Although fixing problems with automated tools such as SlimCleaner Plus or DriverUpdate is our recommended route, we have compiled step-by-step instructions to fixing the most common issues below. WARNING: these instructions are intended to be followed precisely.
This article will guide you through the process of
troubleshooting problems and errors that cause Windows to freeze.
Follow the steps in order to achieve the best results. To begin,
start with the next section below...
first thing that should be done is to download and install any and
all available updates for Windows. You can check for updates by
Follow the instructions provided on the web page.
Microsoft will automatically detect which version of Windows you are
running and advise you appropriately to check for updates. If you
haven't installed updates in a while, there will likely be several
updates and the process may take one or more reboots of your system.
Be patient, these updates are important and will prevent much more
than just a system freeze.
updating Windows, check all of your installed software for updates as
well. Updating Windows is a must in any troubleshooting procedure but
the real cause of the problem is likely one of the applications
installed on the computer. Most applications today provide a feature
that will check for updates if accessed. Search the program interface
or look under Settings
for update options. If they cannot be found, visit the sofware
developers website and check for updates there.
After updating all of your software... If you are
experiencing a system freeze when attempting to access a particular
program, that program is the problem. Have you tried updating it yet?
If not, try to update the program and run it again. If you have
already updated the application or there are no available updates and
it is still causing a system freeze, you've identified the problem.
to Uninstall an Application
should now be looking at a new window titled: Add/Remove
The window will state that the list is being populated. This means
that it is looking for all of the software installed on your computer
and putting it into a list for you to view. If you have a lot of
software installed, this may take a few moments. Once the list has
Browse through the list of applications and find the
problem application that causes the system freeze. Click on it once.
uninstall wizard will appear in a new window and ask you if you would
like to uninstall the software. Select Yes
and continue. The uninstaller will guide you through the
uninstallation process and prompt you for input if necessary. It will
notify you once it is complete and prompt your acknowledgement: Click
Update Device Drivers
The software for your hardware devices, the drivers, may
be corrupted or out-of-date. The best method to fix this problem is
to simply download and install the most current, available driver for
your hardware device. However, because there are so many different
manufacturers for countless types of hardware devices, it would be
difficult to provide an in depth tutorial for each manufacturer. You can read our guide to updating system drivers or read on for
tips and tricks for finding drivers.
When updating device drivers, keep these thoughts in
drivers for any given hardware device are hosted on the device
manufacturers website. For example, if you have an nVidia graphics
card, you would visit www.nvidia.com
to search for an updated nVidia graphics card driver.
you don't know the manufacturer of your hardware device, you can
access the device manager for more information about your hardware.
(Vista/7) > Type: devmgmt.msc
you've found the manufacturers website, browse the home page for a
link like or similar to Drivers,
Drivers are typically found by following links such as these. You
may be asked to provide information about the hardware device you
are attempting to update in order to locate the appropriate driver.
Once you've found the page that the drivers are hosted
on, look for the download link next to the hardware device name. On
some sites, the download link is the device name itself. Make sure
you are downloading the correct version of the driver for your
particular version of Windows.
Updating your hardware devices will solve system freezes
if the problems are the result of out-dated or corrupted drivers. If
updating the drivers does not solve the problem, continue reading
A lot of the time, the root cause of freezing
problems are errors within the registry. However, because the
registry information for each application and driver is so unique, it
is beyond the scope of this article to address these issues. It's
also important to mention that editing the registry is hazardous for
most users. Incorrectly handling registry information can result in a
permanently damaged system. The Windows registry contains sensitive
information that is necessary for the normal operation of your
computer. If the system freezes are the result of registry errors,
these issues will have to be resolved in a manner of your choose.
After attempting all of the above troubleshooting steps,
turn off the computer, unplug it and open the case. There is a
possible hardware failure or overheating. We have addressed some of the environmental issues that may be causing Windows freezes, including overheating, in our Proper Hardware Care Part 2: Environmental Threats article, part of our Proper Hardware Care series of articles. If you are uncomfortable
handling the internal components of your computer, you should take it
to a service center to get checked out.
You should first troubleshoot your RAM. You can do this
by running the computer off of a single RAM stick at a time. If the
computer will not POST from one of the RAM sticks, you know that the
RAM stick is bad and needs to be replaced.
You can also check the CPU for damage. Carefully remove
the heatsink and inspect the processor for surface damage and bent
pins. Don't forget to reapply thermal paste before reinstalling the
Next, the power supply should be checked. To test the
power supply, you will need a special tool for testing circuit
conductivity. They can be obtained at many electronics hardware
stores and some automobile stores.
Lastly, plug the computer back up and turn it on, but
leave the case open. Make sure that the fans are operating and that
they are operating smoothly. If the fans are making any strange
noises or are running roughly, it's time to replace them.