Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system is a mighty paradox. On the one hand, it's more robust and feature-rich than any of its predecessors. For the most part, it's also more secure and is immune to many pretty sophisticated takedown attempts. But it's got one nasty Achilles' Heel, which'll enable you to crash the OS in under 10 seconds.Here's the deal: One of the simplest command sequences you can think of will take Vista down completely. Hold down the Windows key and the letter "E" for 10 seconds or so. After opening up Windows Explorer windows ad infinitum, your system will stop responding.
Holding down the Windows key and the letter "E" will send Vista into its death throes. (click to enlarge image)
How should you protect yourself? Check out my article, "What To Do When Windows Vista Crashes: Little-Known Recovery Strategies." I describe the Complete PC Backup utility, which enables you to save a bit-for-bit copy of your hard drive. That'll allow you to restore your system without having to go through a cumbersome, full reinstall of the OS.
Equally useful (maybe more useful) is little-known process to repair bad boot sectors. Called Bootrec, it's an update of something that was previously available on XP. That portion of the article is located here.
If you have any unique crashes you've encountered, or tips you'd like to share, please email me or leave a (clean) comment below.