Why does my computer lock up?

Question

when I first turn on my computer it will lock up so I push reset till windows loads then it locks up again. what I've been doing is after windows loads and locks up is wait 30 min. then reset and windows will load, then everything seem s fine. do you have some sort of Idea what could be causing this problem? my computer is only 2 yrs. old.

Answer

This question was answered on October 27, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

One of the most difficult problems to solve for any computer system is a random system hang up or lock up Unless you are willing to invest a few hours of troubleshooting, there is no quick and easy way to determine the problem Lock up problems should be approached as software related first and hardware second

The best way to approach a software related problem is to examine the history of the system That is, was the system working before you added a new piece of hardware, installed a new driver, or application? For example, if you're getting random lock ups just after updating your video driver, then chances are good that it's somehow caused by the new display driver To test your theory, simply reinstall the previous version of the driver and see what happens This may apply if you experience similar problems after installing a new application Go into Control Panel/ Add/Remove Program and uninstall the affending application

The point is, first determine if the cause is a software/driver problem If so, try rolling the system back to its most recent stable state; either by uninstalling application or device drivers A common problem is the installation of some games, which will automatically install its version of Microsoft DirectX If a game asks if you wish to install DirectX, always say NO!

If all else fails, then you may have to reinstall your operating system It may seem a big hassle to reload all your drivers and applications, and then reconfigure the system exactly the way you like it But sometimes it's easier to start over from scratch, rather than spend a few hours trying to figure out which driver or application is causing the system lock up

If you find out that it may not be a software problem, then you'll have to see if it's caused by faulty hardware Go for the obvious causes first: did your areahave a blackout or power outage recently? Or was there a recent storm in your area? Any of these events may damage a computer system (or possiblly any electrical equipment for that matter).

Computer equipment may go bad for no reason There are times when a video card will be working perfectly a few minutes ago, but then you powered down the system and on the next power up you get no video When troubleshooting a system, always keep this fact in mind: computer parts may fail for no reason at any time

The main cause for hardware related lock up problems is due either to your system memory and/ or the system board Replace the memory first, if you have a spare set of good memory If that wasn't the cause of the problem, replace the system board If your PC continues to experience problems, then you may want to strip the system down to the video card The next items you'll want to replace is the power supply, hard drive, and the processor as the very last resort

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Author

Posted by Henry of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on October 27, 2004