Why A Computer Freezes And Ways To Fix It

by Rod Dunne on June 7, 2010

in Performance, Registry Cleaners Articles, Tips and Tools

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Understanding why a computer freezes up comes down to establishing what is causing such strain on the PC. This article highlights the causes of a slow computer and some straight forward PC repairs to stop a computer freezing.

Before starting into any maintenance work you should be sure to do a laptop backup of any personal files to an external drive. The computer troubleshooting actions below are relatively non-intrusive, but if the root issue is a hardware fault then this could cause your PC to completely die (stopping all file access).

  • Check the free disk space percentage. This should always be over 10% free space for Windows to operate properly. Clear unused applications and remove files you no longer require. Use CCleaner (a free registry repair tool) to clean out cached files. Any computer will benefit from clearing disk space.
  • Run an anti-virus scan. If there is a trojan virus on the PC then this could be hogging the net connection and the processing power leading to computer freezes on startup and during regular PC usage.
  • Shut down some applications. This can be a simple and immediate way to fix computers performance problems. Use the Task Manager to establish the memory usage of all running applications. A comparatively high RAM usage can be an indication that the application is power hungry or possibly has a flaw (e.g. threading problems) causing its power usage to balloon. Restart the application, shut it down if not in use and check the vendor’s website for updates.
  • Defragment all hard drives. This is especially recommended on heavily used PCs. Computer freezing has a low-likelihood of occurring due to fragmented files but this best practice increases general PC performance if run monthly. It can make for a noticeably faster PC especially if defragmentation has never been run before.
  • Browser performance. If the computer freezes randomly while browsing the net then this could be a result of Flash-heavy web pages. Try clearing the browser cache (in the options menu) and restarting the browser. Check for browser and add-on updates that may have remedied the problem. Disable Flash to test if this makes any difference.

The above will go some way to fix computer freezes. The other options to consider are:

Hardware faults: Check the System Properties > Device Manager for any driver faults relating to modems, graphics cards, laptop hard drives, etcetera. If component damage is suspected then a good PC Service Technician should evaluate the damage for you (they may also use predictive maintenance software to establish which components are reaching the end of their life span).

Run Windows Update to ensure you have all critical updates.

Software/registry faults: It is possible the computer freezes because of a registry error, especially if you see a blue screen error. Make a note of the error code reported, if any, and research the cause on the Microsoft Knowledge Base. Some registry cleaners/optimizers can repair such faults and most provide a free analysis scan that you can trial to then decide for yourself how to fix a slow computer issue. Of the current batch of tools the two popular ones are:

  • Registry Easy: Used for cleaning, repairing and optimizing the registry file. | Registry Easy
    More info & free scan.. | Registry Easy Reviewed
  • PC Booster: A software utility that is specifically designed for speeding up PCs
  • PC Booster Review

If the computer freezing persists in spite of the above actions, then contact the computer vendors support desk detailing any error codes that were observed.

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