There is nothing more frustrating than being in the middle of something and suddenly your computer blue screens! Not only do you have to spend time trying to recover your work but you also waste time while the computer reboots and has the cheek to tell you that Windows did not shut down properly.
The blue screen is more common than the MS advertising firm would like you to know. And its cause can be a myriad of things from incorrectly installed applications, incorrectly removed applications, hardware problems and registry problems.
It is impossible to go through everything manually to verify what is working properly and what isn’t. However, there are numerous software programs that will do that for you. They typically scan through the registry, installed programs and drivers to find anything that is not quite right. Some require a monthly fee to use or to get updates. Others are a once off purchase. I have used a number of these over the years and some are better than others. But how do you find out which are the better ones?
Most vendor of these type of applications allow you to download a trial version. Generally the trial version will identify any problems and you may have to pay for the full version to be able to automatically fix them. Others may fix a percentage of the problems and require you to pay to fix the rest. This is fair enough, after all. The good thing is that if the trial version does not find any problems then you haven’t lost any money.
I think it is worthwhile having one of these permanently installed on your computer and running it on a periodic basis – once a week, once a month, whatever. It may identify things before they become a problem. This is especially important if you frequently install programs or remove them (you will be surprised at what gets left behind). It’s also important if you download a lot of things from the internet or have applications that automatically update themselves.
One computer scanner that performs quite well is a product called PC-Fix. You can download the trial version to see whether it suits you.