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What does Fatal Error mean?

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Susan Keenan
 Two of the most frightening words that a person can see on her computer screen are "fatal error." New computer users, or those with little computer technology education, intuitively understand that those two words mean nothing good. After all, "fatal" usually means "accident" or "death." Fatal errors are usually associated with problems or difficulties. Therefore, it makes sense that "fatal errors" are bad. Fatal computer errors mean that a program or a file is not working properly.

The larger problem is that while computer users might understand that "fatal error" means something bad, they are ill-equipped to determine the exact cause of the problem. Therefore, they are left guessing what the error means and troubleshooting the problem so that they can once again engage in friendly association with their computer. They go over a variety of scenarios in their minds trying to sort out the cause of the problem.

More experienced users know enough to ask questions. Have I downloaded any new programs? Did I install any new software recently? Have I shifted cables around or unplugged anything? Did a virus infect my computer? Was my brother playing around with my computer again? Do I have enough space left on my hard drive for this installation? Did I run out of memory? What am I going to do now?

If any of these questions sound familiar, you're not alone. Even if the questions have nothing to do with the fatal error, computer users continue to be perplexed simply because they are truly at a loss about the problem.

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Typically, fatal errors cause programs to abort or stop running. With any fatal error, data may be lost in open programs when the error occurred. However, data saved previously should remain safe and secure. A fatal error might lead to an aborted set up. In some cases, a fatal error returns the computer to the operating system.

Fatal errors can occur under many circumstances. Third party software not designed for the specific computer or its operating system can contribute to fatal errors. Removing the software should resolve the issue. Physical damage to the computer can also lead to this type of problem. Insufficient memory can also cause fatal errors.

In general, fatal errors can occur as the result of two different occurrences: either the operating system recognizes an error and terminates the program or the program terminates the process itself. Fortunately, fatal errors can be remedied without a great deal of time or expense.

The best strategy is to try and avoid fatal errors by defragging your computer on a regular basis. When you defrag your computer, your files are cleaned up and put back into proper set up. Basically, it's like completing a puzzle and putting all of the pieces back where they belong. Additionally, restarting your computer might also resolve the issue, especially if it was caused by a temporary lack of memory. Plus, special software including registry clean up software, anti-spyware applications, and virus scanner applications can be utilized to resolve fatal errors caused by a variety of problems.

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Is your computer an Open Invitation for HACKERS? Download free version of Sparktrust Inspector to identify vulnerabilities and problems on your computer (and even your WEBSITES)!

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