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How do I troubleshoot hardware issues related to a computer freeze/crash?

Are there logs somewhere? Which process is to blame? Is it hardware or software? Where do I start looking for these things..?

  • What do you mean by "crashed"? What symptoms did you see? Are you still able to boot the machine, or did it permanently prevent you from being able to boot? Did you see any error messages, blue screen, etc? What were you doing when it crashed? Etc. -- "Crashed" is not nearly enough information to even begin to help you. There are logs everywhere, but you have to narrow it down by describing exactly what happened and what you saw. – allquixotic Oct 4 '12 at 14:20
  • Add. -- It would also be extremely helpful if you are able to deliberately cause the crash again by trying to do the same thing over. If you can reliably reproduce the crash, that is the easiest type of problem to troubleshoot. If it just happens randomly or without any detectable pattern of usage, those can be really pesky to track down. – allquixotic Oct 4 '12 at 14:22
  • I saw the blue sad-face-of-death screen. There was a KERNEL_SOMETHING error at the bottom, but the screen was too fast for me to read. Windows crashed, shouldn't windows be the one logging what happened? It happens about twice a week, and I can't find anything similar when the crashes occur. – LantisGaius Oct 4 '12 at 14:27
  • @LantisGaius - Unless you provide exactly what was displayed we can't really help. Besides this seems to be a really localized problem. – Ramhound Oct 4 '12 at 14:46
  • Event viewer will show blue screen codes, and other errors, all he has to do is look through that to find more information. – Tillman32 Oct 4 '12 at 17:52

Event viewer would be the best method to view logs and error messages in Windows.

Simply press 'windows key + w' to pull up a search and type in 'event', then click on 'View Event Logs.'

Here is a post explaining how to use Event Viewer to quickly, and properly identify the culprit. Click Here

  • Windows Key + X, then Event Viewer (or WinKey +X, V) Thanks :) – LantisGaius Oct 4 '12 at 14:32
  • No problem, I've never used Windows 8 before, I just got that information off that site I linked you. Event Viewer will work well for you, on any version of Windows, so at least I could get that part correct. =P – Tillman32 Oct 4 '12 at 14:37

Apparently, you should check the .log files in the C:\Windows\SysWOW64 directory. Maybe a good file manager will help?

  • Why "apparently"? Where did you figure this out? What do these log files do and which ones should he check? What does a file manager has to do with this? – Tamara Wijsman Oct 4 '12 at 14:21
  • There were zero .log files on my SysWOW64 folder :( The LogFiles subdirectory was empty too.. – LantisGaius Oct 4 '12 at 14:29

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