• Freezing Win7 PC


    I have a PC running Windows 7 which now suffers from a problem I have been unable to identify. When first switching on in the morning, everything initially appears fine. However, after about 10-15 mins, there begin to be brief periods in which the PC freezes, for say 5-10 secs, and then it resumes. Over a few minutes, that gradually gets worse and in about 25-30 mins from switch-on, the PC freezes completely, and I have to power off and back on.

    On restarting, everything appears normal, and stays normal, and there is no freezing whatsoever, for as long as the PC remains on. There are no significant errors shown in the Windows logs, no indication of any problems, only the power-on/restart being recorded as an unexpected issue, as one might expect.

    Then, say an hour or two later, after having been entirely normal, I open up a new window in a browser, and the PC immediately freezes, no preparatory signs whatsoever. Again on restarting everything is normal! (Until the next time something happens.) And that includes accessing the same browser site that caused the immediate failure.

    The PC was acquired secondhand, but had been upgraded by a professional supply company, and has extensive RAM and other modern features, but the base is about ten years old, so one concern might be failing motherboard elements. It has an SSD as well as plenty of disk storage.

    I would appreciate any advice on what to look further at, and any software which could record what is happening approaching failure.



    Viewing 31 reply threads
    • #2264806

      I use Task Manager and Resource Monitor to see what is going on.

      Right click on the Task Bar and select Task Manager.
      Click the Performance tab.
      Click Open Resource Monitor at the bottom.

      Start with Task Manager and see what, if anything is consuming your resources. If you need more details use Resource Monitor.

      cheers, Paul

      p.s. backup, just in case.

    • #2264853

      Some times when they get old they start slowing down and freezing.  For a quick  clean up I go into the control panel, click  on system and security.  Under administrative tools click on free up disk space. For a longer  clean up do a de-fragment.  Might help.  Also with every one staying at home and working at home if you have DSL as I do same thing happens. Late at night it really speeds up when everyone else is in bed.

    • #2264877

      Thanks both.

      I normally use Process Hacker, and that has enabled me to clear out a couple of unused or not required programs, which I thought might help. Does not seem to have had any effect though.

      Using Task Manager, there does not seem to be anything unduly consuming resources. The four heaviest users are Opera and Pale Moon browsers, Bitdefender security and one Svchost program. Apart from the latter, which I have no idea what it is running, all is as I might expect. Memory use is about 3.5Gb, out of 24, so nothing there.

      I don’t think there is a problem with either disk space or defrag. I have about 10Gb unused on the main drive, regularly run disk cleanup via a specific cleanmgr Sage setting, and don’t expect to defrag, given I have an SSD. Trim is turned on, but out of interest I just did an analysis which shows 2% defragmented, so nothing there.


    • #2264882

      Using Task Manager, there does not seem to be anything unduly consuming resources. The four heaviest users are Opera and Pale Moon browsers, Bitdefender security and one Svchost program. Apart from the latter, which I have no idea what it is running, all is as I might expect. Memory use is about 3.5Gb, out of 24, so nothing there.

      Did you happen to note the CPU Usage and Disk Activity while experiencing these freeze-ups?


      • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Cybertooth.
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    • #2264899

      When first switching on in the morning, everything initially appears fine. However, after about 10-15 mins, there begin to be brief periods in which the PC freezes, for say 5-10 secs, and then it resumes. Over a few minutes, that gradually gets worse

      Actually, one thing… might be failing storage.

      On a spinning disk I’d look at seek error rate, some models just keep retrying even if the head positioning accuracy has severely degraded due to age and wear… might not admit to actually “going bad” but if you use a SMART tool to look at the counters…

      On SSDs there isn’t any good universal indicator that I know of, but could name some models that are known to usually have been the weakest part in systems they were installed in.

      It has an SSD as well as plenty of disk storage.

      Um. What is on which and how old are those parts?

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    • #2264915

      The problem is suspiciously similar to one I had for maybe 2 years where my Win 7 64 bit Pro would ‘lock up’ for 1-3 minutes at irregular intervals, then proceed from there like nothing happened.  It was so badly ‘locked up’ that even HWiNFO64 and Process Explorer stopped cold, too!  The lights on my computer showed it was running the daylights out of the SSD C: drive and not hitting the 3GB D: hard drive.

      I monthly clone the SSD multiple times and the 3TB drive quarterly, as it’s just ‘long term storage’ for downloaded videos, and photos I have taken.  I even went so far as to buy brand new ones and still had the same problem.  Sometimes, it would occur between Windows starting up and the desktop screen being shown.

      I thought it might be device drivers, so I popped in the CD that came with the ASUS mobo and installed all the drivers again.  Still not fixed.  I then went to the ASUS web site and downloaded the drivers from there and the problem refused to go away.

      Knowing that it was happening before Windows got most of the way through initial startup, I started disabling the many Windows ‘services’ 2 to 5 at a time and when the problem popped up again, I disabled some more.  I got to the point where I couldn’t ‘normally’ use my computer because of all the disabled services.  So I finally gave up trying to fix it last October since I knew Win 7 support was about to end and I already had Win 10 on my new laptop, so I wasn’t completely inexperienced in Win 10.

      So, at the end of November, I popped in a brand new Win 10 Pro 64 bit DVD and let it do an upgrade.  Surprisingly, it never asked for the serial number for WIN 10. An hour or so later, up came Win 10 and my desktop looked just like it did before, all the programs were still there, etc.  Less than an hour later, to my dismay, the lockup problem was STILL there!!!

      OK, plan B: do a clean install on an extra SSD and go from there.  Fortunately, I have all the CDs and downloads for everything on my computer, and all but a game program last supported for Win XP installed without any problem.  ‘Freeze’ problem 100% GONE!

      Moral of the story, I’m reasonably convinced it was triggered by some Windows 7 update 2+ years ago that caused a device driver problem that carried across when I did the upgrade to Win 10.  The clean install of Win 10 used some kind of ‘new improved’ driver(s) that didn’t have the problem.

      If you really want to stay with Win 7, I’d suggest doing a clean install on a separate C: drive and reinstall all your software, move data, etc, etc, etc.

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    • #2264939

      This might be of little use as I only have a single solution.
      I had something very similar happen to me recently, but the freezes were much shorter and more spread appart.

      Using Task Manager, there does not seem to be anything unduly consuming resources.

      Open Task Manager and go to the Processes tab, then click “Show Processes from all users” (bottom left of Task Manager).
      Then click on CPU, near the top, so that the — sort of an arrow — is pointing down (sorting highest number to lowest – see picture).
      System Idle Process “should” be at the top much / most of the time (unless you’re rendering videos 😉 ).
      If any of the other process spends an inordinate amount of time at the very top, that’s your culprit.
      Keep an eye out for anything starting with “bd” That would be BitDefender. If it’s that busy try uninstalling it, but you’ll probably need the special un-installer provided by BitDefender tech support. They’re usually pretty good.

      After removing BitDefender start up your system (with the network disconnected because you never know).
      If it runs MUCH better then BitDefender was up to something (mine would get hung up trying to update virus definitions and I guess it was running that process hard, when it did run).
      For myself, I felt like doing a ‘science experiment’ and re-installed the latest version and had no problems since then.
      Your mileage may vary since it could be the SSD or something related to it, as bratkinson said. You wouldn’t be the first person who had hiccups from an SSD. Just sayin’ Also maybe a separate hardware issue as you suspect.

      Good luck and peace,

      Another Task Manager dive

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by GLingner.
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    • #2265083

      Thanks all for the responses.I was investigating a couple of the suggestions, when away it went again. It is so frustrating!
      I haven’t noticed any particular CPU Usage and Disk Activity spikes when freezeup has happened, simply because it is so unpredictable an occurrence, that’s why I was wondering if there is anything which would record such activities.
      All of the normal system activity takes place on the SSD which I believe is quite modern. I do have a large spinning disk but essentially that is purely for storage or regular backup activities. (I do also use external for backups as well BTW.) I’m pretty sure therefore I can rule out anything involving the disk, as that use is only by exception.
      Thanks in particular to bratkinson, your experience seems to match mine very much. I have halfway determined to go with a similar solution. I originally installed a lightweight version of Win7 on a separate (smaller) partition on the SSD when I acquired the PC, but only had a very few programs installed – in effect using it as a backup Win7 ‘just in case’! Well, I think ‘just in case’ has now arrived, so I have now adjusted my partition sizes and am now expanding that version so I can in future use it as my main operating drive. Only partway there yet, but so far I haven’t experienced the same problem thank goodness.
      Gary, I will investigate your suggestions further, although I will say I now have Bitdefender installed on the other partition and no problems so far.
      Thanks again for all the advice. Like I say, frustrating, because normally I have (and like) everything happening just so, with no inexplicable events! I’ll let you know how I get on.

    • #2265181

      @garthp, I noticed something that you wrote early on in the discussion:

      I don’t think there is a problem with either disk space or defrag. I have about 10Gb unused on the main drive, regularly run disk cleanup via a specific cleanmgr Sage setting, and don’t expect to defrag, given I have an SSD.

      It caught my eye that you had but 10GB of storage left available on your main (SSD) drive. That sounds like a somewhat limited amount. Is it possible that the problem would go away if your drive (or partition) had more space available?

      Just a thought. Sometimes a lack of free space can lead to disk thrashing and slowdowns, although this is less of a worry nowadays with the large-capacity drives that are typically in use. (Not sure if SSDs are subject to thrashing and associated slowdowns from a lack of free space.)

      If this is ruled out as a possibility, then the only other thing I can think of is that there may be some kind of incompatibility among the programs that you have running (a program vs. Windows, one program vs. another).


      • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Cybertooth.
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    • #2265276

      A couple of questions:
      * How much memory does your computer have?
      * Is your Windows 32-bit or 64-bit?

      It could be that you don’t have enough memory in the computer. 32-bit Windows maxes out at just under 4 GB of memory. 64-bit Windows has a much higher limit than that. Generally, you should have a minimum of 6 GB of memory in order to have a good experience; but I suggest that you go with 8 GB if you have 64-bit Windows, and if your computer will allow you to upgrade to 8 GB of memory.

      Also, I’m with Cybertooth: 10 GB of free space on your hard drive is not very much free space – it is enough, but just barely. I suggest that you do some cleanup on your hard drive, in order to open up more free space, because when you get much below 10 GB of free space, Windows can start choking here and there, because Windows does a lot of disk writes in the background. Of course, an SSD would be better than a mechanical hard drive; but for now, you definitely need more free space on your hard drive.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
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    • #2265337

      Thanks both.

      With Win7 64bit, I have 24Gb of memory, which should be ample for most circumstances. I was originally planning on running Win7 within a W10 VM, but couldn’t get the appearance and clarity right and gave up on that, so am left with much more memory than I actually need. In normal circumstances, use doesn’t exceed about 3½Gb.

      I had already decided to reorganise my use of the SSD, so have been rearranging things such that I will have around 15Gb spare for each operating system, in addition to creating a separate Pagefile available to whichever system is in use. I have also been generally cleaning things up, and whilst I have been in and out of the different ops systems quite a lot recently, at present things seem to have stabilised. Still a work in progress though!


    • #2265460

      I’m surprised no one has mentioned cpu temperature / overheating. My daughter had a similar problem with a computer that I had built for her a few years ago. When I opened it up I saw that there was enough dust, lint, cat hair to weave a large felt blanket especially in the cpu fan which would simply come to a complete halt after a time and then shut down the computer. After a thorough cleaning the problem was solved.

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    • #2265469

      Heat. You state you acquired the computer 2nd hand which means some age.  When ever I run into shut downs or stalls on customer’s desktops – I usually remove the Heatsink and clean off the old thermal paste on CPU and bottom of Heatsink, and apply NEW thermal paste (Artic Silver seems to work the best in my experience).  That solves lots of heat or shut down problems. I do this after applying all other software ‘fixes’ if any found.  Fan speed also is a factor.  Older computers have older components and a simple change out of fans is not expensive, either.

      (21 years full time comptuer Tech. . .and formerly with Gateway Computers before they closed)

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    • #2265472

      I look after 120 Win7 systems. Over the last year, i brought every one to my desk and did a complete re-install. In most cases, I replaced the C drive as well. Not a single one of those machines has any problem at all. Every one runs like a well oiled machine.

      One of the biggest source of problems is badly designed/executed Windows Updates. if you will precisely follow the re-install plan outlined here, you will find yourself with a good machine.


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    • #2265564

      First, if this is a business system, quit wasting resources on it. Dump it and move on. But if this is a home system for fun and learning, then learn on.

      It sounds to me like a heat could be a factor, as mentioned above. But re-greasing the heat sink is a bunch of time that I would put lower on the priority list.

      Have you at the least blown out the dust? If you’re using canned air, use short blasts so as to not freeze delicate components.

      Replacing fans is usually easy and might help. (But I doubt it.)

      Next question: How old is that motherboard / CPU / RAM? Keep in mind that there is no such thing as perfect hardware. And over time with heating and cooling cycles, as the system heats up, there could be a gap that is occurring in one of the tiny traces on the motherboard or CPU or RAM. A short circuit somewhere can cause various weird things, such as hanging, or freezing, or other strange things. The bad news is that may be time to dump the motherboard. But that would actually be good news. Would you keep on beating your head on a wall? Stopping at some point would be a good idea.

      Next: Are there any clues in the Event logs? Open Event Viewer and look thru the Application and System logs near the time of one of the freezes. Look for applications that are hanging, or system power events, or disk errors.

      Next: have you run the System File Check: sfc /scannow ? If not, enter CMD at the Start search, right click on Command Prompt when it comes up in the list, and click Run as Administrator. Enter: sfc /scannow .

      If that comes up clean, run Checkdisk. Enter: CHKDSK in your command box. Respond Y when it asks if you want to schedule the scan. Exit the cmd box and Reboot. The scan runs during the restart.

      SSDs are less susceptible to file system errors, but I have seen weird things happen. When the scan finishes and the system completes it’s restart, check the Application event log and look for the most recent Wininit enter. Read the details of the scan and look for what errors were fixed.

      If all of that looks good, I would throw out Bitdefender. (Actually, I would have thrown Bitdefender out a long time ago. I went thru the alphabet testing several AV programs a few years ago and quit searching when I tried Webroot. I even jumped thru the hoops to sell Webroot to my clients – but no, I won’t sell it to you or anyone else I don’t know. I sell it as part of my remote access and security package. And yes, I’m in the process of re-writing my business operations plan in light of Covid-19. This is just f******* weird. And yes, I’ve been around a while. Started on mainframes and punch cards.)

      If you have gone thru all of that, then it’s time to re-grease the heat sink or throw out the motherboard.


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    • #2265566

      Hmm… it just occurred to me… it could be the power supply is going bad. Power supplies are supposed to deliver several different voltage levels. Each voltage needs to be within a range. An old power supply could be within range when it starts up, but could drift out of range. When it does… boink.


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    • #2265599

      Thanks again for all the responses.

      I have tried many of the remedial actions suggested, including checking Event Logs, the old favourite sfc /scannow (but not Checkdisk, although I will),  and absolutely nothing came up. The PC is a mixture of old and fairly new, essentially remanufactured about 6 months ago, and has a modern SSD with plenty of capacity. I know it had a new power supply fitted. (I don’t believe it has yet collected sufficient dust to interfere with operations.) I have concluded that there is probably some software inconsistency somewhere on that drive, but no idea what or how – maybe down to MS updates, maybe not. I’ll cut my losses on that, now.

      I do now have a working solution along the lines mentioned previously, it appears. I have fully duplicated the operating system in a dual-boot setup, and have effectively completed that. I have also altered the sizes of the drives on the SSD to make sure there is sufficient free operating space, partly by moving the paging file to a separate partition available to both systems.

      To cut a long story short, the new system now in use has not crashed, it utilises about 27 Gb and has about the same spare capacity on the partition. The old (and failing) system now uses 32Gb with about 18 Gb spare, and the pagefile now occupies most of the 27Gb on its (separate) partition. I rather thought that by making these changes I may have resolved the problems with the failing system, but after an extended test it is still faulty. It froze today some two hours after starting up, and nearly all of that time was doing nothing whatsoever. That will now have most programs removed, and then just kept as is, ‘in case’ I ever need it again; it remains the primary partition though.

      Much time spent, but I don’t mind that as an interested amateur. Indeed, a ‘home system for fun and learning!’ However, I have now a good operating system once more, so am calling an end to further trials and learning.

      Thanks to everyone for your advice, it is much appreciated.



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      • #2266116

        What AV product are you using? A friend of mine had similar issues. He was using Avast. I had him uninstall Avast and then install Panda Dome. All of his computer issues went away.

    • #2265696

      Some decent freeware to monitor cpu loads and temps.  I refreshed an older pc, and had to replace the heat sink thermal paste.  Symptom was a sudden down, no message, just quiet and black screen.

    • #2265734

      I had a strange problem of computer rebooting (win 10 pro) at random no warning every test tried so replaced main drive with ssd drive so down time was about 20-30 max seconds before up and running again. This could be same problem here. It had 2x 8Mb ram chips =16MB. one slightly slower than the other as bought separately as upgrade. Although ram tested perfect out of machine and in machine what I discovered was that latency of one of them was not catching up with other as slower causing mostly reboot and sometime freeze. This problem was found virtually accidently by putting back in different order after checking motherboard ram sockets connectors. Reversing positions and fault came back! Worth a try if ram different speed or added later/manufacture.

    • #2265840

      Run Unix based diagnostics and load testers from a usb drive or a cd or dvd drive. Stays away from W7 and W10.
      I would pull and re-seat every thing on the motherboard and cards and drives etc. Corrosion anyone?

    • #2265902

      Try OpenHardwareMonitor to see voltages and temperature.

      cheers, Paul

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    • #2266031

      People bring me their mystery systems, still running but failing for no apparent reason or failing in various ways at various times.  I have to ask questions about hardware FIRST, as others have done in earlier postings.  Here are the more likely hardware failures.

      1. Is the hard drive failing?  Look at the SMART data for the drive for evidence of sectors gone bad, reallocated, pending reallocation, or even impossible to reallocate.
      2. What are the temperatures of the CPU and graphics card(s)?  If the system is freezing or shutting down due to overheating, why?  Are cooling fans clogged with dust and dirt?  If so, clean them with compressed air, q-tips and/or a softb-bristled brush.  Is the CPU cooling fan attached tightly?  If it is an old system, does it need a refresh of CPU thermal paste?  Laptop computers, with limited space for ventilation, are more prone to overheating than desktops.
      3. Make sure that memory pairs have the same operating voltage and timings, and that they are placed appropriately in DIMM or SODIMM sockets.  Preferably, use exactly matched pairs with the same part number from the same manufacturer.
      4. Inspect the motherboard for damage, more than likely bulging or leaky capacitors or possible corrosion from liquids.

      These are the most likely causes of hardware failure or unpredictability.  Once one is sure that the hardware is OK, move on to software troubleshooting.  Trying to fix software when the hardware is not right, only complicates matters.

      I will keep saying “Hardware, hardware, hardware first” as I post on Windows Secrets.


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    • #2273455

      I had the same freezing computer problem and fixed it by putting a 3/4 inch strip of wooden board under the desktop box which was sitting on the carpet flooring.  The board raised up the box off the floor which stops the “static electricity” from building up I guess and it can now discharge properly and now the computer does not freeze up any more.  Thanks to the Geek Squad tech who happened to mention “static electricity” could cause freezing.

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    • #2274649

      Try booting from a flash drive with Linux on it (i.e., a “live” flash drive).  If the problem still occurs with Linux, you’ll know that it is a hardware problem, rather than a Windows problem.  If the problem does not occur with Linux, I would do two things in Windows:  run chkdsk c: /f, to clear up any corrupted file system entries.  Secondly, uninstall Bit Defender, at least temporarily, to see if that resolves the problem.  I’ve seen several problems resulting from misbehaving Bit Defender.  Don’t know if Bit Defender was really the culprit or whether it was just a coincidence.

    • #2274697

      This thread is pretty long and I skipped over some answers, so apologies if this is a repeat.

      I have upgraded a lot of computers to Windows 10 (most of them for free when first released on 1511) and up to around 1607 did not have any issues on all of them. Post 1607 I had issues with a laptop and its PCMCIA interface driver (ENE cardbus host controller), and it was not stable on anything after that release. You can google “Lenovo N100, multiple devices in Device Manager, network devices stop working after update” to see the symptoms. BTW, there are multiple device manufacturers with the same issue and it is not limited to Lenovo.

      That said, I have P4s running 1909 (have not tried 2004 as yet) and they are stable systems. Here’s what I ALWAYS DID when contemplating such an upgrade, and it applies to both x86 (32 bit) as well as x64 bit systems.

      1. check the system to see if it is either 32 bit or 64 bit. the reason for this is to maximize the memory, the older the system, the more you want to go passed the 4GB limit of 32 bit architectures. Use 64 bit version of windows where applicable.
      2. max out the memory on 32 bit systems. Its cheap and will save you a lot of heartache.
      3. if you have really old cards that were add-ons, make sure you have a recent driver that matches the 64 bit or 32 bit OS you’re installing. Some cards became superfluous and I just removed them from the machine. If you are not sure, remove teh card before upgrading, leaving a bare bones machine, looking very much like it did when it arrived from the factory.
      4. replace the system disk. like tires on your car, the older the disk is, the more likely it is to fail. I go for a minimum of 1 TB and this is not negotiable for me. Page Files and default “save” locations make 500 GB almost untenable, plus extra space for 5-6 GB of OS so you can “roll back” if the upgrade fails.
      5. BEFORE and I mean BEFORE leaving the old version of the OS behind (e.g. Windows 7, 8, 8.1 etc.) UPDATE THE BIOS. If you don’t do this, you will get weird things happening and the upgrade could be a waste of time. All the new drivers that get loaded will rely on a stable BIOS, and interface with the hardware through the BIOS. If you can’t get the latest and in many cases, the LAST version of BIOS for a given motherboard, expect issues to crop up. As I said, I have original XEON processors, P4s and others running  Win 10 Pro 1909, with NO ISSUES, both in x86 and x64 versions.
      6. Proceed with a bare bones upgrade (remove all optional cards), do format the hard drive (not a quick format either, untick that box and spend the extra time formatting the entire C drive, it will find any bad sectors and spare them out for you) and then install Windows 10.

      Last word on drivers. There seemed to be a sea change in driver architecture post 1607. If you are unsure about going forward in one fell swoop to 2004, consider installing 1607 and see if everything works. Add-in cards included. Version 190x seems to have corrected some of the driver issues related to 17xx and newer versions. I have no direct evidence to cite about this, just general observations. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use the newest version of driver that your hardware will work with and be ready to roll back if it all goes funky. I have drivers that date from2005, 2007  and 2013 sunning under 2004 and it is stable.

      Once this is all completed, then if you have issues, start running down the great troubleshooting issues in this thread, but my guess is you will not have any.

      BTW, I have upgraded over 70+ machines (all Intel based) from Windows 7, XP and 8.1 to Windows 10 and they are all happy campers.

      So, pay attention to the BIOS and drivers and you’ll give yourself a head start.

      Also, I don’t feel comfortable with the new small page file that Win 10 “manages” on its own. I go for 1.5 times the installed RAM and don’t care if it is never used. Its better than waiting for a driver to swap out memory segments that are under pressure as you open new apps. Also, stop unnecessary background tasks and apps from running on 4GB machines. Even Google Chrome leaves background tasks running when “closed”, so pay attention to those too.

      And I always swapped the processor for the fastest version that the BIOS/motherboard would support. When Windows 10 upgrade was free, this meant spending a couple of hundred per PC (processor, memory and HDD) for what amounts to a new PC. But some I upgraded leaving the processor alone, maxed memory and new HDD only.

      In my experience, all weirdness goes away when the BIOS and drivers are as up to date as they can be (that one laptop is the exception). I have found Windows 10 pre-2004, to be the most stable OS Redmond has released in a long time. Jury is still out on 2004.

      best of luck

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    • #2274702

      Let me add my suggestion from experience. Similar troubles thought it was hard drive corruption. Finally the motherboard ceased booting and I bought another CPU/mobo /RAM  And all was well!  Not convinced I needed all those components I tracked down a new mobo that used old RAM and CPU and that runs well, too.

      Don’t rule out a bad motherboard. Others here have suggested, I lend my vote there!

      (BTW, its not a trivial thing to find hardware that supports Win7 nowadays. Processors after Series 6xxx won’t run Win7!  I wanted to maintain a Win7 system).

    • #2274704

      I am experiencing similar issues with my legacy Win7 system (I have a newly purchased Win10 PC, but haven’t had the time to migrate to it yet- I have a LOT of junk- er, apps- on my system!).

      I think I traced it down to the Win7 indexing services.  I disabled it (which makes using a PC very frustrating) and everything worked fine.  I slowly re-enabled each component one by one (it goes through a lengthy index rebuild process) and the system is running much better.  Not perfect, but way better than before.  Worth a shot!

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    • #2275054

      I had the same problem so I will just relate what I did – but first a short list of what hardware I have.

      1. 6Gb of RAM (BTW – RAM must be matched on 64 bit systems to actually work well)
      2. An old quad core Intel processor 12 years old.
      3. A fairly new HD graphics card (needs no fan)
      4. Using a regular hard drive 500 Gbs
      5. This thing was a custom CTO desktop from HP geared for entertainment. so it is full of hardware that has to work with the on board legal spyware the MPAA requires for such machines, ESPECIALLY if a Blu-ray burner is on board.(which it does)

      I have replaced the GPU, and the PSU during the last 12 years I’ve owned it. However, everything was fine until I got an update AFTER the January 14, 2020 cutoff date. and that started the problem!! I did a restore point before this update, but wasn’t entirely sure MS allowed removal of all traits from that update; I hid the update, but am not sure it wasn’t forced later as well.

      I decided that both Avast and Malwarebytes Antimalware are now BOTH anti-viruses and removed Avast with the cleanup tool for doing that. I kept MBAM because it was a paid up lifetime solution Pro version, and it turned out ran much better after ridding my PC of Avast. I still wasn’t entirely satisfied however; so I started looking for a way to continue update support for Win7, and following a post from another comment on Krebs On Security, I purchased the fully supported version of Opatch. This is an amazing tool, and it actually seemed to fix the problem after a few days of catching up on micro patches. It also patches a lot of the applications that both I and HP put on the machine; so it is even more amazing!

      I’m not a shill for Opatch and they do have a free version that at least takes care of very critical patches that are needed for security on the web. I only very rarely get Chrome browser freeze ups now, that are attributed to DuckDuckGo’s privacy control. I’ve found by turning it off and back on, it can clear that up – so who knows? It may be a mal-adjusted browser extension on your PC causing this, if you are using a browser – that is. My over all PC performance has returned to normal for a 12 year old computer and it is still as fast as I’ve generally had all my life – so I’m very satisfied I’ve solved the riddle(s).

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2275134

      the fully supported version of 0patch

      Just to clarify that is 0patch with a zero. Opatch with the letter ‘O’ is an Oracle product for patching Oracle. I had not heard of 0patch before so I looked it up. And yes, it looks quite interesting.

    • #2287016

      Hi Garth,

      Just one other thing to check but I am sure you have…Is the power supply you are using up to the task? Sounds perhaps silly but where I work, we had to install a special GPU video Card and then our problems would occur including shutdown. After some on-line searching, it seems (I do not pick the PC, it is shipped to me  by IT), that they had installed the video card but that manufacturer had specified a minimum 500W power supply – IT had sent us basically the original tower with it’s 250W power supply.  Several solutions were not the answer until we discovered this solution – We had to install a non-standard 650W power supply external to the PC and cable it into the box, but that was our solution.

      Don’t know if that helps

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2287037

      I recently had somewhat similar issues. Does the hard drive light stay on when the computer experiences these short freezing events? If so, then your hard drive may have a flaky controller board. As soon as I replaced the hard drive with the flaky controller board, all freezing issues went away. The freezing issue also caused Win 7 to lose all of its restore points. Volsnap Event ID 25 is recorded in the Windows event logs.

      Event-ID 25: Volsnap. The shadow copies of volume C were deleted because the shadow copy storage could not grow in time

      See if you also have the above error in your Windows event logs.


      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2287131

      Thanks to all who have continued to respond on this. Whilst I have moved on, and have an entirely stable system now, this  thread is becoming quite a repository of possible solutions to my original difficulties.

      To pick up on some suggestions, I too run Opatch as a paid subscriber, and it is effective, and provides some assurance that my Win7 system is as up-to-date as possible given my decision to retain it.

      The problem I had was not related to the power source, nor were they short freezing events; after I once left the system on for an hour it was still powered up but frozen!

      I’m still running BitDefender, until my subscription runs out when I will probably switch to something like Malwarebytes, as BitDefender has a couple of downsides for me. The downsides are how it operates, though, and not an issue with the freezing problem.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2288265

        What did you do to resolve your issue?

        • #2288789

          I sidestepped the issue!

          In an earlier post, I explained:

          “I originally installed a lightweight version of Win7 on a separate (smaller) partition on the SSD when I acquired the PC, but only had a very few programs installed – in effect using it as a backup Win7 ‘just in case’! Well, I think ‘just in case’ has now arrived, so I have now adjusted my partition sizes and am now expanding that version so I can in future use it as my main operating drive.”

          I did expand that, and what was formerly my backup Win7 is now my normal operating system. I then wiped my previous system, and replaced it with a new backup (lightweight) version. Obviously I had to adjust the partition boundaries, as I said, but that is very easy nowadays with EaseUS Partition Master or similar.

          To a degree I was fortunate to have the scope and size to do that change, although it is also an illustration that one has to be aware of the possibility of system failure  before it happens, and make arrangements accordingly. It was a situation where a simple system backup would probably not have worked, because of the type of problems. No doubt there are other ways of doing this that involve more technical solutions (and ability) but this was within my capabilities. I’m also interested in what is possible, as an amateur!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
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