Computer freezes — what to do?

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One of the common problems that may arise from the user the computer hangs while working, in games, during startup or during Windows installation. Thus, to determine the cause of this behavior is not always easy.

In this article — detail about why hangs the computer or the laptop (most common options) with respect to Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7 and what to do if you are having this problem. Also on the website there is a separate article on one aspect of the problem: installation Hangs Windows 7 (and for Windows 10, 8 on relatively old PCs and laptops).

Note: some of the activities suggested below may be difficult or impossible to perform on a hung computer (if he makes it «tightly»), but they are quite feasible, if you go into Windows safe mode, note this point. Can also be useful material: What to do if your computer or laptop slows down.

Programs in the startup, malware and not only

Start with the most common in my experience case the computer hangs when loading Windows (during login) or immediately after it, but after some time everything begins to work in normal mode (if not starts, then the options below are probably not about you, you can approach are described later).

Fortunately, this version of the hang is the easiest (because hardware does not affect the nuances of the system).

So, if the computer freezes happens during Windows boot, that is the probability of having one of the following reasons.

  • In the startup there is a considerable amount of programs (and possibly service), and they are on the run, especially on slow computers, may result in the inability to use a PC or laptop before the download.
  • Your computer has malware or a virus.
  • Connected to your computer any external device, initialization takes a long time and at this time, the system stops responding.

What to do in each of these options? In the first case, I recommend first of all to remove everything that is in your opinion not need in the startup Windows. In detail I wrote about this in several articles, but most suitable manual startup programs in Windows 10 (and described in it is also relevant for previous versions of the OS).

For the second case I recommend to use a anti-virus utilities, and separate means for removal of malware — for example to check the computer Dr.Web CureIt and then AdwCleaner or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (see Tools malware removal). A good option to use boot disks and flash drives with anti-virus software to check.

The last point (device initialization) is rare and usually occurs with older devices. However, if there is reason to believe that the device serves the cause of hangs, try switching off the computer, disconnect all unnecessary external devices (except keyboard and mouse), turn it on and see if the issue persists.

Also recommend a look at the list of processes in Windows task Manager, especially if you can start task Manager before the freezing manifests itself — there’s you (maybe) will be able to see which program is causing it, drawing attention to the process which is causing 100% CPU usage when it freezes.

Clicking on the column heading CPU (meaning CPU) you can sort the running programs by the degree of CPU usage, which is useful for tracking problem, which can cause brake system.

Two antivirus

Most users know (because this is often stated) that you cannot install more than one antivirus on Windows (pre-installed Windows Defender while not considered). However, still there are cases when in one system are two (or more) anti-virus product. If you so, then it is very possible that this is why your computer hangs.

What to do in this case? Everything is simple — remove one of the antiviruses. Moreover, in such configurations, where Windows is several anti-virus, removal can be a non-trivial task, and I would recommend to use a special uninstall utility from the official websites of developers, not simple removal via «Programs and features». Some details: How to remove antivirus.

The lack of space on the system partition

Another common situation is when the computer starts to hang — no space on C (or a small number). If your system drive 1-2 GB of free space, very often this can lead exactly to such a computer, lock-UPS at different points.

If you are about your system, I recommend to review the following materials: How to clean the disk from unnecessary files, How to increase drive C through disk D.

The computer or the laptop freezes after some time after switching on (and no longer responds)

If your computer to always, after some time after switching on for no apparent reason crashes and to continue the work it is required to shut down or reboot (and then after a short time the problem repeats itself), then there are possible options of the cause of the problem.

First of all is the overheating of the computer components. Whether this is the cause, you can check using special software to determine the temperature of the processor and graphics card, see for example: How to check the temperature of CPU and GPU. One of the signs that in this problem the computer hangs during the game (and in different games, not one), or run «heavy» programs.

If necessary, you should make sure that the ventilation openings of the computer is no overlap, to clean it from the dust, maybe replace the thermal paste.

The second option possible causes — problem programs in the startup (for example, incompatible with current OS) or device drivers are causing freezes, that also happens. In this scenario, you can help Windows safe mode and then delete unnecessary (or recent) startup programs, checking the device drivers, preferably — to install drivers for chipset, network and graphics from the official sites manufacturer, and not from the driver pack.

One of the common cases relevant to that just described embodiment, the computer hangs when you connect to the Internet. If you that is what is happening, I recommend to start with updating drivers for your network card or wifi adapter (under upgrade I mean installing the official driver from the manufacturer, not the update via Windows device Manager, where almost always you will see that the driver does not need updating), and to continue the search for malware on computer, which can also cause slow down in the moment of emergence of Internet.

And another possible reason may hang the computer with similar symptoms — problem with RAM of your computer. It is worth to try (if I can and know how) start the computer with only one of the strips of memory, with the repetition of hang on the other, to identify the problem module. As well as checking the computer’s memory with the help of special programs.

The computer freezes because of hard disk failure

And the last common cause of the problem — the hard disk of the computer or laptop.

As a rule, the symptoms are as follows:

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  • During operation, the computer may hang tightly, and the mouse pointer continues to move normally, just nothing (programs, folders) will not open. Sometimes after a certain period of time passes.
  • When you hang the hard disk starts making strange sounds (in this case, see the Hard disk makes sounds).
  • After some downtime (or work in a demanding program like Word) and when you run another program, the computer freezes for a while, but after a few seconds «dies» and everything is working fine.

I’ll start with last point — as a rule, this occurs on laptops and not talking about any problems with the computer or disk: just in the power settings you have put up the «turn off disks» after a certain time of inactivity to save power (and idle time can be considered and time without reference to the HDD). Then, when the disk is needed (run program, open anything), it takes time to «spin», for the user it may look like a hang. This option is configured in the settings of the power supply circuits if you want to change the behavior or disable sleep for the HDD.

But the first of these is usually more difficult to diagnose and may have their reasons for a variety of factors:

  • Data corruption on a hard drive or a physical malfunction — is to check the hard disk with the standard Windows tools or more powerful tools, such as Victoria, and also to look through the information S. M. A. R. T. disk.
  • Power hard disk — hangs possible due to lack of HDD supply due to faulty power supply of PC, a large number of consumers (you can try to disable some unnecessary devices to check).
  • Bad connection hard disk — check the connection of all cables (data and power) from both the motherboard and the HDD, reconnect them.

For more information

If you have previously any problems with the computer no matter what, and now he was stuck — try to reconstruct the sequence of your actions: maybe you installed some new device, program, performed some action on the «cleaning» of the computer or something else. It may be useful to rollback to a previously created restore point Windows, if any are preserved.

If the problem persists — try to describe in the comments how exactly does the freeze that preceded it, on which device this is happening and possibly I could help you.