90% complete render just for PC to crash! Problems/Solutions?

The title says it all. I was rendering a 20 second animation @ 24 fps, and when it was about 90% done, my computer froze up and reset on me automatically. What makes matters worse is the .avi file I exported it to is now unrecognizable. This wouldn’t have been so bad if it was recognizable because I could have just picked up at the last frame it got cut off at and finished it. I am using blender 2.53 which could be part of the problem, but I am wondering if this is a common occurance? And would there be a better option than to exporting animations to .avi files? I am obviously hesitant to restart the rendering process if this is just going to happen to me again, especially because I cannot touch my computer because both the processors are at 99% (not surprisingly). Let me know what I should do, any input is appreciated! I

Just to let everyone know I am using Windows 7 x64 on an a Laptop with an Intel core 2 duo @ 2Ghz w/4GB of RAM and an ATI Mobility Radeon 4670 HD (Dedicated) on Blender internal w/ambient occlusion activated and gather set at approximate (for faster rendering). If you have any more questions, just let me know!

P.S. I know my PC isn’t built for this at all, I just don’t see the need to buy a new one if I am not seriously into blender (I am an on again off again guy when it comes to blender)

you can always save your render as .png files, then compile an .avi file using the compositor, that way, if your computer freezes, the .png files are still there, and you can easily recognize which frame it has crashed at, and continue rendering from there. I always do it like that.

yes - what blazr said
it’s quicker
plus it’s easier to make changes as you don’t need to re-render the whole thing

Thanks for the quick responses! I’ll give it a shot and hope things work out well this time. Also, I have never used the compositer before, I was wondering if there is a tutorial you could link me to so when it comes to that point, I can put together the video file from the .png’s? Thanks again guys

use the video sequencer to turn it into an avi

add your image sequence
Shift A > add images (add select all the images)
place them at frame 1
then click the sequencer check box in post processing tab
select your video output format
and render away

If you are on Windows, just pull down VirtualDUB. It will make an AVI out of a sequence of PNG files. It supports all the codecs installed on your system. Blender has only a limited set it supports. Also ventures into the VSE can be quite time consuming.

I used to have similar issues and I updated all my out of date drivers and it fixed the issue. I used to blue-screen on various renders. I use http://www.driveragent.com/ to know. The blue-screen I used to have had specifically to do with the north bridge on the mother board and nvidia drivers. I’m just suggesting, check your drivers are up to date.

Thanks for the help guys, I ended up using VDub and it worked out pretty well!