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WinVista PC locks/freezes periodically - why?
Old 12-31-2012, 09:13 AM   #1
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WinVista PC locks/freezes periodically - why?

All PC's do this at some frequency, but it used to be very rare on every other PC I've used. Now it seems to happen almost every day.

Everything locks up, mouse freezes, can't even ctrl-alt-delete for 5-30 seconds. And then I'm back in business again, seemingly unscathed. A few times I've hard stopped my (Dell) PC with the power switch, but that's a problem on restart of course. The PC run light stays lit, and my CPU %usage meter shows activity (25% or so). I keep worrying that it's a key-logger or other destructive virus/worm. But Norton says I'm OK, and so does malwarebytes.

I've Googled, but every hit seems to yield another answer, and most are pretty complex. If there was any consistency, I'd be game, but not if every one suggests a different answer.

Anyone having/had the same experience - and a successful solution?
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:24 AM   #2
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Memory overload? What browser do you use and how many applications do you typically have open?
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:33 AM   #3
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Memory overload?
+1

Open your Task Manager and click on Performance to see how much memory and CPU you are using. Sounds like you are maxing out.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:35 AM   #4
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My older "under powered" laptop started to do this. I changed my browser to google from Internet explorer and it definitely speeded up without the temporary freezes like you have. A few days ago I installed CCleaner a free download from CNET and it went through and cleaned up some of the lurking stuff in the background, and now my explorer is working faster now than it was without any freezes since then.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:58 AM   #5
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The Vista laptop I am on now does this. All the tabs in Firefox will fade out while the freeze is in effect although the mouse still moves the cursor. I assumed as others mention that some process has grabbed all the available memory and I just have to wait it out. This is an old, under-RAMed HP mini that I don't want to bother upgrading. IIRC I have also seen it on my Win 7 desktop but not frequently.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:19 AM   #6
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Run Firefox in safe mode to see if the problem is an add-in.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:39 AM   #7
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Whatever possessed you to buy something running Windows Vista?
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:43 AM   #8
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Several things come to mind. Look through the event viewer logs see if it identifies anything.

Could be temporary CPU overload, you can set task manager to watch the CPU load under the performance tab. See if some is spiking the cpu.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:44 AM   #9
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Whatever possessed you to buy something running Windows Vista?
My linux box has been up over six months, only down last time the power went out.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:45 AM   #10
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The times I've had the "computer apparently dead for 20 seconds" thing it's been related to an overly-complex PDF file being loaded/parsed.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:01 AM   #11
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Memory overload? What browser do you use and how many applications do you typically have open?
IE9. I usually only have 3-4 apps open at a time.
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Open your Task Manager and click on Performance to see how much memory and CPU you are using. Sounds like you are maxing out.
See below, I visited several website and opened and closed PPT while it was running. And I have a CPU gadget on my desktop, I don't think I've ever seen it reach even 50%.
Quote:
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Several things come to mind. Look through the event viewer logs see if it identifies anything.

Could be temporary CPU overload, you can set task manager to watch the CPU load under the performance tab. See if some is spiking the cpu.
Interesting, this is new to me. The four ERRORS that appear today are DHCP Server, WMI, HP CUE device discovery & Dock Login Service. I need to explore them and in general Event Viewer use further.

Thanks all...
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
IE9. I usually only have 3-4 apps open at a time.

Thanks all...
Does it only do this when IE9 is open ?

Is this 32 or 64 bit version ?

Try a different browser, firefox, chrome etc. See if it still happens. Could be a addon in IE.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:34 AM   #13
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I used to regularly see a half minute total lock-up whenever my free AVG anti-virus was doing any type of update. Have switched over to AVAST on my XP and Win7 machines but haven't swithced on my laptop Vista system yet.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
IE9. I usually only have 3-4 apps open at a time.
See below, I visited several website and opened and closed PPT while it was running. And I have a CPU gadget on my desktop, I don't think I've ever seen it reach even 50%.
Interesting, this is new to me. The four ERRORS that appear today are DHCP Server, WMI, HP CUE device discovery & Dock Login Service. I need to explore them and in general Event Viewer use further.

Thanks all...
HP software is bad karma. I got around to uninstalling a suite of deskjet software, and it took more than 30 minutes to complete that on a PIV and XP.

HP apps are ok, IMO. But those background processes are crap.

AVG is also problematic. I use it on a wide variety of Dell systems. AVG is definitely a problem on older systems.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:34 PM   #15
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Go into services and disable HP CUE discovery.

That could be part of problem.

Also, why DHCP server error?
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:36 PM   #16
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Midpack, your screenshot shows only 59MB of free RAM available. Your computer is probably doing a lot of disk swapping resulting in the slowness that you're experiencing. Click on the "Processes" tab in your task manager and check what is eating up your memory. Also, see if there are any unnecessary programs in your control panel that you can uninstall. Unless the PC was custom built, the manufacturer probably preinstalled a lot of bloat/trial-ware.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:10 PM   #17
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Started having the same problems about a month ago. Vista and using Chrome, and Microsoft Security Essentials, which hogs memory for the first 10 or 15 minutes.
The lock up comes in Chrome, and when checking processes in msconfig, I find chrome running in multiple instances... w/svchost.... even when only one or two tabs are open. Thought it might be in the Chrome extensions, but even eliminating them, still multiple instances. Sometimes 8 or 9.
Chrome "help" ... doesn't. Have uninstalled and reinstalled Chrome.
One of the problems of loading new pages, that comes up often, is... "waiting for Gravatar.com." No satifctory answer I could find.
Have run system mechanic, ccleaner, spybot,malwarebytes, and defraggler.
Event viewer shows nothing.
No programs running in startup.
...........
More annoying... same problem on both Vista computers.... and happening where it never happened before. Not as bad in my XP computer, but still a problem.

The only thing I can think of, is that the browsers... (also tried Firefox) have revised to utilize the newer, faster computers. The explanation of the multiple instances of Chrome... in the processes was cited as a means to load simultaneously, rather than linearly... which explanation sailed over my head.
So, no solutions... just commiseration:
"You are not alone"

BTW... even though I don't have answers, would recommend going to this site, and downloading Process Explorer...
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb896653.aspx

Along with "System Information for Windows"... two of the best diagnostic and information systems, IMHO.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:16 PM   #18
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Just ran Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool hoping...




...nada.

I may need to increase cache, though it's pretty generous vs the total already.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:16 PM   #19
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IE9. I usually only have 3-4 apps open at a time.
See below, I visited several website and opened and closed PPT while it was running. And I have a CPU gadget on my desktop, I don't think I've ever seen it reach even 50%.
You probably have applications that start up when you boot which you are not aware of. This is unavoidable with Windows. You might take a look at the startup menu and see which programs can be disabled.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:24 PM   #20
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For Chrome users, I highly recommend setting this option:

How to fix Chrome in ten seconds | The Verge Forums
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