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Windows and programs lock/freeze up..?

Last response: in Windows Vista
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June 14, 2010 10:45:56 PM

So one of my friends is running Vista 64-bit with her DXdiag here.

Her computer was fine about two months ago and then these "freezes/lockups" started randomly throughout the day. She'll be gaming or just browsing the internet with a few AIM/MSN windows opened, random programs will lock up and freeze while others stay perfectly functional. Windows seldom freezes along with the programs, but it does happen occasionally where she can't use task manager and the windows button is forced to freeze for about 2-10minutes. She hasn't had freezes above 13ish minutes because she manually shuts down her computer about that time.

Today when she did it, she got past bios and while windows was loading it sent her to a black screen that didn't load anything. She had to keep restarting a couple of times and waiting 10ish minutes and eventually her windows loaded up. She says this doesn't usually happen either.

She wiped about a month ago and it didn't really do anything. At all. She did a clean format/reinstall of windows and these freezes still happen with the same occurrence rate/severity/duration.

I want to say its a hardware problem now since wiping didn't help, RAM specifically, but I'm not sure. Any ideas? Could be a harddrive problem as well but I usually don't see harddrives that are working perfectly fine for a year fail so suddenly/randomly. Her computer was bought about a year and a half ago. Any thoughts or ideas would be GREATLY appreciated. I can't figure it out and I thought the format would help.

I also have the event viewer logs of her system, and programs. They were taken right after the freezes. Not sure if these help, they seem like a bunch of crap to me, but just incase? I can't tell anything for certain from it but it does say there are some errors.

UPDATE:

The flash worked, but we are still getting these freezes. Any other ideas to the possibilities of this problem?
June 14, 2010 11:15:32 PM

It sounds like it needs some driver updates. Start by looking for an updates graphics driver.
June 15, 2010 12:17:55 AM

I'm pretty sure she has her most updated graphics drivers, but i'll check, thanks. Any other possible ideas?
Related resources
June 15, 2010 1:45:57 AM

I'm seeing errors from Avira. But that can be caused by the Avira Guard scanning archives. Here is a thread on the Avira support site pertaining to that error.
http://forum.avira.com/wbb/index.php?page=Thread&postID...

I see errors from the NVidia display driver. This is most likely caused by an outdated or flaky graphics driver. I would suggest getting the newest driver from the video card manufacturer's website, not from a packaged CD.

There's an error with the aiptektp driver. Look for an update on the motherboard manufacturer's website.

There are a lot of DCOM errors. If all the windows updates are installed, this may need a BIOS update.

There are several various application errors, however, they can be caused by the system errors. I would start with the other updates, and see if it cleans up the application errors.
June 15, 2010 3:25:54 AM

Hmm thanks man, i'll give it a try.

The graphics display driver that stopped responding usually never happens before a freeze.

BTW those two logs were taken right after the freezes happened as im sure you know lol, but for other people just reading.

I'll tell her to update all her drivers and ask about the Avira thing. And do as you've said about the windows updates/bios. Thanks! I'll reply back with an update after these are done.
June 15, 2010 4:09:09 AM

hwing91 said:
BTW those two logs were taken right after the freezes happened as im sure you know lol, but for other people just reading.


Those logs go back to 12/2008.
June 15, 2010 8:19:27 AM

Yeah, I assume when the computer was first manufactured. If you see theres a jump from 12/2008 to 5/23/2010 with just maybe 6 entries in 12/2008.


She's had avira for a while and said its never bothered her before, but she'll follow your link. She has disabled the scanning archives and her windows has been fully updated as were her nvidia graphics drivers and all other drivers in question. The problems still persist. Any other ideas or you strongly recommend flashing the bios? Is there no doubt in your mind it isn't the hard drive or the RAM? Thanks again for your awesome responses aford10!
June 15, 2010 12:13:06 PM

Flashing the BIOS may be necessary. However, it can also be dangerous. If it goes wrong, it can turn the motherboard into a paperweight. Before doing that, I would make sure all the chipset drivers are updated. If that doesn't solve the errors, then yes, I would flash the BIOS.
June 15, 2010 6:08:36 PM

You're welcome...let me know how it goes.
June 15, 2010 6:08:58 PM

Alright thank you, we'll try that.
June 15, 2010 8:09:58 PM

The flash worked, but we are still getting these freezes. Any other ideas to the possibilities of this problem? I'm going to try to tell her to take out one stick of ram and to leave one in and alternate to see if the problem still persists. For now thats all I got, I guess im picking at straws.
June 15, 2010 8:27:46 PM

That's a good idea. Running memtest would be a good way to thoroughly test it as well. That's something that's best to let run through the night.

Have her try running it in safe mode with networking for a while. I'm curious if the freezing follows her there.
June 15, 2010 8:34:27 PM

Not sure on how to run memtest, the bio's thing or is it a built in program in windows or something I have to download?

http://www.memtest.org/

This?

It looks like a bootable running thing, not something that can run in safe mode? Sorry, just confused on what memtest is and if you can run it in windows (64-bit).
June 15, 2010 8:44:59 PM

It's a bootable CD. It doesn't run inside windows.

It's generally a good idea to let it run for ~6 hours or so. I recommend just letting it run overnight.
June 15, 2010 8:47:24 PM

Oh so you just want her to run in safe mode with networking and see if she gets the freezes?

Also, is there a way to load memtest off of a bootable flash with the HP flashdrive program setting it into a bootable dos disk? I'm trying to look it up but I don't see what I could do to make it work.
June 15, 2010 8:52:28 PM

Yep. There are a lot less applications and services that run while in safe mode with networking. It will also use the default video driver instead of the NVidia graphics driver.
June 15, 2010 9:04:18 PM

Alright, I got her to get memtest for a USB. Guess we'll try that tonight while she sleeps and ill get back at you in the morning.

Should I tell her to take out one RAM and run the test? Or is running memtest with both of them in fine?
June 15, 2010 9:50:41 PM

It can run with all of the RAM installed. That's the best way to do it. That way she doesn't have to run another 6 or 7 hour scan on the other RAM chip.
June 15, 2010 10:58:40 PM

Alright, the memory test is running now till tomorrow morning. She spent about an hour and a half in safe mode with networking and no freezes, They usually happen kinda within an hour. But we're not sure, ill have her go into safe mode more if the memory test doesn't come up with anything definitive. Thank you again for everything aford, and i'll keep you updated.
June 16, 2010 12:20:41 AM

Sounds good.
June 16, 2010 7:11:33 AM

Finished in 4 hours and turned out to have no errors.

Hmm..damn. What next...hard drive?

Well. My friend had this idea to where we mimic the safe mode conditions and one at a time enable the standard drivers. It sounds like a great idea since she didn't freeze in the hour and half she was in safe mode. So standard safe mode settings, then enable regular video card drivers and keep going.

I think you're able to do something like this with MSconfig, but how would we go about doing this? I've never messed too much at MSconfig and If we do create this "profile" is there a way to keep it separate from regular boot settings? Also is there an easier way to filter out in the services tabs the important things? There are so many random services its kinda annoying and it would take ALOT of time to enable one at a time.
June 16, 2010 11:56:07 AM

Try uninstalling the graphics driver, and run in normal windows. It will be a little annoying, but that's one of the biggest differences between normal windows, and safe mode.
June 18, 2010 1:20:44 PM

We kept trying, we even made vista disable auto installation of drivers. It kept auto installing. Im trying to figure out how to make it stop but I can't find anything that we haven't tried that works.

I've even tried to clean out the INF directory where the drivers should be stored. I unhid the actual Administrator account, logged in, and it still wouldn't let me move the inf files/drivers for her GTX 275. So it keeps preinstalling nvidia drivers...

I'm going to try another approach...to partition her harddrive into two partitions, the regular windows vista shes running, and a windows 7. And i'll see if everything runs okay/freeze-free on the windows 7 and only install programs/things that are vital.

Update 6/18/2010: We finished installing 7 but it seems like the freezes followed...so...i guess it is hardware.
June 18, 2010 1:48:38 PM

I would almost bet it's a software problem, with all those errors in the event viewer. But it could be hardware related......You could try manually setting RAM voltages.
June 18, 2010 2:51:30 PM

Even though we just reformatted into windows 7?

What would cause a 1 year old computer to stop working correctly?
June 18, 2010 2:55:15 PM

Voltage setting are done in the BIOS. So, the installation of windows 7 wouldn't change anything. Improper voltage settings can cause freezing like you're seeing.

Are you still seeing the same types of errors in the Windows 7 event viewer?
June 18, 2010 3:01:10 PM

Well, we didn't mess with the voltage in the first place, would it still cause problems randomly on stock? I can decrease it if you think so.

I'll have a new event viewer up asap, thanks again.
June 18, 2010 3:07:33 PM

It's not likely. I was throwing it out there because it is possible. If you look up your RAM specifications, you can manually change the BIOS defaults to those settings (in most BIOSs).
June 20, 2010 7:36:17 AM

Mkay, I'll try that. Thanks again.

EDIT: Well, we ended up just shipping the system back to where she bought it. Thanks though for the attempt, we never did figure it out :x.
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