How to Troubleshoot Computer Crashes or Freezes?

Wolfen, a member of the LockerGnome community, asked: "How do you diagnose computer crashes or freezes?"

As long as there have been personal computers, it has fallen on the user to be the first line of defense against issues. Troubleshooting a problem can be a long and tedious task, which may include having to open the case and remove components until the problem goes away.

Everyone has their own method and order when troubleshooting. Do you look at the drivers first, potential hardware failure, or recently installed software? When do you decide to format and reinstall? Is there any software that can detect and pinpoint the root of the problem at hand?

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