Over the past few months my computer has been freezing irregularly and for varying lengths of time. My mouse/keyboard/any other input devices cease to respond, and the screen freezes on whatever it was displaying before, often in the middle of loading (images half-loaded, videos stuck on one still, etc.). This happens completely irregularly, sometimes not occurring for several days and sometimes within two minutes of the last freeze. It isn't triggered by any event either, as far as I can tell--it's frozen while loading web pages (even just opening a new tab), in the middle of video games, while watching videos, or even just moving my mouse. It occurs whether I have several applications open or only Google Chrome.
The weirdest part is this: sometimes, when everything else is completely frozen, my mouse plays the "loading" animation (the blue circle) for a while before it too freezes. Any sound that I am listening to when it freezes starts playing in really choppy slow-motion, eventually turning into static, buzzing, or silence. All the while the computer is completely non-responsive, the hard drive not sounding like it is doing anything at all.
I should add that my computer has been sort of weird from the beginning--the first time I took it out of the box and pressed the power button it turned on, but the hard drive wasn't spinning at all. It took several tries to get it to properly boot, and the problem persists today. Recently I've been avoiding shutting my computer down completely in fear that it won't start at all.
I have no idea if this is a software problem or a hardware problem, or even which part of my computer would be causing this. (Is my graphics driver or hard drive failing? Was my computer just defective from the beginning?) I've read some threads with similar freezing/hanging problems, but they seemed to mostly occur on laptops or Vista computers.
Dell Inspiron 560
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU 27500 @ 2.93GHz 2.94 GHz
Ram: 8.00 GB
Running Windows 7 Home Premium
I have no idea what other kind of information you guys might need, so please let me know if you need more. I've tried updating the drivers and the like, but I'm starting to think my computer's just dying. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance! (Sorry for the wall of text- I tried to explain it as detailed as I could)
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AH jeez, this EXACT same thing happened to me. And I mean for months....it seemed to actually be triggered usually by videos - even watching a video stored on my hard drive would make it happen, not just while I was online. Started making those garbled crazy sounds and noises and the WHOLE computer would turn into frozen molasses. It was terrible -drove me crazy. In addition, I ALSO would keep my computer on for long periods of time - just 'because' I did - and that added to my problem.
I'm going to take take a guess that you have maybe NVIDIA like graphics card or audio driver stuff for your video game playing? maybe? lol well THAT was the entire problem for me. The NVIDIA components aren't totally compatible with some of the Windows sound/graphic drivers, okej? I would guess that is true for some other video game drivers as well,
A temporary fix that worked to unfreeze and get computer working is to go into the Device Manager and 'uninstall' every audio driver, restart computer, and allow the audio drivers to reinstall automatically. This would keep it (computer) clean for a few days. In the meantime, you might try going in and disabling any extra graphics/audio drivers installed (like NVIDIA) while you are not playing games - and re-enabling them & disabling any incompatible MS drivers while playing. AND if you are using ANY special graphics/audio drivers for gaming - do a google search for problems with 'NVIDIA/OTHER' compatibility issues with microsoft drivers - which is how I found out about my problem. Because I am also certain this is compatibility issue, I'm not sure how you would be able to play your games without some kind of special graphics card.
Now, in MY case, I didn't need the NVIDIA drivers because I don't play online or PC games, so I uninstalled all of them except an NVIDIA ethernet thingy and this problem never reoccurred .
But I will say this - if you had a problem the first time you took it out of the box with the hard drive not spinning at all and it took several times to get it to properly boot, then YES I would ALSO say that your computer has been defective from the beginning - how long have you had it? Can you return/exchange it or have it sent back to the manufacturer for repairs? Because I most DEFINITELY would have returned it for an exchange immediately, because that's messed up! But since you've had it for a period of time, you may at least be able to get it repaired by the manufacturer free of charge - you usually have that right for much longer than return or exchange rights at the place of purchase, although the place of purchase MIGHT send it back to them for you!!
SURE HOPE THIS HELPS, HON. Reading your post made me feel bad and sad!