Why Does My Computer Keep Freezing or Hanging: Crucial Solutions to Try

by Rod Dunne on February 22, 2011

in Articles, Performance

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Whenever I am stuck wondering why does my computer keep freezing or hanging then I resort to the following checklist of mechanical and software checks. You can use these to resolve computer freezing issues on your own systems and I recommend starting with mechanical checks first.

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1: Check the hard drive

Begin by listing out for any signs of clicking or scratching noises coming from the hard disk once it is running. This would indicate that the motor is damaged or components are seizing up (respectively). These are severe issues and really should not be dealt with by amateurs.

It is best advised to contact a computer repair service to try and rectify the fault. Do not continue to use the hardware as misaligned components in the drive could actually cause more damage to the platters.

2: Overheating issues

If internal components become too hot then they will start to perform poorly and eventually burnout. The main components to be concerned about are the CPU and hard disk drive.

Check that the computer is not being left too close to a heat source such as a radiator and that the air inlets/vents are unblocked of dust. You could also open up the PC and use a can of compressed air to clean out fan filters of dust and check that the heat sink is not damaged and securely fastened to the CPU.

Check the BIOS menu to see what CPU temperatures and fan speeds actually are to make sure they are within guidelines of your PC manufacturer.

3: Check the log

Simply put, error messages may not be getting to your screen before the computer freezes. But they may still be getting logged in the event viewer log [start/run/eventvwr].

The messages are date-stamped/time-stamped so you can find the ones closest to when the computer freezes. Research any error codes online to see what application or service they relate to and check for updates or workarounds.

4: Memory issues

Your system could be running out of virtual memory leading to the computer freezing up. Make sure you have at least 10% of the hard disk drive kept empty for virtual memory to expand unhindered.

In addition, RAM memory may be getting excessively used by specific programs. You can check this using the task manager [processes tab] to pinpoint individual applications.

IN CONCLUSION: Asking why does my computer keep freezing or hanging really comes back to resolving the basic principles of PC maintenance and repairs. As the four areas above point out, start with mechanical checks and then move onto software checks.

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