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Computer shuts off with “Program not responding” error

Question: My computer will at times shut off on its own and will give me errors like “This program is not responding”. What can I do about this?

Answer: These are signs of an unstable system. Shut downs can be attributed to either hardware or software. Unresponsive programs indicate either corrupted data or an unstable operating environment. Unfortunately, problems of this nature can be very difficult to diagnose. In worst case scenarios, hardware may need replacing or the operating system reinstalled. Spy-ware or a virus might also be the culprit. A certain program may be corrupt and need to be reinstalled. In any case, it is highly recommended to backup any data that you value. Problems such as this usually require a hardware diagnosis to make sure that the hard drive and the memory aren’t having problems. There are many software utilities that can assess whether or not there is a hardware failure. After any hardware problems are either confirmed or eliminated, troubleshooting the software comes next. However, troubleshooting software can often be more time consuming and costly than simply formatting the hard drive and starting fresh. If that isn’t an option though, virus and spy-ware sweeps should be done, removal of suspect programs, and possibly using a system restore. Trouble of this nature with computers can be frustrating and difficult to nail down, so seeking professional help may be the best option.

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