HI skylinker ,
Windows freezes or stops responding frequently.
This issue could be caused by any of the below possibilities.
Software related issue.
Driver related issue.
Operating system related issue.
Heat related issue.
Serious issue with Windows
This document contains recommendations on what to do if the computer frequently freezes or completely halts. An easy way to determine if your computer is in this situation is by pressing the Num Lock button on the keyboard and watching the Num Lock led to see if it turns off and/or on.
If you're able to get the light to turn off an on, press CTRL + ALT + DEL and attempt to end task the program. Additional information about this can be found on document CHTSR. Otherwise continue reading this document.
Software related issue
A computer locking up or freezing is often is caused by a software related issue. If you're encountering lockups when the computer is opening a particular program, make sure you have all the latest updates for that program. You can find the latest updates for your software through the software developer or publisher.
Driver related issue
A computer lock up can also be caused by drivers. For example, if there is an issue that exists with your video drivers a computer could lock up while playing a game or displaying any other type of video. Make sure you have the latest drivers for all major devices in your computer (video, sound, modem, and network). A listing of driver related pages as well as driver related help can be found on our drivers page.
Operating system related issue
Make sure your operating system has all of the latest updates installed on it. Additional information about updating Windows can be found on document CH000545.
Heat related issue
If the computer processor is getting too hot it can cause the computer to freeze. If you have heard any abnormal noises coming from your computer recently such as a high squealing, this could indicate a fan may be failing in your computer.
You can first start by verifying the fan on the power supply is working by examining the back of the computer and seeing if the fan is moving and moving smoothly. For all other fans in the computer you will need to either open the computer and make sure the fan are working (processor fan and case fan) and/or if your BIOS monitors the RPM of the fans, enter BIOS and make sure the BIOS does not report any errors.
Users may also be able to determine how hot their computer is by onboard thermal sensors. If your computer comes equipped with these sensors, make sure your CPU is not running too hot. Additional information about how hot your CPU should be running can be found on document CH000687.
In addition to software, hardware can also cause a computer to lock. If you have recently added any new hardware into the computer, try temporarily removing it to make sure it is not the cause of your issue.
Before attempting to remove any hardware, make sure you are not encountering this issue because of hardware conflicts by viewing Device Manager for errors. Additional information about Device Manager can be found on our Device Manager page.
If you have not recently installed any new hardware into the computer, the next best solution to determining if this is a hardware issue would be remove any hardware on the computer that is not needed. For example, remove your modem, network card, sound card, and any other expansion cards that are not needed for the computer to operate. Run the computer without these cards to see if they are the cause of your issue.
Note: When opening the computer, make sure you are aware of ESD and its potential dangers. See our ESD page for additional information.
Serious issue with Windows
If you have tried all the above recommendations and the computer continues to frequently lock up, its possible that Windows may be seriously corrupt. Try running through the basic troubleshooting steps for your version of Windows on our basic troubleshooting page. If these additional steps do not resolve your issue, we suggest you backup all information and erase and reinstall Windows on your computer. Additional information about how to do this can be found on document CH000186.
If after reinstalling your operating system, or during the installation of your operating system, your computer turns off abnormally, it is very likely that other hardware is failing in the computer. Often this is RAM, CPU, Motherboard, and/or Power Supply (in that order).
If you have extra available parts or have a friend or co-worker with a similar configuration that is willing to allow you to test their hardware in your computer, try swapping these parts to determine if they are at fault. Otherwise, you will need to have the computer serviced.
See our frozen dictionary definition for additional information about this term as well as related terms.
See document CH000700 for additional information about what to do if the computer freezes.