Computer freezes ocaisonally during screensaver

Posted on 2011-05-09
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have an always-on computer in a kiosk that takes credit card donations for our non-profit. Sometimes while the screensaver is active the whole computer freezes, requiring a hard reset.
Question by:Jeff swicegood
    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    Check the Screen saver, if it is downloaded from some website or its not one of the default screen savers provided by microsoft.....However, running a computer on Screen saver will ultimately take it to a hibernated situation....Please check the Power settings of the disk time out, network time out, Hibernation etc.....

    In the power option under the Power Schemes Tab....set the following

    Turn off Monitor -  set any convenient time
    Turn Off hard Disks - Never
    System Standby - Never
    System Hibernates - Never

    Under the Hibernate Tab : Disable the system Hibernation...

    This may help to resolve ur issue.....
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    by:Aaron Tomosky
    Agreed. It's probably going to sleep or failing to hibernate properly.
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    I would first try running chkdsk to rule out any hard drive issues. Click Start, then Run, and type cmd then hit Enter. At the command prompt in the window that opens, type chkdsk c:/r and hit Enter. It will prompt you about running next time you restart your computer, hit the Y key for yes. Then restart your computer. If any HD issues were to blame, it should find and repair them fixing the problem.

    If not, I'd suspect a hardware or heat issue as the culprit. The hardware to look at in this case would be the RAM, power supply, or display adapter. Heat issues would most likely be dust clogs or a bad fan on the CPU, display adapter, or power supply. If the system has 2 RAM chips, you could try removing one and see if the problem repeats, then try with the other.

    Good Luck ;)
    LVL 11

    Assisted Solution

    Excellent advice so far.
    It's true that some systems may have issues with power management, and the screen saver likely goes to standby (you could say Hibernate never) it might lockup.  To resolve that usually updating the BIOS and motherboard and built-in chipset, audio, graphics, network drivers can potentially resolve such issues.  If the graphics is not built-in to the motherboard then the graphics card makers drivers should also be updated.
    @lalitgolani makes great suggestions that a) try disabling the power management to see if that's the trigger and also b) for hardware sometimes there are drivers from the manufacturer, and sometimes there are drivers from Microsoft, you could try either or, but trying the latest version usually has the most bugs resolved.

    Of course you'd like to be able to use Standby so it saves on wear and tear and potential overheating damage, because...
    Like @BlueThunda is suggesting: Have the fans stopped?  Are the vents/fans clogged with dust?  Has a heat sink become detached or fallen off?  Is the power supply unreliable, damaged by bad electrical feed?  Have capacitors on the motherboard leaked or popped?
    Such problems are so easy and inexpensive to correct (a new fan might be $4) if caught early, and yet if go unnoticed unchecked, the consequences can be catastrophic.  Tools like HDMonitor, SpeedFan can help, see:   Depends if your motherboard has a chipset that supports monitoring via SMBus, if not, your only clue might be to check the fans temperatures in the BIOS setup page, or to run diagnostics.

    Author Comment

    by:Jeff swicegood
    My power settings were ok. CHKDSK didn't find any errors. I just replaced the power supply a few weeks ago and cleaned the inside of the computer. I will check to see if the CPU fan is running and investigate heat issues.

    Author Comment

    by:Jeff swicegood
    No freezes yet. I haven't tested the heat yet.

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