hi matt_capanna and welcome to TSF !
Could be hardware or software, we can't really say while we have no error message. Post your system specs so that we can help you better (see the link in my sig).
Run the event viewer : start => run => eventvwr.msc. Check in the different sections (system, application, security) whether there are errors or warnings corresponding to the times of the freezes.
Go to the device manager : start => run => devmgmt.msc. Check "show hidden devices" in the view menu and check that there are no warning signs in your devices list.
Have you tried restarting in safe mode to see if the problem also happens there ? Press the F8 key during startup (F5 on Asus motherboards) and choose safe mode there.
Here are some general hardware tests that you can do on your own not having to wait for us to answer, but do tell us about any error message you should see.
- Test your memory :
Download and burn memtest86+ bootable iso. You'll need to use a burning software that's able to burn CD's from .iso files (most softwares can do that but the one integrated in Windows XP can't).
Boot the computer on the CD : search for a message telling you which key to press to enter setup or refer to this site
to know how to enter the bios at startup and set the boot priority to CD-rom first.
Leave memtest run at least 3 full passes on your memory or leave it running overnight. It's recommended that you double-check those results with those from windiag
as it runs different tests. Leave it running for 2-3 hours. Report if it finds any error.
If possible, it's advised that your run those tests on each ram stick individually (which means removing the other ram sticks when you're testing one).
- Test your temps and voltages :
Download and run sensorsview pro
(latest version here
) and report what your cpu & gpu temps, fan speeds and 3.3, 5 and 12V voltages are.
Also open your case and check that there's no dust cloging the fans. If there's much dust then go buy a can of compressed air at your local computer retailer and clean it.
- Check your hard drive for error :
Find out what the drive model is (the model ID will be under "disk drives" in the device manager, you can then google with it to find the corresponding manufacturer) then run the drive manufacturer's diagnostics utility
on it. Report any error the long/extended test should find, and repair any bad clusters it could have found.
If the test from the manufacturer's diagnostics utility says your drive is clean next step is to run checkdisk on it. Go to start => run and type chkdsk c: /F /R (provided the volume letter for your system drive is c). Answer no when it asks to unmount the volume then yes to schedule the scan at next restart.
Once the chkdsk is complete, you can defrag your drive : start => all programs => accessories => system tools => disk defragmenter. While you're at it, check that you have more than 10%/5GB (whichever is the smallest) free on your system drive.
This all should tell us whether it's hardware related. Tell us how it goes. If nothing comes out we'll check your running processes and services.