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Windows hangs, only Alt-Tab works

By abroad
Jun 18, 2011
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  1. Hi,
    I've now had this problem on two different PCs. Both XP.
    PC stops responding, usually with some windows part-painted. Can't ctrl-alt-del, clock stops updating, can't close anything. Mouse still moves, and the weird thing, alt-tab brings up the 'switch program' box, and swaps though the icons in the box. However, nothing changes on the main screen. Can ping it from another PC. Only way out is to power off. On reboot there's nothing in the event logs.

    Not playing any games/graphics, just outlook, word, excel.
    It's a DELL PC, with 2Gb ECC memory & hardware mirrored root disk. Upgraded everything (BIOS, Video drivers etc.) and latest windows patches.
    Ran latest dell diagnostics overnight, and ran a 3d benchmark on the video driver, no problems reported.

    My laptop had the same problem whenever I tried to install the drivers for my HP printer. Neither PC now has these installed.

    Any suggestions? Anyone seen the same problem? Found this one hard to google, as there are lots of problems alt-tabbing out of video games, but that's not my problem.

    Thanks,
    abroad
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    "It's a DELL PC, with 2Gb ECC memory & hardware mirrored root disk. Upgraded everything (BIOS, Video drivers etc.) and latest windows patches"...

    ECC (error-correction code) memory? Are you sure? it may be NON-ECC memory which is much more common.

    Mirrored "root" disk, or do you mean, mirrored boot disk? How big is this RAID drive?
     
  3. abroad

    abroad TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Tmagic650

    Precision WorkStation 390
    Although it's running XP, I use this as a server, so (when it was bought) it was fairly well spec'ed.
    Crucial's memory scanner reports 2 x 1Gb modules of
    DDR2 PC2-5300, DDR2 PC2-6400, DDR2 (ECC)

    It's got 2 x 250Gb drives which are raid 1 (mirrored), and are the boot device, this is about half full (130Gb free space).
    A 3rd disk (500Gb) I use just for backups, and paging file; this has about 80Gb free.

    Thanks,

    Abroad
     

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