Fixing Windows Freezes

Posted by Bob, Slimware
 

This article will discuss...

What is Happening During a Freeze?

In computers, freeze is a term used to describe an event in which the computer stops responding to input. The mouse may or may not be able to move around but all clicks and keystrokes are ignored by the system. To answer the question presented by this topic, nothing is happening during a freeze. Something running in Windows is throwing curves so hard that Windows can't even respond with an error, although there are some instances where an error is immediately followed by a system freeze.

A freeze is almost always recoverable, and generally means that the computer isn't permanently damaged. It simply means that Windows encountered a load situation it cannot handle. I understand how frustrating a system freeze can be - they are an absolute nuisance. I'm fairly certain they are always triggered by important, unsaved work for a project due in 30 minutes - kidding. On a more serious note, Windows freezes can occur due to a number of different circumstances. There are many problem areas that will need troubleshooting, but for now, let's explore some of the common causes of system freezes so that the origin of the problem can be isolated.

Common Causes of Windows Freezes

A system freeze can be just a one time deal. They mostly happen on occasion, when some software or a driver isn't playing nicely with Windows. Software applications are constantly accessing Windows services in order to obtain the resources they need for operation. If the method the software uses to obtain those resources isn't available at the time the resources are requested, Windows will freeze. Alternatively, on a much deeper level, there may be corrupt or out-dated device drivers that are performing actions that Windows simply does not tolerate. Furthermore, there may be hardware failure. Although, hopefully this is not the case.

Here is a list common causes of Windows freezing...

  • Software/Application error – 3rd party software is the most common cause of a system freeze. The functions of some applications may attempt to perform actions or access resources that Windows cannot understand. If the operating system doesn't understand something, it can get hung up and freeze. The best way to troubleshoot this possible cause is to update all 3rd party software that is installed on your computer.

  • Driver corruption/error – Drivers are small pieces of software that allow hardware devices to communicate with other hardware devices and the operating system. Drivers are extremely important and are in constant use while the system is powered on. Therefore, drivers have a high rate of opportunity for failure. The best way to troubleshoot this possible cause is to update all drivers to the most current, available version. Downloading and installing DriverUpdate is recommended to find and install updates to your device drivers. DriverUpdate can automatically find the most current device drivers available for your hardware.

  • Overheating – Similar to hardware failure, overheating can also cause system freezes. The CPU is the chief concern as it is extremely senstive and integral to the operability of the computer. To troubleshoot an overheating issue, read our Proper Hardware Care Part 2: Environmental Threats article. Many users experience what is described as a “hissing” noise whenever a fan goes out. This hissing noise is the sound of the ball bearing going out. This is a common issue and must be addressed immediately. The CPU can not withstand temperatures over it's threshold for too long.

We have assembled a Troubleshooting Windows Freezes guide so that you can attempt to manually fix the issues that cause system freezes. However, since the causes of freezing are so diverse, it is recommended that you use an automated tool.

How to Easily FIX Windows Freezes

Since the causes of Windows freezes are so varied, it is best to perform a diagnosis of your computer to determine what may be causing the problem. Unfortunately, it's hard to do this manually, since there are just so many places to check. Much like a mechanic uses diagnostic tests on your car, the solution is to use an automated tool to diagnose and repair the problems for you.

SlimCleaner Plus, a tool by SlimWare Utilities, is the tool WindowsAnswers.net recommends. SlimWare has been featured in many publications, such as USA Today, and has been featured on such TV programs as Lifetime Network's "The Balancing Act". SlimCleaner Plus is designed to scan for a vast array of issues with your computer. This means that not only will it scan for issues causing Windows freezes, it will also scan and diagnose other issues you might not even know you have!
( click here to download SlimCleaner Plus ) QUICK FIX

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