Laptop VAIO PCG-5122M.
Windows 7 up to date.
Disk C: 138GB free space
At times the computer freezes.  The mouse cursor does not move.  
Touching any key on the keyboard (including START) has no effect.
The duration of an interruption varies from 1 sec to a few minutes.  After a while everything goes back to normal for 1-2 hrs or so.
The user of this laptop uses only Chrome (last update) and Outlook 2010.
Thanks for your help,
Who is Participating?
John HurstConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
From your most recent description, it appears that the computer may be infested with viruses and malware. This can happen from clicking links on websites that load malware onto the computer. That could easily explain the message on startup and the excessive CPU usage.

Scan the computer with your own Anti Virus application and then scan with Malwarebytes.

If the infestation is serious enough, you may need to try a Windows 7 Repair Install or even format and reinstall Windows.

.... Thinkpads_User
Third-party solution: remove, then reseat the RAM. This will probably fix your issue.
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Open Resource Monitor (part of Windows) and let it run. Things running under Disk (or CPU) will show in the list and the graph will show how much resource.

From your description, it could be disk activity for scanning, indexing and so on. Resource Monitor should shed some light on what is running when it slows down.

Run Disk Cleanup to remove temporary files and then run Disk Defrag to organize the disk.

.... Thinkpads_User
Free Tool: Port Scanner

Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Did you view the event logs for any error messages???

Plus try to run System File Checker from an elevated cmd..

Start ----------> type: cmd --------> press "ctrl+shift+enter" -------> type: sfc /scannow

Plus check to see if any programs are running in the background that might be hanging from the Windows Task Manager.
helpfinderIT ConsultantCommented:
is this computer connected to internet? Did you try to unplug LAN cable from PC when freezing persists? This could help in case your PC is infected by something.
Do you see some pattern when is starts or it happens just randomly?
This is an occasional occurrence in Sony Vaios because of some flaky assembly workmanship for that machine series. I reiterate to remove and replace the RAM before any other troubleshooting.
did it freeze from day 1?
then i would ask a warranty repair/ replacement
DinuAAuthor Commented:
Thanks to all for your advice.

RAdministrator:  The interruptions started a few weeks ago.  Until then, since 2009 this computer behaved normally.  So, it is not a RAM problem.

Disk Clean-up and Defrag are scheduled to run once a week.

Additional information that might be relevant:
The computer is permanently connected to broadband using WiFi.  As the computer is used only for looking at websites and for e-mail it makes no sense to interrupt the connection.  And again, even connected, this problem did not exist a few weeks ago.
The gadget CPU Meter shows ALWAYS 90-100%.

After the computer starts or wakes up a window appears that says: “The Performance Setting is to be switched as follows:”  If I click OK (the only button) the window disappears but reappears after a few minutes. And it stays always on top.   I was not able to detect the program that displays this window.
how much ram do you have?
DinuAAuthor Commented:
Can you get a screenshot of the exact error message?
If not, did it have an Intel or NVidia logo? Because that popup message seems to have to do with the Vaio power settings. I would suggest that you check the instructions at the following link for the popup:

That being said, I also believe, like thinkpads_user, that there might be a risk of virus contamination at this time.

Here are some analysis tools that are more or less foolproof:

Rkill - this will terminate dangerous processes - run before all others

TDSSKiller - anti-rootkit

Hitman Pro - this is a second-opinion virus scanner that can confirm your own AV's findings (attention, the cleaning is not free. Just the scan)

Chameleon - this will install Malwarebytes even if existing virii attempt to block it

RuBotted - this will check for botnet-like behavior

Hope this helps.
it does not sound like a virus.
you can test with msconfig it is something you installed :
in startup tab, click disable all
reboot to test  --** you can do the same for services tab, but click first "Hide MS services"

or try a system restore to a date it was ok
DinuAAuthor Commented:
I attach a snip of that strange window.  It didn't reappear after running Malwarebytes.
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@DinuA - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.

.... Thinkpads_User
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.