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Computer keeps randomly freezing, please help

By daddystabz
Jul 28, 2009
  1. This issue has been going on for at least a couple weeks now. At first it seemed that randomly my mouse pointer would suddenly freeze and I would have to reboot the machine to gain control again. I have used a couple different mice lately on this computer so eventually I went back to the other previous mouse. However, not long after the same issue started up again. I tried deleting/disabling drivers of the mice and deleting/reinstalling their drivers, etc. but to no avail.

    Recently I noticed that it seems that the whole computer is freezing and not just the mouse pointer.....as far as I can tell. I today did a disk cleanup of drive C (I have multiple hard drives), and defragged drive c (although the computer froze during the defragging process and I had to manually reboot). I also ran an Adaware scan and a full Nod 32 anti-virus scan. I tried to eliminate every problem these scans found. The computer is still randomly freezing though.

    Please help!

    The machine is:

    Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit
    Intel 2.4 GHZ quad core processor
    Corsair 800 mhz dual DDR 2 @ 4 gigabytes

    Creative Soundblaster X-Fi sound card
    Verto NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT video card
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,944   +167

    Remove NOD32 and download and install free Avast, Advir or AVG antivirus. See if the freezing stops
     
  3. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    Just curious.....I've had nothing but good luck so far with Nod 32. Are you asking me to try removing it just to see if it works or is this possibly an issue that Nod 32 has had before?
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,944   +167

    NOD32 is a resource hog and the free programs I mentioned are simple and very effective in protecting your computer without performing scans that might slow down your computer when you are working with it...
    Your random freezing may be caused by these unwanted scans
     
  5. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    This doesn't ring true for me. I think Nod32 is the best anti-virus I've ever used and it is less of a system hog than the others I ran in the past, which include Norton, McAffee, AVG. Nod32 is the least resource heavy one I've ever used.

    I really doubt that the Nod32 is causing the issue. I do not see that it is scanning when this happens. When the AV is scanning you can see the Nod32 icon in the taskbar moving like a wheel. I don't see this occurring when the freezes happen.

    Also, these freezes do not occur upon startup but generally occur within 40 minutes to 1 hour of booting/rebooting the machine randomly.

    Any other suggestions/help? PLEASE!
     
  6. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 698

    Does it freeze in safemode?

    Also check whether you have any recent minidump files stored on your machine. Can be found in

    Start > My Computer > Local Disk C: > Windows > Minidump
     
  7. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    Minidump is empty. I could reboot into safemode and see if it freezes after an hour or so. Do you recommend I do so?
     
  8. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 698

    It would rule out hardware issues and point at software. Personally I would be looking at virus related issues. Adaware and NOD32 may not by themselves, be able to completely cure the problem
     
  9. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    What other ad/virus software would you suggest I run? I have Spybot but it conflicts with Adaware so I don't run it much.
     
  10. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 698

    Have a read through of this guide here, this is the first starting point for virus removal.
     
  11. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,944   +167

    At $59 a year NOD32 reminds me of Symantec Norton Antivirus, and NOD32 has to be a resource hog with its cost and firewall characteristics. You have a freezing issue with this computer, and granted this could be caused by several things. The first thing that comes to most minds is that a program is trying to take an unusual amount of CPU/Memory resources at the time of the freeze. I suppose this could be a memory timing or memory voltage problem too
     
     
  12. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 698

    NOD32 doesn't have a firewall, its the Smart security package that does.

    Unless the poster is mistaken by NOD32 and ESS
     
  13. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    Nod32 does NOT contain a firewall and Norton, AVG, McAfee, etc. are bigger resource hogs. That is a fact. Nod32 is the least resource intensive one I've ever used.

    This freezing started a long time after I had already installed and successfully used Nod32 and I see no evidence that it is scanning when the freezing occurs. Thus, I doubt it is the culprit.
     
  14. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    This problem just started again this morning. Does anyone have any other ideas? I will try to run all these programs today like CCleaner, etc. and post my results up here.

    I am a bit suspicious that I may have some dying RAM. Does anyone know where I can find some good RAM tests to see if this might be the case?
     
  15. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    I just ran CCleaner twice and let it remove all the stuff it needed to. I noticed one odd thing while using the program though. At the top of the little window for it the program listed my computer's processor and RAM, etc. Under RAM it listed me as having 2.7 GB of RAM when my machine is actually loaded with 4 GB of RAM.

    I am wondering if that may be the culprit. Perhaps some of my RAM has went bad.
     
  16. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    Control Panel-System still lists me as having 4 GB of RAM though so no idea. Another update. I uninstalled Nod32 to see if that would help. I rebooted and went into playing a video game. Within 10 minutes the game froze and here we are yet again. I am suspicious of bad RAM or video card at this point. The card is an NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT and is like only a few months old or so.

    Help please!
     
  17. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,944   +167

    Make sure you are running the latest 2.22.986 version. I use the same CPU and memory and CCleaner reports the memory type and amount correctly... Run Memtest86 to test the RAM. What does you Windows Experience Index show for your RAM? 5.9?
     
  18. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    How do I access the Windwos Experience Index? I amnot familiar with it. I will take your advice and get back to you shortly on what I find.
     
  19. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,944   +167

    Control Panel, System... You may have to select "classic view"... You may notice that the Windows Experience Index needs to be updated. if you do, update it. I am running Vista Home Premium, SP2, 64bit and Windows 7 RC, 64bit
     
  20. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    Ok. Under Ctrl Panel - System it still lists me as having 4 GB of RAM.

    When I went to Windows Experience it said it needed to be refreshed due to new hardware. I allowed it to refresh. Here are my new benchmarks:

    Processor: Calculations per second = 5.9

    Memory (RAM): Memory operations per second = 5.0 (This one was highlighted)

    Graphics: Desktop performance for Windows Aero = 5.9

    Gaming graphics: 3D business and gaming graphics performance = 5.9

    Primary hard disk: Disk data transfer rate = 5.8

    Overall score determined by lowest subscore = 5.0
     
  21. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,944   +167

    Are you running two 2GB modules or four 1GB memory modules? Try removing the modules one at a time, and see if your system stabelizes... You most likely have one bad memory module
     
  22. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    I am pretty sure it is 4 1 GB ones.

    I have thoroughly cleaned the inside of the machine now with compressed air cans and was a bit shocked to discover a lot of dog hair and stuff that had gotten into my CPU heatsink fan. I removed all of it and sprayed down all the components very thoroughly. I have since removed the side panel of the case (that includes a very large 72mm fan) and have pulled the unit out from my desk to let it run with the side off while angling the 72mm fan to still blow into the unit.

    I also sat down an industrial desk fan and have it blowing directly into the case on the floor right at the motherboard and video card, RAM, etc. And I took a larger industrial fan and have it blowing from across the room into the side of the unit as well. So far so good.....no lockups.
     
  23. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,944   +167

    Ahh, an overheating issue! I have a front case filter that catches most of my 2 cats hair before it get into the case. Good luck, and hopefully the thorough cleaning will do the trick
     
  24. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    Thanks! I'm not sure if this was the case or not....overheating, that is. However, so far so good. I will let you all know of my progress. The freezing is so random it just seems to happen at any time so I will just have to see how it goes.
     
  25. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    This is still occurring and this is slowly driving me FREAKING insane. It just seems to happen randomly. I can sometimes go for long periods of time without it occurring and then when it does it freezes the entire machine and I have to reboot to get out of it.

    And I have also noticed that when this occurs the first time it tends to keep happening in spurts for a bit. So in other words, it will happen once and then happen 2-3 more times during a night or so. I have no idea what is causing this but I am honestly starting to suspect a hardware issue now.

    PLEASE HELP!
     
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