheat and damage itself.
- Motherboard: Motherboard problems can be very difficult to diagnose. You may see blue screens from time to time or similar problems.
- Power supply: Unused power supply is also difficult to diagnose – it can bring too much power to a part, damage it and cause it to malfunction. If the power supply dies completely, your computer will not turn on and nothing will happen if you press the power button.
It is also possible that software problems may cause many of the above symptoms – a malicious program that infiltrates the Windows kernel may cause your computer to have a blue screen, for example.
We have tried to give you an idea of the differences between common software issues and hardware problems with the examples above. But it is often difficult to know for sure, and problem solving is often a process of trial and error. This is especially true if you have an occasional problem, such as a blue scan of your computer several times a week. You may want to scan your computer for malicious software and use System Restore to restore your computer software to its original operating system, but these are not guaranteed ways to fix software problems.