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The situation: Windows 7 ultimate on standard box 4 GB RAM. The problem: IE 8 kept on crashing. Tried upgrading to IE 9 - no better. Then I thought I will have to kick IE into touch and go with Firefox. Same problem Firefox crashes. Gave Chrome a chance - same problem the browser just says sorry, and closes / restarts.

Other problems, this is not the best machine I have ever had, Word sometime closes unexpectedly, and I have trouble with Microsoft Updates failing first time.

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It just sounds like you have an unreliable machine. Have you tried letting memtest86+ run for a few hours to try to rule out a hardware problem? Have you checked fans? – David Schwartz Sep 13 '12 at 9:49
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Have you verified the system is clean of viruses or malware and run System File Checker? – CharlieRB Sep 13 '12 at 12:39
    
After you've confirmed that your system is malware-free, I'd go with what David said. Ideally you should test each stick of RAM separately. – Karan Sep 13 '12 at 15:45
    
Thanks for your ideas. I will check them one-by-one. – Guy Thomas Sep 13 '12 at 21:13
    
It seems that system files are corrupted, thus all browsers could be affected by a problem with one key file. – Guy Thomas Sep 15 '12 at 16:51
up vote 0 down vote accepted

[I am unsure of the etiquette here] I have a corrupted system, the browserS crashing was the result of a general problem. Perhaps one clue was that it was not just one browser, but all 3 that I tried.

Other than using sfc / scannow as a troubleshooting technique, I cannot see how my question will help other readers.

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I had the same issue where browsers would eventually lock up and often lead to blue screen crash. Someone suggested that it might be an overheating problem. I removed the CPU fan and there was a layer of dust on the CPU. Sure enough, after cleaning it off all issues were resolved.

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