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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my computer freeze?

Question:

I’m having trouble with my computer locking up. I can get on it and it will run fine for a while then it will freeze. Do you have anything I could try to solve the problem. It happens when I'm on or off the Internet. The computer is not that old, why would it be freezing like this?

Answer.

If you have DirectX loaded (load it if you don't) go into the C:\Program Files\DirectX directory using My Computer. Double click on the program DxDiag.exe. This program will tell you if your system peripherals and software drivers are working and allows you to test your video and sound card. If your peripherals don't work, you either have software driver problems or hardware conflicts.

Check to make sure all of your hardware drivers are current. Run Driver Detective or update all drivers for your peripherals by visiting your manufacturer’s web site and downloading each of the latest drivers. If everything is OK there, go into theControl Panel and choose the System icon. Open all the subdirectories and look for yellow or red warnings. These mean you have a hardware conflict that needs to be resolved. If you have no problems so far, it may be the BIOS settings.

Restart your computer and press the Delete key during startup to enter your BIOS. Choose the recommended default setting.

If you have had older hardware devices attached to your computer at any point like keyboards, joysticks, video cards, etc. you need to clean the unused devices off of your machine. Windows will oftentimes access old devices. Go to Control Panel, go to System, go to Devices and mark or delete the used devices.

Next, clean up any helper software and unnecessary applications that may be running in the background. Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and select Task Manager. You will see a list of programs you are currently running. Do you see some applications running that you don't recognize you are supposed to be running? You may have what is called malware. You can easily remove these programs without affecting your computer by using Pareto Anti-Spyware software, a free download. You can also go to Start, go to Control Panel, and then click on Add or Remove programs and manually remove the programs you do not use.

It is also possible your computer is locking up because of low system resources. Go to My Computer and then click on Help in the menu bar and then choose About. This will show you the amount of resources you have free. You should have at least 20% of unused Windows resources. You may very well need to buy and install additional RAM.

If none of this seems to be helping, you can try backing up your files and folders and reformatting you computer. You will have to re-install Windows so be sure you have your Operating System disk. Good luck, and read more from our Tech Tips to determine whether or not you should reformat.