As countless computer owners know, both on a professional level and on a personal level, computer crashes can be disastrous. One devastating crash can swiftly and completely ruin a college essay or a business proposal without recourse or any ability to resuscitate the project or system’s programs. One minute you are developing a well-researched, intensive, complex document or program; the next minute you are staring at a blank screen with nothing but death and destruction as its essence. The scenario is not an unknown one but, in fact, is one that practices and firms find all too frequently.
What makes that happen? Why does a seemingly healthy computer suddenly become dead in the water? There are a number of contributing factors that may come into play to turn your practice or facility upside down. Becoming educated about them can help you prevent them from occurring and bringing your computer and day to crashing results.
The two overall sources for computer crashes are the computer’s operating system, or OS, and the physical components, or hardware. Errors in either of these can cause a computer or entire network to crash. Seeing that a computer normally may have many programs running at any given time, the potential for crashing due to program error is always present. Updates and common sense can help keep your computer healthy, but computers are fairly vulnerable to external, as well as internal influences.
However, problems can occur with a number of other elements. The system’s power supply may also fail. Designed to convert AC power to DC power, the power supply can fail if it generates a noisy signal. That can trigger an accidental crash. Additionally, if the random access memory, or RAM, becomes overheated, it too can cause a crash. Unpredictable corruption by faulty files can cause the RAM to initiate intermittent crashes. Excessive heat or accumulated dust inside the unit may also be factors in a central processing unit, or CPU, crash.
The computer’s disk is one of the most crucial elements of a computer. A disk failure can result in the complete loss of data on the disk, rendering the computer as little more than a paperweight. Occasionally, flaws in the manufacturing can create disk failures. In addition, jarring of the computer can certainly disrupt the disk’s normal operation and cause a disastrous loss of data.
Although hardware-based crashes may occur, operating system software crashes are more likely to happen. Operating systems are essential go-betweens that link hardware and applications that are installed. The proper connections are necessary to bring it all together so data can be entered, stored and shared with other applications and with all departments within the facility and beyond. With the addition of each item such as printers, scanners and copiers, for example, the risk of computer OS failure increases. Individual hardware drivers must coordinate effectively or OS crashes can occur.
Physicians, hospitals, and other medical facilities cannot afford to run into those problems but, unfortunately, they can happen when least expected and can create chaos.
Things to remember:
- Computers require routine maintenance, meaning anti-virus protection with scans, regular updates and application patches to maintain security.
- While it’s important to reduce operating costs, data security should never be compromised.
- Saving and archiving data to an off-site location can be very beneficial.
- All mobile devices (laptops, phones, tablets) should be protected with end-point encryption.
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