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Windows 7: Another Windows 7 Freezing Thread

09 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Another Windows 7 Freezing Thread

Sorry to beat this horse once again, but...

I have scoured the internet, I have reinstalled the operating system, I have uninstalled various software and still I have not found a solution as to why Windows 7 freezes randomly. I have some ideas as to what might be causing it, but I would need to test those ideas on three or four new computers with various hardware installed. I have five PCs and a laptop in my house, and with the exception of one I have Windows 7 installed on all of them. Unfortunately four of my computers are 7-9 years old and my theories as to what is causing the freezes wouldn't work on them. The freeze does not occur on any of my older machines.


Older PC specs:
  • CPU - AMD Athlon 64 1.8GHz single core (on two machines) Windows 7 Home and Ultimate installed
  • Motherboards - Gigabyte and Asus - VIA chips
  • Video Cards - nVidia 6800 and 7800GT - both AGP
  • Memory - both have 2GBs of RAM PC400 from Kingston
  • CPU - AMD Athlon XP 1.8GHz single core - Windows Vista Home installed
  • Motherboard - Asus - VIA chips
  • Video Card - ATI Rage - AGP
  • Memory - 1.5GBs of RAM PC400 from Kingston
  • CPU- AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.2GHz dual core - Windows 7 Professional installed
  • Motherboard - ASRock - AMD chips
  • Video Card - nVidia 7900GT - PCIe
  • Memory - 4GBs of RAM PC400 from Kingston
Newer PC specs:
  • CPU - Intel Q9300 2.5GHz quad core - Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows XP installed on same HD but separate partitions.
  • Motherboard - MSI - nVidia chips
  • Video Card - nVidia 8800GT - PCIe
  • Memory - 8GBs of RAM PC800 from Kingston
None of the older machines freeze when Windows 7 is installed. The only machine that freezes is the one with the Intel CPU. The CPU is not the cause though, because if you google you will see that many users are having the problem with AMD machines as well. All the older machines listed above have Adobe Flash and Klite codecs installed. One of my theories was that Adobe Flash or some codec was causing the problem. With the codecs installed the freezing occurs more frequently, but when I perform a fresh install of the OS without any codecs the freeze still occurs, just not as frequent. I am beginning to think that the problem only manifests when a particular combination of hardware and Windows 7 are installed. My reasoning is that not everyone is having the problem, even though they have the same software installed. I haven't seen the problem on laptops yet, which is very interesting. There are seven different laptops (all with Windows 7 installed) in my wife's family, and none of their users have reported this problem. I'm thinking the freezing has to do with a certain type of CPU (more than two cores) or RAM (DDR2 and above) in combination with the operating system.


I love Windows 7, and I think it is the best operating system Microsoft has produced to date, but the freezing is driving me nuts. If it weren't for OneNote, Photoshop and some games that I am very fond of, I would switch to Linux Ubuntu in a heartbeat.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Jun 2012   #2

windows 7
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Hello NuclearDreams and welcome to Seven Forums.

Have you considered stress testing the computer to see if it's a hardware issue?

HeavyLoad - Free Stress Test Tool for Your PC

You can also use individual tests on individual components:
Prime95 for CPUs
Memtest86+ for Memory
ATItool or Rivatuner or FurMark for Graphics Card
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Jun 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

@ pr40
The hardware temperature is good. Also, I have a small compressor I use to blow out the dust, which I do once a month. The A+ Wind Tunnel I own has two 240mm fans on the side which suck up every dust particle within 30cm of the case.

@ marsmimar
I haven't done a stress test yet. The reason for that is, the system doesn't freeze when I am using Windows XP or Linux, only on Windows 7. But you are right, I should do a stress test to determine if the hardware is behaving differently in a Windows 7 environment. I'll do the test today and post the results here.

Thanks for the advice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I performed the hardware test using Microscope Diagnostics Suite 14. To use Microscope you have to boot from the CD, which then performs the test outside the parameters of the operating system. All the tests were concluded without errors, except one. When Microscope performed the USB diagnostics, the system froze. I repeated the test several times and ended up with the same results.

What does this mean? Microscope is not Windows 7, so why is it freezing? Another user on another site suggested that the mouse and the keyboard may be causing conflicts with specific onboard controllers. That theory, combined with my test results, gave me an idea. I unplugged all USB devices from the motherboard, and plugged them into a 4 port USB PCI card. I then played every online video rooted in Flash I could get my hands on. Normally that would cause an immediate freeze...but it didn't. Can this really be the solution? I can't say yet. Many of the faithful have exercised their systems in hopes of driving out this demon, but in the end their PCs remain hopelessly possessed.

More to follow...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

If it was me I'd be working with the voltage settings in bios. Slight adjustments to the CPU, Memory or north and south bridge voltages can have a drastic effect on stability. The default voltage settings aren't always correct, this is why they are made to be adjustable in the first place.

People sometimes act like the machine will blow up if they adjust the voltage settings in bios but I can assure you that isn't the case. I've successfully overclocked many different CPU's and I've yet to ruin one of them. Contrary to what they seem to believe over in the BSOD section, updating drivers isn't the only way to fix stability problems which is why it doesn't work most of the time.

I would make adjustments to one voltage setting at a time starting with the CPU, then to memory then to NB and SB voltages, then see how each one affects stability. Using a slow but sure process of elimination should eventually yield some positive results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

Are you following Best Practices for Windows 7 install as detailed in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7,
only using drivers which Windows 7 delivers in installer and via optional Updates then supplying only missing drivers?

Try wiping the HD first: Diskpart Clean Command

Then if problems persist work through these Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7 establishing a Clean Boot, scanning logs for repeat errors, utilizing System Resources to find solutions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Are you following Best Practices for Windows 7 install as detailed in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7,
only using drivers which Windows 7 delivers in installer and via optional Updates then supplying only missing drivers?

Try wiping the HD first: Diskpart Clean Command

Then if problems persist work through these Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7 establishing a Clean Boot, scanning logs for repeat errors, utilizing System Resources to find solutions.
If I have to jump through that many hoops just to get Windows 7 to function the way it should, then maybe I should switch operating systems. I am not the only one having this problem though. If you type "Windows 7 Freezing" in Seven Forums' search engine you will get several pages of complaints. You will also get the same results in Google. Speaking for myself, this problem does not occur in Windows XP/Vista or Linux, only in Windows 7.

About the test and adjustment I explained in my earlier post, it didn't work. For several hours after I made the adjustment the PC didn't freeze. But as I moved the mouse, after an hour of being idle, the PC froze. Again, I have Windows XP and Linux Ubuntu installed parallel to Windows 7, all on separate partitions. Those operating systems do not freeze.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2012   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

You're welcome.

How does establishing a Clean Boot affect it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jun 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post

How does establishing a Clean Boot affect it?

Rebooting causes the system to function as normal, until the next freeze. The next freeze could happen hours or even days after the reboot. Today I've had to reboot the system four times. Reading other user's complaints, I see that some have to reboot their systems even more often than I do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Another Windows 7 Freezing Thread





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