How to Fix PC Errors for Free

By Gregory Hamel

Most PC owners will experience some kind of computer error at one time or another. PC errors can be caused by a variety of underlying factors, which can make identifying the problem difficult. If your PC is experiencing errors causing crashes and blue screen messages, you can take several steps that may remedy the problem. In many cases errors can be solved without paying for any professional help or extra hardware or software.

Things You'll Need

  • Antivirus software

Basic troubleshooting

Step 1

Fully update your antivirus software, then conduct a full system scan and remove any threats the antivirus scan detects. Virus scanning is one of the first things you should do if your PC starts experiencing errors, because malware can cause errors, and leaving malware unchecked can lead to increased corruption of data.

Step 2

Remove recently installed software. If you installed a new program just before your errors started occurring, there's a chance it is causing the problem. Click "Start," then "Control Panel," then double-click "Add/Remove Programs." Find and uninstall that newly installed program. If your errors continue, you can reinstall the program.

Step 3

Update or change your driver software. Bad driver software is one of the most common causes of PC errors. There's a good chance that old or recently changed drivers are causing errors. You can update drivers by clicking "Start," then "Control Panel," then opening "Administrative Tools," In the "Administrative Tools" dialog, click on "Computer Management," then "Device Manager." Right-click on any hardware device and select "Update Driver Software." Another way to update drivers is to search for new drivers on the website of a certain hardware device's manufacturer, download a driver, and run the setup file. You will have to restart your computer after installing a new driver to complete installation.

Troubleshooting blue screens

Step 1

Set your computer up so that it doesn't restart right after blue screens occur. If the computer restarts right away, you won't have a chance to note the blue screen's error messages. To prevent automatic restart, click the Start menu, then open the Control Panel. Select "System," then "Advanced," then under "Startup and Recovery" click "Settings," and uncheck "Automatically Restart." Click "OK" to finish.

Step 2

The next time your computer crashes, write down information about the error such as the error code and other information on the blue screen.

Step 3

Search for fixes to your error on Microsoft's support site (link in Resources).

Tips & Warnings

  • If your computer won't start up at all, you may have faulty hardware such as a bad power supply, bad RAM, or a problem with your hard drive, motherboard or processor.Errors often result from a change made by the user; as you troubleshoot errors, try to think of any changes you've made recently, such as installing new hardware or software. Reversing such changes may fix your problem.Consider running a Registry cleaner tool. Deleted programs can leave remnants in your computer's Registry that may cause problems and waste hard drive space. Running a Registry cleaner tool can help eliminate these issues.
  • If the Windows Registry is damaged it can lead to fatal computer errors. Be wary when altering the Registry and always make sure to back up your Registry before running a cleaner program.