So you walk away from your desk for a few minutes. You come back, and you click around on the screen. Nothing happens. You look at the little clock at the bottom right, and see that the time is frozen half an hour behind (what were you doing away for that long is anyone's guess). Your computer won't respond to any of your keystrokes, and the image is stuck on your screen like someone painted over your monitor. the only solution is to reboot.
This is my life story. It goes on at random with no real cause. It doesn't overheat because it's in a spot that's well ventilated. It's not because of a program because there's not many programs open because I'm away from my desk. It's not the laptop getting old because I've only had it for a year and I just did a fresh install 6 weeks or so ago. And the time between freezes can be anywhere from 3 months to 3 days.
How does one figure out the cause of this? All my friends and family tell me I'm good with computers, but I feel ashamed to say that I don't know what to do with my own. The black screen that pops up after restart (the one that berates you for not shutting down properly, and tells you to boot into safe mode if the system wasn't responding) isn't very helpful because it doesn't tell you what to do once you're IN safe mode.
So here's what I'm looking for: clear cut instructions on how to figure out computer problems on my own, as well as suggestions from others as to what the common causes of these random freezes are.
Thank you for your time.
asked Jun 21 '11 at 03:14
Depending on the type of crash (frozen/locked-up, BSOD, etc) the steps are a bit different each time.
In your case I would heavily lean towards a faulty RAM module more than anything else.
Interestingly enough plain old lock-ups are pretty rare for me these days. I tend to see more BSODs or boot failures.
answered Jun 21 '11 at 03:32
Been having this issue with my computer. Change operating system, clean registry, re-seat processor, ram, cooling fan..... At this point, I'm looking to replace my mother board. I can't think of anything else to do and I ope you find an answer here. You have described it better that I ever could. So there is at least 2 people on the face of this planet that have this issue.
answered Jun 21 '11 at 03:34
ensure its dust free. drivers up to date, especially BIOS.
Software will most likely not cause the problems like this.
a bad memory stick can cause it to freeze possibly, or just ensure its properly inserted all the way...
answered Jun 21 '11 at 03:39
If you don't know what to do after booting into safe mode, do yourself a favor and look up a local computer repair shop. More than likely, you'll need a RAM stick replaced, which most stores have on-hand anyway.
answered Jun 21 '11 at 10:54
I had a similar problem with mine. If I was away for about half an hour, my computer would BSOD. I eventually figured out that it was my power setting and my video card disagreeing. I went to my power settings and set it to never turn anything off, not even the display. I have to manually turn off my computer but it works for me.
answered Jun 21 '11 at 13:12
I suggest running memcheck86. The program is free and can be downloaded by searching google. It also exists on most Linux bootable cds or dvds, in case you have one sitting around; You can boot and do a "memory test" by selecting that option. Run it for at least 4 hours.
Almost any hardware failure could cause your issue, though it's unlikely to be your video card since you're still getting a picture. Open your case up and (without touching anything) have a listen to your hard drive. I had a drive go sour on me, and it wasn't until I put my ear directly to it that I could hear it struggle to power up. Whenever the drive crashed, my entire computer would hang. Do you have a spare hard drive?
If you installed any hardware in your computer before the problem occured, the power supply unit may be struggling to keep up with the load. If it overloads, something will lose power; That could be your RAM, hard drive or something else that'll cause the computer to hang.
Alternatively, if your PSU is about to die, then the same symptoms may occur. Take a look at your BIOS, where you can find information about the temperature, fans and voltage lines. Make sure everything looks good in there. If your PSU is on the edge of it's life, then you'll probably have other caps in bad health.
Any corrosion, raised or bulging capacitors are dying. You can take the hardware to an audio repair shop and they'll do a great job replacing faulty capacitors for a far cheaper price than your average computer repair shop. In fact those guys usually do an even better job than computer techs ;)
If your memcheck passed, your voltage, fan speed and temps are all good and your caps all look fine, then I'd say it's either a driver or OS problem. Try downloading the latest drivers specifically for your chipset, video card, etc (don't trust Microsoft automatic update to do this for you!) and if that fails, try reinstalling onto a different hard drive.