Programs / folders don't launch after long XP uptime

By Zeratul ยท 6 replies
Dec 24, 2011
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  1. Hi guys,

    I've been working on trying to solve this issue, but I can't!

    I usually keep by Dell Vostro laptop running and I don't like to shut it down on daily basis. So what I do is that i just put it into standby mode to resume back quickly to continue my work on it.

    Since several months ago, I noticed that almost after a week (or 8 days) of XP SP3 uptime, XP fails to function properly, meaning that, if i try to open a program, it fails without even displaying a message, it just produces an "error sound"!

    If I try to open a folder, either it fails, or opens it having the address bar not there (as if XP is not able to "display" things right or it has run out of memory to handle open Windows / Softwares!

    if i try to right click on anything, the right click context menu doesn't show up!!!

    1. When such failures start to occur after 7-8 days of system uptime, i check the RAM on the task manager > i have more than 1 GB free!
    2. If close all running programs and try to open new ones, this succeeds, but after a while, it starts to fail again to open Windows/Programs
    3. If I restart the system, after a restart, everything runs well
    4. Virtual memory: still have GBs free
    5. Limited HDD space: NO
    6. Viruses: scanned it before several times and no viruses/spywares detected (using Microsoft Security Essentials)
    7. Tried adding more RAM - removing old RAM stick > problem persists

    what is this behaviour and how can I solve it :) ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Have you tried a complete re-install... starting from scratch?
  3. Zeratul

    Zeratul TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    No raybay, i didn't. I have tons of applications and settings that i don't want to lose. Besides, I wish to find the real reason :)
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,835   +894

    That is understandable - - I wouldn't take that as a first choice either :)

    I'm on a laptop and use the hibernate feature to do the same thing - -
    sleep the system until tomorrow morning and thus my uptimes run into weeks.

    Once in a great while, I will also see variation of symptom. I frequently leave several programs running when asking for hibernate - - a browser, my email client program, outlook calendar and sometimes a few more.

    I believe that closing all programs with Internet access (browser, my email client)
    to be helpful and even to close all user programs.

    Also suggest you download pagedefrag

    First set the pagefile size to two equal values and avoid the System Managed approach - - that cause excessive i/o delays when expanding and even when completed, causes massive fragmentation in the most important file that should NEVER be fragmented!

    That suggests an error was logged in the Eventvwr
    • Using an Admin login
    • run->cmd-eventvwr.msc
    • click on System
    • scroll to find Error events
    • copy and paste the details of two or three

    btw: Hopefully you login for day-to-day work on a Limited User account
  5. Zeratul

    Zeratul TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    thank you Jobeard,
    I'll check the eventviewer thing, but within this week, because I can't identify which errors are produced during this kind of malfunction.

    However, regarding the pagefile, i checked my current setting and found that both values are set to 3,500 MB, but on a different partition from the system one (could that cause any problem?!)
  6. bbearren

    bbearren TS Rookie

    Not likely. I've run the pagefile on a dedicated separate partition for years on many machines with no issues at all.

    You might try running sfc /scannow.
  7. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I would guess the problem will be hard to solve unless you get clear indications from event viewer. In addition to what has been suggested so far, other things that occur to me would be

    A clean-out of all temp locations (ccleaner)
    A full run of chkdsk /r
    A full defragment (with optimisation if possible - auslogic disk defrag)
    A full HDD read-write test with manufacturers test suite (or seatools)
    A check of all installed applications to stop any of them trying to use the internet for automatic updating (secunia PSI)

    Certainly you should not, unless you have to, leave anything running unattended for days on end, especially if it uses the internet.

    To give you just an idea, lots of software produce logs of what they are doing - for example zonealarm firewall can easily fill several gigabytes of storage unless you throttle back the sort of logging it wants to do, Then your PC runs low on HDD space, but after a re-start, old logs are discarded so when you check there seems to be plenty of space.....

    Oh, one other thing - you are on SP3 I would hope, because anything lower is simply getting more-and-more out of compatibility with other third-party apps and you will be seeing more and more weird things happening. For similar reasons, it would be wise to make sure all your drivers are up-to-date against SP3

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