General discussion

Win 7/w IE8 machine locks up randomly when using the browser

I have been using Windows 7 since the Beta version and have been marvelling at how well it has run, in fact, the few problems I have had have always had simple fixes. This was with the 32bit OS on my Compaq Presario V6200 laptop. I recently built a new desktop machine and because I have 4GB of ram (Corsair DDR3 1333 high performance) I installed the 64bit OS (Windows 7 Ultimate full retail). I have an MSI 770-C45 mobo and because it has no integrated video, I have a nVidia GeForce 7900 GS video card. All components test fine. But ever since first booting this machine I get random lockups when using Internet Explorer 8. It doesn't seem to be when I'm at any particular website (though it has happened several times on this site). Everything is fine and then suddenly everything just stops working, mouse, keyboard (which are USB wireless devices) and programs. However, the Sidebar clock's second hand continues running. It does no good to unplug and reinsert the mouse/keyboard USB transmitter, as it is not being recognized, which forces me to hit the reset button. When Windows restarts the screen that says in was unexpectedly shut down comes up, but it is on the "Start Windows normally?" line and has no indication of what might have happened. This problem happens only occasionally, but as such things go, it's usually when I'm in the middle of doing something, like typing this post, so it is extremely annoying when it does happen. I should also say that I am using the 32bit IE8 as I have read that there are website compatability problems with running the 64bit IE8 (though I have not tried using it myself). I bring this up here because the Microsoft forums are less than useless for getting relevant information, no one ever seems to understand what my problem is and always give me suggestions that have absolutely nothing to do with my issue. So, I hope someone here can help.

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Comments
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Have you ever run an exhaustive memory test

With very intermittant faults I use Microsoft memory diagnostic extended tests and run it over night for 8 or 9 hours. If it finds errors it lists the data and the address and carries on.
If you are not familiar with this it is downloadable as an iso image which you burn to CD and boot from, the test starts immediately.
It once found a fault that was causing a BSOD about once a month at an address between 3.0 and 3.2GB, I haven't had a BSOD for 18 months now.

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Some background application may cause so, and IE is a crap

Well if you're browsing fine then get everything not responding, I assume there's something in the background eating system resources.
3rd party firewall might destroy your system. ZoneAlarm is good example of bad firewall. Happy

I rarely use Internet Explorer for its instability. 3 Tabs are enough to kill IE in my Vista. I prefer Opera 10.51. It's faster and better, without the need of installing extension. Or you might want Firefox, but mind the time for searching and installing extensions. Both the browsers are way better than Internet Explorer.

Can you list the program running on the background when the problem occurs?
Why don't you try doing something else than browsing (using IE), then check if similar experience occurred?

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Mem test and other browser

I did a pretty extensive mem test prior to upgrading my mobo BIOS, but it was only for a couple of hours, still there were no errors. Not that it necessarily means anything, but the ram is very high performance ram with heat spreaders and my case has a 120mm fan, plus the cpu and psu fans running the case stays very cool. Though I suppose it could be bad spots on a particular chip. While that's very rare these days, I'll let it run over night and see what happens.

Many people hate Microsoft <anything> and I'm pretty much one of them, but I have to say that I've been pretty impressed with Windows 7 (at least the 32bit OS). I have tried Firefox in the past and have had a lot of website incompatabilities with it, especially with download sites, which I do a lot of. I've never used Opera and I just tried to download it and the website keeps dropping out. Anyway, I have experienced IE not responding in every version of Windows, which is annoying, but you can usually restart it and resume the previous session, but this is something else altogether. It's hard to tell what the actual problem is and where it comes from because my mouse and keyboard quit working, therefore it could be something that is affecting the mouse and keyboard and not the OS at all, but without some kind of input device, there's no way to tell. In any case, this has NEVER happened with the 32bit OS, in any version of Windows or IE. As to programs running in the background, they are the same ones that ran in the background on my laptop that never had the problem. Still, the only thing that is running in the background as a rule was Norton Internet Security 2010 and a few Sidebar gadgets and the usual stuff like Java, Quicktime and HP Digital Imaging Monitor that works with my printer, and my wireless card app., but again, these never were a problem with the 32bit OS. I'm pretty sure that Norton had nothing to do with it as I had an unrelated problem with Norton and when the tech guy in India kept inferring that I was stupid, I uninstalled Norton and installed MS Security Essentials and it still has locked up a couple of times since. As far as your experience with IE under Vista, IE may well not be the problem, as I have used Windows since version 1.1 and without a doubt I can say that Vista was the absolute worst OS Microsoft ever put out, I had nothing but problem after problem for the 18+ months that I used it. There really isn't much else that I use the machine for, except web browsing. I use Media Player or iTunes once in a while, maybe Open Office and occasionally my PC Study Bible program, but the system has never locked up while using any of them. I'm not really a multi-tasker, so it's pretty much one program at a time.

The mem test idea is probably the best place to start. After that, unless someone has had the problem and been able to fix it, I don't know how I would go about determining the problem when it happens as therre is no way to input anything to see if the entire OS is locked, or if it's just confined to my wireless USB keyboard and mouse and I don't have a wired set to hook up.

Anyway thanks for the advise, I'll check them out.

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I see no mention

I see no mention of running a malware scan, but then a paragraph break now and then might have helped if I missed it.

Given that IE is extremely prone to malware problems, that's what should always be your first guess as to what's wrong. So, start by running a series of malware scans to see what that turns up. You can also try another browser (Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Chrome) to see if they suffer the same issues. If not, it's almost certainly malware related. I do feel compelled to point out that IE is the ONLY browser that has any kind of significant malware problem, and simply using another browser can probably eliminate 80% of the common problems the average person has.

Moving along a bit... The only difference between the 32 and 64-bit versions of IE, is that there's no Flash plugin (yet) for the 64-bit, and some other add-ons won't work. Which is a good and bad thing. No flash craplets, and a lot of malware probably won't work either. But you also lose out on the one or two sites that actually use Flash responsibly, and any add-ons that might actually be useful.

So, recapping... Paragraphs: Learn them, love them, USE them. Malware: scan for it on your system. IE: Dump it ASAP.

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English lesson

You remind me of the tech guy in India.

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Think yourself lucky

You should think yourself lucky. I installed windows 7 on my laptop and it randomly shut it down...Sometimes it stayed on for an hour sometimes 2 minutes then suddenly without warning the power just went off, not a civilized shut down just went off.

Its probably an issue with drivers. Is any of your hardware obscure?

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