XP works normally, locks after opening any program

By supermunky
Oct 7, 2009
  1. Hi, this is my first post, thanks in advance for reading.

    I have a PC running XP SP3. I freshly re-installed everything on the machine 2/3 weeks ago. Everything has been running as normal, and I have not installed, downloaded or used anything out of the ordinary, and in fact have only surfed, received emails and written word documents.

    The PC powers up at normal speed, runs at normal speed, and is generally fine. I can open my computer, open folders, copy files etc. For all intents and purposes all is fine.

    However, if I open a program, it will initially open fine, but subsequently freeze itself, and then the system, normally on the "second" task you ask it to perform

    for instance: double click google chrome, opens fine. load one website. fine. open another tab, everything grinds to a halt. OR you're copying some files from one place to another, you open a very small program, same problem.

    the pc is clean and tidy, no viruses, (as far as i can tell) all defragged, plenty of space, no hardware conflicts (its been fine at the current spec for nearly 10 months) likewise, i think with software...

    I've never had an issue like this before...Is it likely a component on way out or another issue? just so i know where to start?
  2. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    Welcome to Techspot supermunky. Let's see what we can do:

    Chrome is the browser- let's think of that separately from a 'program.' The browser is what you use to access the internet. Bet you knew that already!

    Programs are installed. They use hard drive 'space' when closed and when you open a program, you use RAM- that's your memory. Please go to the Control Panel> System> Genera; tab> find the RAM figure and give it to me.

    You may have plenty of 'space'- you would use that to save files and folders, install programs, apps, etc. But you need RAM to run them. If you would like to share other information about your system, it would be appreciated.

    Two additional questions: Why did you do a reinstall? Did you have the same problem before doing it?
  3. supermunky

    supermunky TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi, thanks for reading. Here are the specs:

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield, Corsair 4GB (4 x 1GB) DDR3, ASUS P5 Q3 Deluxe, MSI Radeon HD2600XT GPU, Pioneer BDR-202 Blu-Ray Burner, WD 7200RPM HDD 1x1TB, 1x500GB (partitioned 100/400 ish). CoolerMaster real power 1000W power supply.

    I upgraded to a Radeon Toxic GPU about 6 months ago. It was faulty, and consequently I reinstalled the original card after a refund (listed above). I reinstalled the whole PC a couple of weeks ago. It was running fine, I just did it to be neat and tidy… I just felt is was a bit of a mess! (and to change the size of the partition on the primary drive).

    (Apart from the card mentioned) I’ve never had any problems. In fact I’ve rarely, if ever, had any crashes. The temperatures throughout are very low, and stable for an air cooled case.

    This problem has just occurred today. The firewall/antivirus is comodo, the registry and general cleaner is ccleaner. The disk is not fragmented.

    I use the machine to edit video, but have not performed any intensive tasks for a week or so, mostly just surfing etc. I haven’t installed anything out of the ordinary. Nothing odd is running in the background.

    If the problem was malwire/virus related I wouldn’t be able to scan using existing software, or reinstall a different program, due to the hang up problem itself!! I’m happy to reinstall again but I wanted to check that I wasn’t wasting my time if it was a glaringly obvious hardware fault/failure.
  4. supermunky

    supermunky TS Rookie Topic Starter

    just one other quick example...

    open photoshop...the plugins/palettes screen cycles through its stuff as normal, the program loads quickly with no hassle. If you shut it instantly, the system is fine, allowing you to open any number of programs/actions separately, but the moment you actually use any of the functions in a program, it will lock, or perform more than one action at once, it will lock.

    Interestingly, you can copy files from one place to another, but eventually this too will hang before completion, despite being seemingly fine at first,

    Likewise a virus scan, which locks on about 5%
  5. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    Well, I thought I replied to this last night, telling you to run the memtest! Maybe I dreamed it, so here it is:

    It "sounds like" one or more of those 4 RAM chips are bad. You surely have enough installed, but the fact that you can boot, access and so on but ending in freezing no matter what you are trying to do would appear to indicate the available RAM is being use, running out, freezing, reboot frees up RAM again, cycle starts all over again.

    I can't think of anything else that could cause what you describe, so I recommend you run memtest to check this out: Directions are here>

    Make sure you do enough passes- I think it's 7. Let me know.
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