Understanding Why Your Computer Freezes Up

Posted on 09 August 2010

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It can be tricky to work out why your PC hangs as there is rarely shown an error message to give you an idea of what to fix. This article takes a look at the three main instances where your computer freezes up and proposes some solutions.

Computer Freezes Up With Specific Applications

If the problem only occurs with one application then can help focus your research.

  • Check for known performance issues with the applications. Look for patch updates or customer tickets reporting the same issue.
  • Open Task Manager (processes section) and check how much RAM the application is using. If it is excessive then it may be a application fault so contact the vendor. Consider alternative tools.
  • Run a registry cleaner tool. The issue may be with a shared configuration key which another tool has overwritten.

Computer Freezes While Windows Is Starting Up

  • Check the amount of RAM identified is correct. If the RAM is not being identified it may be faulty or simply come loose.
  • If the drive is making odd noises then there may be a component fault (e.g. bearings seized). Get it checked out at a PC repair shop.
  • Boot up in safe mode to reduce the number of services running and run a virus scan and registry cleaner.

Computer Freezes Up Randomly
Random system hangs can be even more difficult to work out the root cause of the issue so attempt to resolve the problem using broader solutions.

  • Scan for viruses on all disks and external storage.
  • Check you have got enough disk space kept free (over 10% free for each drive) as this will be used for virtual memory.
  • Open task manager and identify (processes tab) which applications are using all the memory. Resolve this issue using the suggestions in the first section.
  • Defragment the hard drive.
  • Run a registry cleaner or PC repair software to check for faults.

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