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Windows 7 pro stops working

Posted on 2013-01-27
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Last Modified: 2013-02-07
I'm running windows 7 Pro. After using the computer for a while I can no longer open any programs/software by double clicking on the programs startup icon or file name. Can't start Internet explorer, Windows explorer, task manager or anything else. I also cannot close whatever windows are showing on the monitor. It will not shut down using normal shutoff procedures and I end up having to do a hard reboot each time. I've run antivirus and Malware bites and found nothing.
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Question by:Round141
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Expert Comment

by:LifeN-Ti
ID: 38825618
Hi Round141,
To get a better idea of what's happening - does the computer freeze up completely or do you still have the ability to move the mouse around and see the cursor moving? It could be many things unfortunately, your RAM or Harddrive could cause similar problems but so can the processor. Have you ever had the chance to tell if audio is still working I.e. playing music when it happens and the music continues to play?

do you get any kind of response from anything? I.e. right clicking, dragging/moving windows around, start menu?

have you tried formatting and reinstalling windows by chance? When was the last time you formatted you think, if ever? If never how long have you had the computer?
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Expert Comment

by:Gajendra Rathod
ID: 38825688
1. Hard disk:

Scan disk for bad sector , run command  Chkdsk /f /r
Use Page defragment utility.
Run normal defragmentation.

2. RAM: Try new RAM model.

3. CPU: Check for CPU cooling.
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Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 500 total points
ID: 38825851
if you try to shut down, push the power button momentarily - does it start the shut down?
or do you have to hold the button for 4 sec? then the system is frozen
in this case, troubleshooting can be done 2 ways : Hard and Soft
hard,
 run with the minimum setup to eliminate components as described in my article :

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Components/Motherboards/A_1945.html                  (Short-overview-of-how-to-troubleshoot-bad-hardware-when-a-pc-does-not-post)

when the disk shows problems, use this one :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html

Soft :
type msconfig in the searh box
in startup tab, clikc disable all
in services tab, click Hide MS services, now click disable all
reboot and test
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Author Comment

by:Round141
ID: 38826969
Thanks for your replies. It will take me a day or so to run through the suggestions.
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Author Comment

by:Round141
ID: 38828442
Some answers:
Computer freezes up completely but I can still move the mouse cursor around but clicking anywhere does nothing. Except I can sometimes click start>shutdown. But doing that also accomplishes nothing because it never shuts down. Don’t know if the audio still works. I need to check further on this.
I ran Chkdsk /f /r and it found no problems.
It says the disk does not need to be defragged.
I don’t know how to try new RAM model or what that means or how to check for CPU cooling.

It hasn't been long since I reinstalled windows 7. I then reinstalled my software. This problem may have started after I changed power savings settings because I left the computer on one night and in the morning could not wake it up without a hard boot. However, it had frozen up a few tims prior to that which I just assumed was Windows being Windows.

The rest of your suggestions I am working on and may take a while to complete since how long the computer runs before freezing varies.
Thanks,
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38830036
a couple of notes :
>>  disk does not need to be defragged  <<  that's always so with W7 - it does it in the background
it does not look like a Windows fault, but more like a hardware one to me - i suggest to try the minimum setup as suggested to start troubleshooting
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Author Comment

by:Round141
ID: 38833698
When this happens, most of the time, I can no longer do anything except move the mouse cursor. If I hold the power button on the tower down for 2-3 secons the monitors go blank but windows does not shut down or restart. To get it to shutdown completely I have to hold the power button down until it shuts off. Sometimes, after the program which is running freezes, if I go directly to Start-shutdown. If I wait long enough I might get a message about do I want to force the shutdown of a program that is running. I can click yes but then it never does shut down the computer.

Nobus: I have not yet had time to try your hardware testing solutions. Since the shutdown seems to be intermittent and I can't point to anything I was doing repeatedly each time it froze is it likely that the hardware testing will also be intermittent and maybe show something is working even though it is actually the cause of the problem?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38834187
>>  I can't point to anything   <<  Right - that's why i suggest to use the elimination method : take devices out of the equation

also - did your setup run ok before?
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Author Comment

by:Round141
ID: 38847715
@Nobus: I Did the msconfig, disable all and add back over the last few days. The problem I described hasn't happened in the last 4 days. As to the articles you referenced - what you describe is beyond my capabilities and knowledge or desire to do myself. I will give it a few more days to see if the problem repeats itself as I use all the software, etc.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38848100
since you are not willing to do some hardware troubleshooting, the only option is to bring it to a shop, to have it repaired
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Author Comment

by:Round141
ID: 38862351
Haven't had a problem in over a week. I'm beginning to believe it may have been caused by a flash drive I was using just before the problem started or maybe by a file on that drive. I no longer have that drive. Returned it to its owner. He says he hasn't had a problem with it but it has been reformatted.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38862959
let's hope that was the problem
if no more helps is needed, plse close this Q
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Author Comment

by:Round141
ID: 38863190
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for Round141's comment #a38862351

for the following reason:

Since I haven't had the problem of Windows 7 freezing up in over a week and the only thing that has changed is that I quit using that flash drive 8 days ago I belive that a file on that drive or some kind of problem on that drive may have been the cause of the problem.

Thanks for all replies. I am awarding point because offered answers were helpful and increased my knowledge of using and correcting problems in windows 7.
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Author Comment

by:Round141
ID: 38863191
I made an error in closing this question and wanted to award points to answers I received that led to my belief that it was the flash drive causing the problem.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Round141
ID: 38863198
Thanks for the help. Suggestions made by nobus led to what I believe is the correct answer to this problem - that the flash drive I was using or a file I was accessing on that drive was causing the problem.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38864452
tx for the update - always nice to know what happened
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