Crash Defender program does no harm and protects system without much annoyance

Box Score B







Quarterdeck Corp. released Crash Defender Deluxe just before its acquisition by
Symantec Corp. of Cupertino, Calif. Symantec is building the underlying technology into
its Norton Utilities package. But you can still buy Crash Defender Deluxe from
Quarterdeck.


In my experience, most such programs have wound up doing a lot more harm than good.


Crash Guard’s performance was a pleasant surprise. One of the nicest features,
besides not crashing my system, was a useful fourth button added to the Microsoft Windows
98 Close menu, which comes up whenever you press Ctrl-Alt-Del to shut down an unresponsive
program.


The fourth button, called UnFreeze, tries to restore a program that has gone haywire.
When I purposely made Microsoft Outlook crash several times, I could always unfreeze the
e-mail client without shutting down.


If a system completely locks up, however, you won’t be able to hit the UnFreeze
button. In one case involving a misplaced graphics driver, my test system locked up both
before and after Crash Defender’s installation. Although the utility did not fix the
problem, it did not cause it, either.


Crash Defender does a good job of keeping system errors from getting to the lockup
stage. It can detect 32-bit crash errors such as read and write access violations, divide
by zero faults, data type misalignments and flood overflows.


When a crash is imminent, the Crash Defender menu pops up and advises about the file
that is causing the problem.


It then offers to fix the problem and gives a prognosis for success. It usually says
this is good, and I have not been able to generate an error that it could not fix once the
menu came up.


Crash Defender also gives you the option of ending a problematic task instead of
attempting a fix.


It stops 16-bit problems such as general protection and invalid opcode faults.


Crash Defender’s biggest plus is that it does no harm and it helps avoid crashes.
It does its protection job well without annoying you in the process.    

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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