Computer frequently stops responding
I am having performance issues with a fairly new system. When using several programs, the computer stops responding and typically the screens grey-out or the endless circle keeps running. Most of the time, the
program will eventually recover and finish what it was supposed to be doing, however that can be anywhere from several seconds to over an hour. The typical wait is about 3 to 5 minutes.
I have gadgets installed to monitor the CPU, Disk drives, network, and services. When the computer stops responding, there is usually no significant activity during this time.
The most common programs that have this problem are the web browsers IE8 and Firefox.
Any idea what could be causing the slowdowns?
Computer description: ThinkPad T410 Configure-To-Order system
Processor Intel Core i5-540M Processor (2.53GHz, 3MB L3, 1066MHz FSB), Windows 7 Professional (64) pre-installed, Display type 14.1 WXGA+ TFT, w/ LED Backlight (WWAN antenna), System graphics Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 5700MHD – AMT,
Memory 4 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM 1067MHz SODIMM Memory (2 DIMM), Camera, 2.0 MP, Hard drive 320 GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm, Optical device DVD Recordable 8x Max Dual Layer, Ultrabay Slim (Serial ATA), System expansion slot Smart Card, Bluetooth w/ antenna,
Integrated WiFi wireless LAN adapters Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (3x3 AGN)
Solutions to the Problem Computer frequently stops responding
Set of test utilities for DIY computer builders or custom system as in your case.
Note these test and driver updates may not solve your problem but at least you will know it is not a hardware issue.
For software monitoring try Process Explorer (see end of
Note: If you are OverClocking or use any automatic overclocking BIOS features, Intel EIST or Turbo Mode (Disable it),
then drop back to the stock speed as a starting point.
Disconnect any other internal hard drives and external USB devices.
First try running Memtest86+, this runs from a boot disk or CD and should eliminate or
confirm if your one or more of your memory sticks are bad or the SPD values in the BIOS are correct.
Let it run for as long as you can: 2,4,6,8 or more hours (at least 3 full passes), if no errors by then your ram is OK.
Memtest86+ Guide/How To's (use the .ISO to create a bootable CD)
Hard drive Testing - Bootable CD:
If you have a new Seagate hard drive the very next thing would be to download Seagate's Seatools (the bootable CD) and check for bad sectors:
For Western Digital drives use WdDiag:
Samsung's Disk manager software:
Hitachi's Drive Fitness Test software:
If you have a copy of Windows XP around try installing it temporary (if not Windows 7 will work as well)
"No need to activate as you get a 30 day grace period which is perfect for testing"
and then use the following tools (this assumes the memtest shows no failures)
After Windows is installed:
Device Drivers: Did you install the motherboard manufacture's latest device drivers? Check their support site for the latest drivers as the CD that came with the motherboard may have older less stable drivers.
Check the Graphics card manufacture's download site for the most recent Windows 7 drivers for your card.
Also check out Nvidia's "Box of Smoke" test or other Demos:
or ATI equivilent.
It's a stand alone .exe file contained in a .zip archive.
Just choose to run the "stress test" option for 3 hours or more.
If your PC can pass this test both your memory and CPU
are fine (close the case cover to maintain proper ventilation)
Monitor the temperature of each core of your processor.
Note: For non overclockers using the stock Intel/AMD heatsink and cooling fan you can expect a temperature range of
35 to 40C at idle and from 60C to 65C max when running Prime95.
CPU-ID (CPUZ): http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php
Shows the clock speed of the CPU under various load conditions
(when using Intel's EIST speed step technology).
has two tabs (Memory and SPD) which show the actual memory speed and 'SPD' tab shows the rated speedsfor each memory slot that is populated.
Compair the two values, the actual speed should not exceed the rated speed of your memory.
FurMark GPU (Graphic card) Stress Test:
CPUID HWMonitor is a hardware monitoring program that reads PC systems main health sensors:
voltages, temperatures, fans speed.
PassMarks burn in test: http://www.passmark.com/
The Burnin test and their benchmark test both give a good workout of all the major parts of Windows.
Provides drive info and has an option (error scan tab ) to test your drive.
Monitors internal temperatures and has an online drive health analysis feature (SMART tab) for hard drives.
It will display your drives model number and compares your drive with other drives of the same make and model.
A lightweight utility designed to give you all information about your video card and GPU.
----------------------------------------------------- Process Explorer ------------------------------------------------
It could be a sub-process or application that's running in the background
and taking all the CPU resources.
To find and display what could be the problem try Process Explorer:
SysInternals Forums: http://forum.sysinternals.com/
Worth Reading: The Case of the System Process CPU Spikes
Once you have Process Explorer installed and running:
In the taskbar select View and check:
'Show Process Tree' and the 'Show Lower Pane' options.
Move your mouse cursor over any column in the right hand pane and
right click and check the following boxes:
'Command Line' and 'Version'.
Then expand the process named 'Explorer' (click on the + sign)
In the column on the left named 'CPU', look for any high CPU usage.
Next click on the CPU column to sort the processes by %CPU usage
(Highest to Lowest).
You can also mouse over and check any spike or in CPU graph.
Move the mouse cursor over any process,
you should see a popup with some detailed info.
Then mouse over the process that's using most or all the CPU %.
Then click on that process to highlight it,
Now that it's highlighted, right click and from the options listed select:
This should display what out there on the web about that process.
You can also double click on any process to open up a more detailed
Note: some entries like Explorer, System/Services, and Svchost
may need to be expanded to show the detail (sub processes),
in this case click on the + located to the left of the entry.
An alternate method when using Process Explorer
is to double click on the Graph just below the Menu bar.
This will open the 'System Information' window, which has a larger display
of all three graphs.
Move your mouse over any spike in the
CPU Usage graph to see what process/application or service is the cause
of the spike.
Another tool available is: RAMMap
Never be afraid to ask.
This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.
- Go to the Start button.
- In the Search box, type "regedit" (without quotes) and press Enter.
- Look for the following registry key: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ SQMClient\Windows\DisabledSessions".
- On the right window pane, delete the subkey: "Machine Throttling".
- Restart your system.
Another Safe way to Fix the Problem: Computer frequently stops responding:
How to Fix Computer frequently stops responding with SmartPCFixer?
1. Click the button to download Error Fixer . Install it on your system. Open it, and it will perform a scan for your system. The errors will be shown in the list.
2. After the scan is done, you can see the errors and problems need to be fixed. Click Fix All.
3. The Repair part is finished, the speed of your computer will be much higher than before and the errors have been fixed. You can also use other functions in this software. Like dll downloading, junk file cleaning and print spooler error repair.
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