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I know 关掉 to mean "turn off" but it doesn't seem to convey the sudden-ness or unwelcome connotation of "died". 突然关掉 is more precise but still seems to lack the negitivity. Also, as this is a common occurance, there must be a more colloquial way.

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

If it hangs (not responding to any input), you could say


If the screen blacks out, you could say


If it doesn't turn on, you could say




If it is completely broken and needs major repair, you could say




Note: All above are used in Mainland China. I know they're expressed differently in other Chinese-speaking regions (e.g. Taiwan) but I don't know what they should become.

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Nice answer. :) – Alenanno Mar 24 '13 at 15:27

In my experience, usually we say:

我的電腦當機了。 (My computer crashed.)


我的電腦壞掉了。 (My computer is broken.)


我的電腦不能用了。 (My computer can't be used anymore.)

and I think people can understand when you just simply translate it

我的電腦死了。 (My computer died.)

From Taiwan, but only from my experiences...

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I think the last three are common across all species of Mandarin, but the first is chiefly Taiwan. Thanks for the input. – deutschZuid Mar 24 '13 at 18:54

The expression is 死机 as in:


My computer crashed this morning and I lost all my documents.

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I would translate "my computer died” to 我的电脑死机了.

I'd like also to comment on the differences bwtween the following words, based on my understanding. I would use

  • 死机 when computer is running well but suddenly halts and gives no response but seemingly still running and still power-on.

  • 当机 when computer is running well but suddenly shuts itself down automatically and maybe power-off as well.

  • 坏了(坏掉了) when computer hardware/software is damaged and can't be started up.

  • 完蛋了 when computer is totoally ruined (like fall into water)

  • 不能用了 to cover all the cases above as a summary conclusion.

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