How to resolve freezing computer?


I've been trying to solve this problem with product support people with no success, and I'm wondering if something is wrong with my hard drive.

The problem started when my McAfee automatic virus updates would try to download/install an update, and would get stuck somewhere in the process. No error messages, no freezing, it just stuck there the entire day. After days and days of the same update trying to finish, I decided to completely uninstall my virus scan and reinstall the entire program online. The same thing happened, and I discovered the process stopped as the program was just being installed. Download was successfull, but whent the progress bar hit 60%, a gray box comes up saying 'preparing the installation,' I leave it there, come back hours later and it's still in progress. So now, I am completely vulnerable to viruses since I cannot complete the installation.

Now I've discovered that any program or update I attempt to download from the internet and install on my computer, including the flash player and the recent Windows update from Microsoft, freezes when installation begins. This does not happen when installing a program from a CD-ROM like my game The Sims (I uninstalled it and reinstalled it to check).

One of the support people for the software told me to free up disk space and delete all of my downloaded program files (my flash player happened to be in that folder). So now I can't reinstall flash, and whenever I visit a web page that seems to have a flash advertisement or graphic, which my computer cannot support, Internet Explorer completely freezes, and I have to ctrl-alt-delete to get out of it.

I've run scandisk and disk defragmenter several times and there seems to be nothing wrong, and I have 11Gb of memory left.


This question was answered on October 26, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Update your system files using Windows Update

In Windows XP Home Edition, you must be logged on as a computer administrator to install components or modify Automatic Updates settings In Windows XP Professional, you must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings might also prevent you from completing this procedure.

Windows Update is a catalog of items such as drivers, security fixes, critical updates, the latest Help files, and Internet products that you can download to keep your computer up-to-date.

Open Windows Update in Help and Support Center

On the Windows Update home page, click Scan for updates

Click Yes when prompted to install any required software or device drivers


Windows Update scans your computer for outdated system files and lets you replace them with the most recent versions

If this does not work.

Reinstall your Opearating System

Place the Windows XP CD in the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive

If the Windows CD displays the What would you like to do? menu, click Exit

Turn off your computer, wait ten seconds, and then turn your computer back on

If you are prompted to start your computer from the CD, do so

After Windows XP Setup starts, press ENTER to continue the setup process

Press ENTER to choose the option To set up Windows XP now, press ENTER Do not choose the Recovery Console option

Press F8 to accept the licensing agreement

At this point, the Setup program will search for previous installations of Windows XP If Setup does not find a previous installation of Windows XP, then you might have a hardware failure Click No, I still have a problem when I try to start Windows below, and then click Next to continue troubleshooting

If Setup does find a previous installation of Windows XP, then the following message will appear:

" If one of the following Windows XP installations is damaged, setup can try to repair it.

Use the up and down arrows to select an installation.

To repair the selected installation Press R.

To continue without repairing, Press Esc."

Choose the appropriate installation of Windows XP, and then press R to attempt to repair it

Follow the remaining directions on your screen


You might need to change the boot drive sequence in your BIOS settings in order to successfully start your computer from the Windows CD Contact the manufacturer of your computer, or see your manufacturer's documentation, for more information

If you are unable to start your computer from the Windows XP CD, then you might have a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive failure or other hardware failure

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Posted by gilbert of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on October 26, 2004