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What are some possible reasons that my computer freezes?
There are multiple potential issues that can make a computer freeze. These include both hardware and software-related problems and overheating.
How can I tell if my computer is overheating?
There are several programs that can monitor the temperature of various components of your computer (if it is supported). These include Hmonitor and SpeedFan. If the displayed temperature is fairly high, you may want to do something about it as higher temperatures shorten the lifespan of your computer's components. Anything over about 50 Celsius (~120 F) for your CPU and hard drives should be avoided if at all possible, although CPUs can get a little warmer.

To try fixing warm temperatures:
  1. First, dust out the computer and make sure that it is properly ventilated. You can buy canned air at nearly every electronics store. Just make sure to spray the can first outside of your PC and spray with the can upward. If your computer works after dusting it, you may want to consider purchasing dust filters for your fans and maybe adding additional fans.
  2. If you have any large fans available, take the side off of your PC and blow the fan into it while your computer is still running.
  3. If your computer works while a fan is blowing into it, your computer is overheating and will need more fans and/or cable organization to improve airflow. 
None of that helped; what else can I do?
Software and drivers:
  • Try to uninstall any new software or hardware and rollback any drivers recently added.  If that doesn't help, try to update the drivers that you already have, especially the graphics and network drivers.
    Look in the Event Viewer by going to Start | Run and typing eventvwr.msc.  Look under "System" for any errors (red x's) that might apply.



  • After installing Hmonitor and SpeedFan, also look at the voltages that it lists. If any are far away from where they are supposed to be, you may want to try using a different power supply to see if that helps. There are also devices such as multimeters and special power supply testers that can diagnose bad power supplies.
  • Check in System Properties to see if your CPU has been overclocked. Press the Windows key and Pause/Break to open it. It should say the name of your CPU and possibly the original clock (otherwise you can look it up by your computer model or the listed processor model), along with the current clock. If the current clock is higher by more than a few megahertz (MHz), your CPU may have been overclocked, which can decrease system stability. Try to return the clock speed to its default value.
  • Go to Start | Run and type devmgmt.msc to open the Device Manager to see if there are any warnings or errors. These will be marked with an exclamation point or red x. If there are, attempt to resolve those issues.
  • You can test your memory to make sure that it is not faulty. There is a tutorial here.
  • If none of that helps, try to remove all but the most necessary hardware - the motherboard, CPU, one stick of RAM, hard drive, power supply, fans, and graphics adapter. Add components one at a time to see if you can find which is faulty.

This page was last modified on 07/28/07 02:06 PM