Tech site CNET knows that finding the cause of a hanging or crashing application can be difficult, so they've rounded up several tips for hunting down the culprit when an application starts acting up. For example:
Often the problem is not the software's fault. Bad memory modules cause many programs to hang. Chris Brady's Memtest86 is a free program that diagnoses memory problems, though it requires that you copy its files to a floppy disk or disk partition, and then run the program from there. Microsoft's Windows Memory Diagnostic loads easier onto a floppy or CD from which you boot to run its tests automatically.
When you get an obscure software error, your first instinct may be to head to Google to see what it means. When you do, don't forget this obvious but awesome method for copying error message text to your clipboard.
One thing the article doesn't mention is Windows' built-in, post-crash "Would you like Windows to look for a solution" dialog, which I've always assumed was nonsense until I actually said OK and it fixed a Media Centre problem I was having. Who knew?
Got a favourite method you pull out when it's time to play detective with your computer? Let's hear about it in the comments.