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Windows XP - TaskBar Freezes

By Akis7 · 47 replies
Sep 22, 2003
  1. Hello :)

    I am experiencing an annoying problem. Each time I connect to the internet my taskbar freezes (Windows XP Home). I have to press alt+ctrl+del several times to unblock it (I'm not sure if this actually helps).

    I downloaded all of Microsoft's critical updates and WinPatrol 6.0 but neither of these "efforts" helped.

    I would really appreciate it if someone could help me out.

    Thank You,
  2. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 914

    Give us a list of applications that are running when you connect to the net. Do you use a propitary software package or a generic dialup connection?

    The cause is very broad at this point, let's narrow it down.
  3. Akis7

    Akis7 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am using a dial-up connnection.
  4. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 914

    I was aware of that, I meant, when you connect to the internet, do you use any special application to do it?

    And, give us a list of what other applications are running in the background, such as virus scanners and firewalls.
  5. Akis7

    Akis7 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yesterday I downloaded and installed (Adaware 6 - Spybot S&D - SpyWareBlaster - ZoneAlarm). I cleaned up my pc but this did not fix the "Taskbar Freezing" problem.

    Here are the processes that run in my background each time I connect to the internet:

    svchost.exe (LOCAL SERVICE)
    svchost.exe (NETWORK SERVICE)
    svchost.exe (SYSTEM)
    svchost.exe (SYSTEM)
    System Idle Process

    Why are there 4 "svchost.exe" processes?
  6. Akis7

    Akis7 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    *I forgot to tell you that I have Norton Antivirus 2003 installed
  7. AhmadOOka

    AhmadOOka TS Rookie

    got the same problem

    i have the same problem
    my modem is conexant i tried everything i've been using my pc for a long time and i changed nothing i dont know wt could have caused this
  8. cerebo

    cerebo TS Rookie

    Akis7, i think this prob is not to do with type of connection but with the spybot progs. I had this same error after installing spysweeper. turns out i didnt check the log file to see which files it had pick up and just deleted the quarantined files. after the freezing occured, i checked the log files and it had removed some system files also. if you have system restore swited on (i didnt :( ) just roll back to b4 you installed the spy stuff, just stick with adaware, never had any probs with that.

    hope this helps. :p
  9. kimberr

    kimberr TS Rookie

    I'm having the same problem at the moment. I use Panda for Anti Virus, but I don't use any spy sweeper programs. I connect to the Internet, then the PC hangs. I have to disconnect and reconnect before the applications I have tried to access, will load. It's driving me mad.

    Please help.
  10. Akis7

    Akis7 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I don't think its a modem problem. I also had a PCI 56K Tornado modem with a conexant chipset. Some people told me that the modem was responsible for the "taskbar freeze". The modem is not the case.
    I upgraded to ISDN and now I have an external USB modem. I thought this would solve the problem... but nothing changed. The problem is still there.

    If the cause is a software issue then I guess I have to format my drive cause I've been having this problem for over a year. (I really don't want to do that)

    Any alternatives ?

    HEEEEEEELP :eek:
  11. iamsilver

    iamsilver TS Rookie


    I only registered with this website in order to assist anyone else who has this problem. I did, and I fixed it. I am not a computer expert, but I know how to find the information I want. :)

    A google search on various phrases-- "taskbar freezes," "erratic mouse behavior," "windows xp taskbar problems"-- came up with many different possibilities.

    It turns out this is a fairly rare issue.
    The most common suggested solutions were these:
    -Decrease cpu load (which CAN freeze the taskbar)... by elminating unnecessary programs from loading at startup.
    -Install more ram. (Again, an issue related to load).
    -Uninstall Norton Antivirus.
    -More stuff, network related.

    Among my searching, I notice a couple recurring peculiarities. For one, people had either installed some kind of antivirus (usually Norton). Another recurring theme is that people had installed microsoft's service pack 2 (which, as far as I can tell, does some annoying network junk that doesn't help the home user much?) The third peculiarity is that many of the people had built their own computer, and they didn't have the problem at first.

    Most of these people did not have cpu or load issues (neither did I, for the record; I built my computer with an asus socket 939 mobo, athlon 64 3500+, and 1gb of pc4000 kingston hyperx ram).
    So the first two suggested solutions would not work.

    However, when it came to the antivirus, a couple people mentioned something about "auto update."
    Also, some people mentioned something about Windows Update.
    Internet related stuff.

    At last, I found some thread about NIC cards ("network interface card cards"... heh, yes, the crap is redundant).

    People found that when they disabled the NIC card, they did not have the taskbar freezing problem.
    I found the same when I tried.

    In Device Manager my card was listed as Intel 21041-based PCI Ethernet Adaptor. Which sounds way too generic to me. I pulled the card out of my comp (a carry-over from my last computer, a Dell), and its barcode read "Farallon 8960785-00-02"... which I discovered, after some research, is from a no-good company based off of mars that keeps changing its name.

    It's now practically extinct, having been taken over by Proxim. Which is still no-good and from mars. But at least it has a cooler name.

    The problem? Very user-friendly (hah) Windows XP was installing the wrong driver by default.

    The card I have by Farallon is so old that there aren't any Windows XP drivers for it.

    Proxim's website didn't have my drivers. I had so much trouble finding exactly what I needed. Finally, I find one that MIGHT work at driverguide.com. And when I tried to run the setup? It said some crap about a LAN board not being found. Or whatever.

    So, frustrated at Farallon and Proxim and beautiful women all over the world, I right clicked on the .inf file and installed it anyway. Just for the hell of it.

    And voila. It worked. It's been fine for days now.


    Many people who had built their own computers had this problem because they used generic network cards from their old computers.

    Pull your network card out of your computer. Use its barcode and brand name to locate the correct drivers via driverguide.com. Find SOME WAY to install the driver. And hit on that hot chick you see everyday because you're so happy your computer works.

    Feel free to email me and tell me how much you love me, if this helps you. :D

  12. Akis7

    Akis7 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I just read your ENLIGHTING quote :grinthumb (I already fixed the problem before reading this). In my case I was using a cracked version of NAV 2003 (don't know if that was the case). I also have 512MB DDR (maybe if I had 1GB this wouldn't happen... but the thing is it didn't happen every single time .. it happened like 7 times out of 10.. sometimes I was lucky).
    Now about the startup programs... maybe that was the case... but I couldn't find anything wrong with my startup programs.. everything was normal.
    My A7V8X Asus motherboard has a built in ethernet adaptor (Broadcom 440X 10/100). In my case everything is cool with the NIC.

    I bought my PC bout 1 year ago. It hadn't been formatted since then.
    Because of this ongoing pain in the *** problem I thought it was time for something drastic... a good ol FORMAT of the c drive ( I couldn't take it anymore :p ).

    I have a genuine copy of Windows XP HOME so i installed it after formatting my drive. Then I clean installed Windows XP Service Pack2. I also bought NAV 2005 and installed that too.

    Nothing works better than a good ol' format. Everything is back to normal now (AT LAST!!!!). No problems with a clean install of SP2 so far. All good for now. :bounce: :bounce: :giddy:
  13. grimesy69

    grimesy69 TS Rookie Posts: 49

    Anoying TAskbar Freezes

    I am having a similar problem, sometimes when i connect to the internet via my external dsl modem, my taskbar freezes with the ballon still up. this ballon says connected at 576.6kbps. and sometimes my computer does not crash. other frequent times my computer can totally freeze causing me to reboot via reset button.

    Does anyone no a solution to this dilema :confused: :wave:

    Windows Xp Professional.
    Sp 2
    Amd Athlon 2500+ 1.8Ghz
    2 x 256mb ram ddr
    40gb hd
  14. Gunny

    Gunny TS Rookie Posts: 66

    Have you checked to ensure that Windows' firewall is not on at the same time as your ZoneAlarm? SP2 turns on Windows' firewall by default. You should have only one firewall and one antivirus running at any time. Having two of either or both running gives mysterious problems.

    You should also have either Windows System Restore or equivalent such as GoBack. Running both of them does not crash or hang the system but does slow it down significantly.

    The system will also hang after some time when your memory (RAM and Pagefile) gets filled up. One or more of the processes may have what's called a memory leak. You need to (a) get more RAM, (b) increase the size of your Pagefile and/or (c) disable some of your background processes. Check the CPU Usage and PF Usage in the Performance tab of Windows Task Manager.

    Also, if any of the processes is "phoning home" to a site which is very slow to respond your system/browser will appear to be hanging. The same can happen when you manually access a very slow site.

    Lastly, you might want to check the Restricted Sites and cookies permissions in your Browser's Internet Options and the contents of the Hosts file in the C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc folder.

  15. grimesy69

    grimesy69 TS Rookie Posts: 49

    :wave: My paging file is set 800 mb, i dont think this is the problem, i only have 1 fire wall so it isnt that, iam still in a dilema without a conclusion so is there anyone that can help me??? :cool:
  16. vassos

    vassos TS Rookie

    windows messenger is responsible.

    i had the same problem for long time. I hane tried almost everything. I had this problem both on my desktop and on my laptop pc. I found out that I had uninstalled windows messenger. That was the problem in my case. I re-installed windows messenger, and both desktop pc and laptop work perfect. If anyone found helpfull this post, please email me at vantipas@central.ntua.gr just from curiosity.
  17. mainer66

    mainer66 TS Rookie

    I have exactly the same problem with a HP compaq nx9030 and a HP pavilion ze4940ea. Both equipped with a Centrino 1,6 and 1,7 GHz; 512 MB RAM each.

    The hardware of both laptops is very similar:
    • SoftV92 Data Fax Modem with SmartCP Vendor CXT with driver dated 06/18/2004
    • Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG with driver dated 10/29/2004 using Intel PROSet Wireless Software
    • Realtek RTL8139/810x with driver 5.618.015.2004 dated 11/15/2004

    Freshly installed (Windows XP SP 2 Home / Pro) with newest available drivers. All Windows components/internal programs installed except MSN Explorer, Windows Messenger, Message Queuing and IIS.

    No problem occured first when using internet access via LAN.

    I recognized the problem for the first time with the HP nx9030 when using CISCO VPN Client version 4.0.x to connect to the University´s VPN server (using WLAN). After connecting with the VPN server the taskbar freezed up for about 5 minutes or so. But I was able to work with the programs already started/opened on my desktop. After about 5 minutes or so the taskbar was reachable/usable again.

    On the HP pavilion ze4940ea everything went all right at first, too. Internet acces using LAN did function. But when I tried to establish a dial-up internet access using german Arcor as ISP with windows internal connection functions the taskbar freezed right after connection for about 5 minutes or so.

    Over the weekend I completely reinstalled the HP compaq nx9030 (I think I just instaled the same programs as before) and even used WLAN at home. LAN and WLAN worked. Back at the Univesity I installed CISCO VPN client verion and everything workd fine even with the CISCO VPN client using LAN. BUT after switching on the WLAN module and trying to use CISCO VPN client over WLAN the taskbar freezed again.

    I did the same (format, reinstalled everything) with the HP pavilion ze4940ea (which again is very similar to the nx9030 regaridng network card, Intel 2200BG WLAN card and so on using the same drivers). Again everything worked fine with internet access using LAN. BUT when trying to use a dial-up intenet access again the taskbar freezed for about 5 minutes.

    In fact I uninstalled Microsoft Messenger in both cases before, but even reinstalling this program as mentioned above didn´t change anything.

    UPDATE: I uninstalled Intel PROSet Wireless Software and just installed the WLAN cards driver version dated 08/07/2004. At first it seemed to solve the problem using WLAN and Cisco VPN client but after about 1 minute or so the taskbar freezed again. The second time I tried it, it froze at once....
  18. vassos

    vassos TS Rookie

    norton antivirus 2005?

    i agrre with you. the problem continues.... I use a cracked version of norton antivirus 2005. what about you?
  19. mainer66

    mainer66 TS Rookie

    No - every piece of software on my Laptop is legal.
    I use Sophos Anti Virus which is the antivirus program of my University.

    Conclusion till now: Everything works fine using LAN but as soon as I start to use a second network device (not parallel!) like the modem or WLAN VPN the taskbar freezes unregulary
  20. grimesy69

    grimesy69 TS Rookie Posts: 49

    iam now experiencing a new problem, my taskbar no longer freezes when connecting to the internet, my taskbar now freezes at start up :unch: i dont know why it is, will be anythign to do with my programs that run at start up :confused:
  21. mainer66

    mainer66 TS Rookie

    OK maybe it´s the Conexant Modem and/or audio driver provided via Windows Update from the Microsoft Homepage:

    I just completely formated and reinstalled Windows XP SP2; I also installed all optional Windows components unter "Software" like monitoring programs and so on.

    After that I just installed Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG with driver
    dated 10/29/2004 using Intel PROSet Wireless Software from Intel Homepage.

    And then I installed CISCO VPN Client 4.6.0.x

    Everything went fine establishing an internet connection using WLAN and CISCO VPN.

    After that I installed both Conexant Modem and Audio driver provided on Windows Update from the Microsoft Homepage and after that installation of those two drivers my taskbar freezes after establising an internet connection using WLAN und CISCO VPN. I get an established message and that´s it...

    EDIT: It doesn´t seem to freeze every time. I restarted the Laptop again and was trying to establish a connection and everything went fine. After disconnecting, switching off WLAN, switching on WLAN and reestablishing a WLAN VPN connection the taskbar freezed.

    UPDATE: Maybe it is this Conexiant Audio driver

    AT ALL OTHER USERS: Could you please describe which hardware you are using? Are you all using a notebook? Which hardware? Something from Conexiant?
  22. mainer66

    mainer66 TS Rookie

    Hm, very strange. Right now I did nearly the same as before:

    Windows XP SP 2 (but without the additional windows software compotents)
    CISCO VPN Client
    Intel WLAN Software
    Conexant Aduio Driver

    everything seemes to work

    After installing the additional windows software components the problem occurs again.

    OK, I deinstalled the additional windows software components. After that with the first try everything worked. I tried it a second time and - taskbar freezed again.
  23. mainer66

    mainer66 TS Rookie

    OK, I think I know what it is - the additional windows components like "network services", "additional monitoring programs" "additional file and print services".

    I reinstalled Win XP SP2 again but didn´t intsall these components - and it works. At least till now.
  24. mainer66

    mainer66 TS Rookie

    I reinstalled Win XP SP2 on my second HP notebook - again without the addiotional windows software components mentioned above - and it works - also with dial-up networking

    It doesn´t help by the way, if you just uninstall these additional components - you have to completely format and reinstall Windows XP SP2.
  25. auditordude27

    auditordude27 TS Rookie

    Solution to Taskbar Freezing (at least for me)

    I had the same problem with the taskbar freezing on me for several minutes when I would first connect to the internet (dial-up).

    I am running WinXP SP2 Home Ed.

    These are the steps I have taken to resolve this issue:

    1) Stopped and disabled the following services:
    a) SSDP Discovery Service: This service is responsible for querying a network for possible Plug and Play devices. It uses port 1900. A little history: when I connected to the internet, I configuared the Windows Firewall not to allow exceptions. This included the UDP port 1900 that is part of the UPnP Framework (UPnP = Universal Plug and Play). After doing that, the taskbar would freeze after I connected to the internet. After a little research, I discovered the purpose of UPnP and the SSDP Discovery Service and it's need to connect though port 1900. When I configuared Windows Firewall to allow this port, the taskbar no longer froze. However, since I did not need this service on my network, I chose to disable it.
    b) Univeral Plug and Play Host Service: This service is responsible for hosting UPnP devices to a network for sharing with other computers that comply with the UPnP Framework protocol. Since I did not need this service, I disabled it.
    2) NOTE: Please be careful when changing the registry as your computer may become unbootable/unusable if incorrect postings are made, changed or deleted. I posted a registry change to disable UPnP discoveries: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DirectPlayNATHelp\DPNHUPnP]

    After appling these changes, I have not had a problem with the taskbar freezing since -- not even once.

    Hope this helps those having this problem.


    PS. If you are wondering if disabling the services outlined in the steps above will disable the Plug and Play features in WinXP for any device you connect to your computer...it will NOT. The "Plug and Play" Service is responsible for that and is seperate from the Universal Plug and Play Host and the SSDP Discovery Services.

    Just in case the questioned arose.
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