I ran across this site, so I thought I'd see if anyone here has similar problems. Sometime within the last two weeks, I was running a java based application. I unmuted and muted my speakers a few times, and the comptuer froze for a few minutes. The speakers returned to normal, the pc started working again, and I forgot all about it. (Note: I seriously doubt java has anything to do with this, but thought I'd tell the tale from the start.) Some time after that, media center in windows media edition, crashed. That was nothing to worry about, since it opened back up just fine... Another time using the same java based application, I had to use task manager to end the application. Task manager was also frozen. It took opening 120 task managers and getting an application error, before the system finally unfroze. After that, everything seemed to be working fine for a little while. I unfortunately cleared all my system restore points, prior to March 17th. A system restore is out of the question in fixing this problem, so for the moment, I'm stuck. I began noticing that everytime I attempted to adjust the volume with one of the volume keys on my keyboard, the computer would freeze up like it did on the java based app. The task manager would also freeze, and it would take eventually crashing the task manager to solve the problem. After the task manager crashed, the volume would return to normal....I could adjust it with the keys again. The volume buttons also work fine in media center, but freeze with any other application. I can still adjust the volume fine in the volume properties, but I use the keyboard controls frequently. Ever since I got the first task manager error, the volume buttons have been causing the system to freeze. I called the tech support company, and those indians thought about it for around 5 minutes, then suggested that I reformat. I proceeded to say a few choice words, (I've been using computers for nearly a decade, and never once reformatted to fix a problem...), and tell them how they might want to take the easy way out, but that I intend to fix the problem. Like I said, I'm only throwing in the java based references to show what I was doing prior to the problem. I doubt it has anything to do with the problem itself. Needless to say, I'm not going to reformat in order to fix a minor problem such as a volume control on a keyboard. I've researched, and microsoft has "no solution" for application hangs. Typical. A company doesn't even know their own software....heh. The last time I had an application hang, the only way to fix the problem was to do a system restore to the day before the problem started. Unfortunately, I picked the perfect time to clear my restore points... There's got to be another way to fix this, and I think it really happened whenever media center crashed, but I'm clueless on this problem. I've tried reinstalling the keyboard drivers, checking for an update, checking windows update, restoring (can't), spyware scans, virus scans, disk error checks, defragging, and trying the windows file verification tool. (That worked out nicely, since HP doesn't give you the damn Windows disk, and it wont accept no for an answer..) I'd like to try simply reinstalling the task manager, but I'm pretty sure the only way to do that, is to reinstall windows. And I don't want to have to reconfigure all my software, do all the updates over again on dial up, and find all my keys to reactivate the programs. Any help would be much appreciated.