Windows Vista forum


What next to trouble shoot computer lock up?

by akparajack / February 26, 2013 3:09 PM PST

Windows Vista desktop locks up in almost every browsing session. Same problem both with Firefox and IE. Cursor/pointer just freezes at some random spot and thats the end of it - mouse and keyboard completely inactive and manual shutdown requred, and then lengthy time for reboot. Haven't experienced a lockup in other than browsing sessions... Tried a system restore back as far as I could with no change. Have always used the Uniblue Registry booster, but purchased and ran the Uniblue Power Suite to clean everything up. While the Uniblue Powersuite was cleaning up the C disk, the windows defender popped open and said it had just found and isolated the Trojan:Win32/Alureon virus which was subsequently cleaned.
Is it time for a clean install? Too many years of Windows updates? We only use the desktop for very light work but just mostly browsing the web....
Where should I go from here to try and figure this out? This machine used to boot right up in no time yet seems the same pattern as in several computers in years gone bye...slower....slower... then something like this happens.
OS Name Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium
Version 6.0.6002 Service Pack 2 Build 6002
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name OFFICEPC
System Manufacturer HP-Pavilion
System Model GG054AA-ABA a6177c
System Type X86-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E6550 @ 2.33GHz, 2331 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. 5.03, 6/1/2007
SMBIOS Version 2.5
Windows Directory C:\Windows
System Directory C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.0.6002.18005"
User Name OfficePC\Jack
Time Zone Alaskan Standard Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 2.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 2.00 GB
Available Physical Memory 0.98 GB
Total Virtual Memory 4.94 GB
Available Virtual Memory 3.79 GB
Page File Space 3.00 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys

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All Answers

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(NT) Time for a clean install, indeed.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 3:52 PM PST
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Is the hardware clean too?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 27, 2013 12:55 AM PST

The machine is old enough to need the usual cleaning. I see a lot of software noted but missed if you did the cleaning of vents, fans and heatsinks.

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Something I didn't mention
by akparajack / February 28, 2013 6:19 AM PST

The freeze ups happen very frequently after the system awakes from standby.... Fans, heat sinks, etc are clean.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 28, 2013 10:07 AM PST

That's a classic symptom of 2 common issues.

1. BAD CAPS (see google so you can inspect all of them.)
2. A slightly overtaxed power supply. No real fix except to install a bigger new one.

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by akparajack / March 13, 2013 6:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Ouch.

So I opened up and cleaned things out, and inspected the capacitors as best I could - they all looked perfect and I couldn't see any signs of anything out of the norm. All capacitors looked identical...

Anyway, the freeze ups are getting worse. Yesterday I decided to go ahead and start up in the safe mode with networking, and I've been browsing for a couple of hours with no freeze up....

So apparently it's not a hardware problem, but some sort of software bug?

We've backed up everything which we want to preserve... should we try a clean install?

If so, where is the best link to instructions to do this.... should it be done from the blue screen boot menu?

Would it better to just bite the bullet and upgrade the operating system so that we don't have to immediately start with years of windows update after the clean install?


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Last week a fresh XP and 7 install.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 13, 2013 7:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Update

The install took about a hour and Windows Update ground away for the day. I'm unsure how long it actually took because we don't babysit the install. Just swing by from time to time to click OK.

Did not take a week.

There may be other clues to share but without the full machine details and age along with stories I can only think we're back to some tired PSU (they get smaller with age!) or a bum OS.

-> But is the story changing here? A freeze up on boot is one thing. A freeze up in use has me looking for dried out heatsink compound or the rather famous DISABLE FLASH HARDWARE ACCELERATION.

Uniblue? Nothing I'd use.

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Works fine when in the SAFE mode with Networking
by akparajack / March 14, 2013 4:48 AM PDT

Again, the system works just fine when in Safe mode with Networking - I can browse for hours without the system freezing up..... When I shut down and boot up normally, it freezes up within a few minutes... it seems as if the most common freeze up happens when the cursor is on the side bar but certainly not always...

This leads me to believe that there is nothing wrong with the computer hardware....

How should I continue to troubleshoot this?


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Actually it means it can be hardware.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 14, 2013 4:58 AM PDT

In safe mode things run slower, drivers are in safe slow mode. It's a common misconception and can cause a lot of lost time at the repair counter.

For example, the CPU heat sink falling off can be a common issue and SAFE MODE can be fine. Go figure but we don't expect everyone to poke around inside, clean or replace heat sink compounds.

Try this. Use MSCONFIG to disable stuff. You can always re-enable items later. Here's the tutorial link.

Figure C for example has things we can do without.

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