A crash in computing is a condition where a program (either an application or part of the operating system) stops performing its expected function and also stops responding to other parts of the system. Often the offending program may simply appear to freeze. If this program is a critical part of the operating system kernel the entire computer may crash (a system crash).
The term "crash" may originate in the phrase "head crash" which would occur when the read/write heads in a hard disk would physically come into contact with (i.e., crash into) the disk surface. The result of this would usually be that the computer would freeze up.
See where this picture was taken. [?]
Friday, March 30, 2012