Is there such a thing as a problem-free computer?

Updated: 10/11/2021 by Computer Hope
Problem computer

No. All computers, regardless of who makes them or their age, can encounter problems during their lifetime. Computers, the hardware they use, and the software they run all have several components that must be developed to interact together. Because of all the possible interactions, it's difficult for a developer to test for every possible situation that could cause a problem. Also, end users can introduce an almost endless supply of problems because of user error.

Do Apple computers have problems?

Yes, Apple Macintosh's computers can have problems like any other major computer manufacturer.

Does Linux run into problems?

Yes, computers running Linux or a Linux variant can have problems caused by design errors, unforeseen compatibility issues, or user errors.

What about Linux computers with a high uptime?

There are many online examples of Linux computers with an uptime of a year or more. However, a high uptime doesn't mean the computer hasn't encountered problems. It indicates the computer has never encountered a problem that required a reboot.

One advantage of computers running Unix-like operating systems, such as Linux or BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution), is that they don't require a reboot as often as Windows or Mac computers. If properly configured, a Unix-like computer system should maintain stability until the hardware fails or changes are made by an administrator.

However (like all computers), if a Linux or BSD computer is connected to the Internet, its software must be updated periodically to protect from new security vulnerabilities. Depending on the operating system, these system updates may require a reboot.

Would it be possible to create a problem-free computer?

No. A computer could never be problem-free. Even if the software was perfectly designed and the user was removed, nothing lasts forever, and a hardware component would eventually fail. However, a computer can employ fault tolerance to help make it less likely to encounter problems or handle the problems more gracefully when they do happen.

It's important to remember that all computers are made by humans — and all humans are prone to error. All computer hardware and software is designed by humans, and is used by humans in one way or another. Therefore, no computer has a zero-percent chance of encountering or exhibiting some kind of error.


Devices like traffic lights and ventilating systems, which need to be as problem-free as possible, use an embedded system and not a general-purpose computer.