Computer shortcut keys provide an easier and usually quicker method for navigating and using computer software programs. Shortcut keys usually consist of an Alt key, Ctrl, and/or Shift key in conjunction with a single letter. The de facto standard for listing a shortcut is listing the modifier key, a plus symbol, and the single character. Or in other words, “ALT+S” means that you need to press the ‘Alt’ key and while continuing to hold the ‘Alt’ key, you need to press the ‘ S’ key to operate the shortcut.
In addition to the shortcuts listed on this page, users can find the shortcut keys to their most popular program by looking for underlined letters in the program’s menus. For example, in the picture shown below, you can notice that the “F” in File underlined. You can press the ‘Alt’ key and ‘F’ to access the File menu.
Fatal error:The system has become unstable or is busy,” it says. “Enter to return to Windows or press Control-Alt-Delete to restart your computer. If you do this you will lose any unsaved information in all open applications.”
The number one reason why Windows crashes is hardware conflict. Each hardware device communicates to other devices through an interrupt request channel (IRQ). These are supposed to be unique for each device.
For example, a printer usually connects internally on IRQ 7. The keyboard usually uses IRQ 1 and the floppy disk drive IRQ 6. Each device will try to hog a single IRQ for itself.
If there are a lot of devices, or if they are not installed properly, two of them may end up sharing the same IRQ number. When the user tries to use both devices at the same time, a crash can happen. The way to check if your computer has a hardware conflict is through the following route:
Often if a device has a problem a yellow ‘!’ appears next to its description in the Device Manager (see Image 2). Highlight Computer (in the Device Manager) and press Properties to see the IRQ numbers used by your computer. If the IRQ number appears twice, two devices may be using it.
Sometimes a device might share an IRQ with something described as ‘IRQ holder for PCI steering’. This can be ignored. The best way to fix this problem is to remove the problem device and reinstall it.
Sometimes you may have to find more recent drivers on the internet to make the device function properly. A good resource iswww.driverguide.com.If the device is a soundcard, or a modem, it can often be fixed by moving it to a different slot on the motherboard (be careful about opening your computer, as you may void the warranty).
When working inside a computer you should switch it off, unplug the mains lead and touch an unpainted metal surface to discharge any static electricity.
RAM (random-access memory) problems might bring on the blue screen of death with a message saying Fatal Exception Error. A fatal error indicates a serious hardware problem. Sometimes it may mean a part is damaged and will need replacing.
But a fatal error caused by RAM might be caused by a mismatch of chips. For example, mixing 70-nanosecond (70ns) RAM with 60ns RAM will usually force the computer to run all the RAM at the slower speed. This will often crash the machine if the RAM is overworked.
One way around this problem is to enter the BIOS settings and increase the wait state of the RAM. This can make it more stable. Another way to troubleshoot a suspected RAM problem is to rearrange the RAM chips on the motherboard, or take some of them out. Then try to repeat the circumstances that caused the crash. When handling RAM try not to touch the gold connections, as they can be easily damaged.
Parity error messages also refer to RAM. Modern RAM chips are either parity (ECC) or non parity (non-ECC). It is best not to mix the two types, as this can be a cause of trouble.
EMM386 error messages refer to memory problems but may not be connected to bad Ram. This may be due to free memory problems often linked to old Dos-based programs.
3. BIOS settings :
Every motherboard is supplied with a range of chipset settings that are decided in the factory. A common way to access these settings is to press the F2 or delete button during the first few seconds of a boot-up.
Once inside the BIOS, great care should be taken. It is a good idea to write down on a piece of paper all the settings that appear on the screen. That way, if you change something and the computer becomes more unstable, you will know what settings to revert to.
Microsoft Windows is better at allocating IRQ numbers than any BIOS. If possible set the IRQ numbers to Auto in the BIOS. This will allow Windows to allocate the IRQ numbers (make sure the BIOS setting for Plug and Play OS is switched to ‘yes’ to allow Windows to do this.).
4. Hard disk drives :
After a few weeks, the information on a hard disk drive starts to become piecemeal or fragmented. It is a good idea to defragment the hard disk every week or so, to prevent the disk from causing a screen freeze. Go to
This will start the procedure. You will be unable to write data to the hard drive (to save it) while the disk is defragmenting, so it is a good idea to schedule the procedure for a period of inactivity using the Task Scheduler.
Hard disks will slow down and crash if they are too full. Do some housekeeping on your hard drive every few months and free some space on it. Open the Windows folder on the C drive and find the Temporary Internet Files folder. Deleting the contents (not the folder) can free a lot of space.
Empty the Recycle Bin every week to free more space. Hard disk drives should be scanned every week for errors or bad sectors. Go to
Here you should move the Hardware Acceleration slider to the left. As ever, the most common cause of problems relating to graphics cards is old or faulty drivers (a driver is a small piece of software used by a computer to communicate with a device).
Look up your video card’s manufacturer on the internet and search for the most recent drivers for it.
6 .Viruses :
Often the first sign of a virus infection is instability. Some viruses erase the boot sector of a hard drive, making it impossible to start. This is why it is a good idea to create a Windows start-up disk. Go to
Here, look for the Start Up Disk tab. Virus protection requires constant vigilance.
A virus scanner requires a list of virus signatures in order to be able to identify viruses. These signatures are stored in a DAT file. DAT files should be updated daily from the website of your antivirus software .
7 . Printers :
The action of sending a document to print creates a bigger file, often called a postscript file.
Printers have only a small amount of memory, called a buffer. This can be easily overloaded. Printing a document also uses a considerable amount of CPU power. This will also slow down the computer’s performance.
If the printer is trying to print unusual characters, these might not be recognised, and can crash the computer.
Sometimes printers will not recover from a crash because of confusion in the buffer. A good way to clear the buffer is to unplug the printer for ten seconds. Booting up from a powerless state, also called a cold boot, will restore the printer’s default settings and you may be able to carry on.
8. Software :
A common cause of computer crash is faulty or badly-installed software. Often the problem can be cured by uninstalling the software and then reinstalling it. Use Norton Uninstall or Uninstall Shield to remove an application from your system properly. This will also remove references to the programme in the System Registry and leaves the way clear for a completely fresh copy.
The System Registry can be corrupted by old references to obsolete software that you thought was uninstalled. Use CCleanerclean up the System Registry and remove obsolete entries.
Often a Windows problem can be resolved by entering Safe Mode. This can be done during start-up. When you see the message “Starting Windows” press F8. This should take you into Safe Mode.
Safe Mode loads a minimum of drivers. It allows you to find and fix problems that prevent Windows from loading properly.
9 . Overheating :
Central processing units (CPUs) are usually equipped with fans to keep them cool. If the fan fails or if the CPU gets old it may start to overheat and generate a particular kind of error called a kernel error. This is a common problem in chips that have been overclocked to operate at higher speeds than they are supposed to.
One remedy is to get a bigger better fan and install it on top of the CPU
10. Power supply problems :
A power surge or spike can crash a computer as easily as a power cut.
If this has become a nuisance for you then consider buying a uninterrupted power supply (UPS). This will give you a clean power supply when there is surge, and it will give you a few minutes to perform a controlled shutdown in case of a power cut.
It is a good investment if your data are critical, because a power cut will cause any unsaved data to be lost.
Computer security is the process of preventing and detecting unauthorized use of your computer. Prevention measures help you to stop unauthorized users from accessing any part of your computer system. Detection helps you to determine whether or not someone attempted to break into your system, if they were successful, and what they may have done.
Protect your hardware: Safety and security start with protecting computers. Install a security suite (antivirus, antispyware, and firewall) that is set to update automatically. Keep your operating system, Web browser, and other software current as well and back up computer files on a regular basis.
Use strong passwords: Make sure that your password is long, complex and combines, letters, numerals, and symbols. Ideally, you should use a different password for every online account you have. If you need to write down your password to remember it, store it somewhere away from your computer.
Email: Before opening any email attachments, be sure you know the source of the attachment. It is not enough that the mail originated from an address you recognize. The Melissa virus spread precisely because it originated from a familiar address. Malicious code might be distributed in amusing or enticing programs.
Keep personal info personal: Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data, or commit other crimes such as stalking.