Troubleshooting Computer Freeze (Lockup) Problems
By Michael Woodford
How familiar does the following sound? Your computer was working fine, but then
suddenly started locking up (aka hanging or freezing), rebooting itself (crashing)
or shutting down spontaneously? If you know only too well what I am talking about,
then read on! Performing the simple steps below can fix the majority of lockup cases.
1. Check for recently installed software or hardware.
If the lockups started to happen after you installed a new peace of hardware, new
software program, or new drivers, uninstall it and see if the problem goes away.
2. Run your antivirus program.
One of the first things to do in the case of sudden lockups is to run your
antivirus program. Check your antivirus manufacturer's website for updates and
latest virus definition files. (This is absolutely necessary, outdated antivirus
is not going to be of any use!) If you don't have antivirus software installed -
or if updates are unavailable - run one of the web-based antivirus scans that
some major antivirus vendors like Trend Micro are offering for free..
3. Run some good spyware removal tool.
If your machine is not infected with any viruses, it is still possible that it
has some harmful adware or spyware is present. Download and run some good
spyware removal tool such as AdAware or Microsoft AntiSpyware..
4. Check for free hard drive space.
When no viruses are found, check out free hard drive space on drive C:. Make sure there
is more than 20 percent of free space available; low disk space can lead to random lockups.
5. Check for overheating.
Overheating is another known cause of lockups. It can be caused by problems with
fans inside the case, dust buildup, or other cooling problems. Make sure the
power supply fan and CPU fan are running and free of dust buildup.
• Be very careful while cleaning inside the computer case (use plastic vacuum
crevice tool) and NEVER OPEN THE POWER SUPPLY CASE as it contains high voltage.
6. Check the hard disk.
Check the hard disk - it is possible that its logical structure is corrupted. To
check the disk for errors, right-click on the disk C: icon in "My Computer",
select the "Tools" tab, check all check boxes in the "Check disk options" field,
and press the "Check now" button. It should ask whether you want to schedule the
check next time you restart your computer - answer "Yes" and restart your PC.