Have you been experiencing random crashes in Windows XP or Windows 2000, and you can't find any reason for them? Windows XP and Windows 2000 are both supposed to be (and typically are) much more stable than Windows 9x/Me, but there are still things that can bring down the entire system in a heartbeat, displaying the BSD (Blue Screen of Death) or simply restarting. Go over this checklist and see if any of these apply to you.

Power Supply - a bad (or insufficient) power supply is the most common cause for random crashes, especially if you have a lot of cards, drives, or fans, or have a dual-processor motherboard. A 350W or 400W power supply is recommended if you're experiencing this problem.

A mix of FAT32 and NTFS drives - If you have more than one hard disk, and there are different file systems on each one, try converting them all to NTFS.

Audio Card Drivers - try removing your sound card, or at least uninstalling and then reinstalling the drivers.

USB Hub - if you have a USB hub, try eliminating it and see if that solves the problem (especially if you have a USB-based Palm cradle and your system crashes every time you hotsync).

Overheating - a computer will crash if the processor overheats. Make sure the CPU fan/fans are working, and that the processor temperature (read in the BIOS screen) is within normal limits. Make sure your computer case has adequate ventilation.









Bad memory - a bad memory module can cause this problem. Try removing one of the modules to see if that solves the problem; rotate through all modules until you've found the culprit. Note that some computers require memory to be installed in pairs, so, for example, if you have four modules, you'll have to remove two (no more, no fewer) for this test.

Note: these things aren't necessarily problems in and of themselves, so if you're not experiencing random crashes, don't waste your time solving problems that aren't there.