Learn how to deal with problems like missing files, frequent crashes, a PC that won't boot, and more
Blue screens of death attack your PC regularly
Windows 7 keeps logs of "Stop Errors." To view the logs and make sense of them, download and run BlueScreenView, a free, portable program by NirSoft that shows you what drivers were running at the time of the crash, and highlights the likeliest suspects. If the same drivers come up from multiple crashes, you should definitely update them.
Speaking of updating drivers, you should make sure that all of them are current. SlimWare Utilities' free SlimDrivers makes this chore remarkably easy, as it scans Windows and lists which drivers need to be updated. If you register (that's free, too), it will find the drivers and run the update for you. It even offers to create a restore point before each update. Don't update all of your drivers at once, however; if you do, and one of them makes things worse, you'll have a tough time figuring out which one.
Frequent BSoDs can also be a sign of hardware problems, especially bad RAM. Although Windows 7 has its own memory-diagnostics program, I prefer the free Memtest86+, which you have to boot separately. You can download the program either as an .iso file -- from which you can create a bootable CD -- or as an .exe file that will install the program and its bootable operating system onto a flash drive.
- Get all the details you need on deploying and using Windows 7 in the InfoWorld editors' 21-page Windows 7 Deep Dive PDF special report