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Windows 7: Win7 freezing - taskbar animations / mouse working, but nothing else

08 Dec 2013   #1
markharmer

Windows 7 64bit professional
 
 
Win7 freezing - taskbar animations / mouse working, but nothing else

I'm being driven mad by this problem and hope it might be able to help others, too, as I've seen similar threads but nothing quite like this issue.

Windows loads OK but after a while (either leaving it idle, or doing something low-demand like scrolling a web page or working in any other program) the program I'm in freezes and goes whitish. The cursor changes to the spinning circle. Usually I can alt+tab to other things, which are also all frozen. I can alt+tab back to the desktop, where the mouse is the normal cursor, and the taskbar still animates when I mouseover it, and I can type something into the search bar (like "event viewer" for example) but it doesn't do anything else apart from showing me the text I've typed - if I click on anything in the taskbar or the start menu, or on the desktop icons, nothing appears to happen.

The only way to get out of the PC is to do a hard reset with the power button, and there is no evidence in the event viewer of anything apart from a note that windows was exited without shutting down correctly.

I've tried everything I can think of but I still get the same problem. So I've updated motherboard BIOS, updated all the drivers including motherboard drivers, updated graphics drivers, removed all hard drives except the system one, uninstalled Comodo Internet security, uninstalled Firefox etc etc. I've run sfc/ scannow which says there are no system files missing. The performance monitor doesn't indicate anything untoward and I've got windows managing my paging file on the system drive. This issue even happened in Safe Mode with Networking.

I've also run several malware / virus checks: Spybot Search and Destroy, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Comodo's own scan, Ccleaner, Glary Utilities. The system appears clean.

I've spent hours and hours trying different things and I hope there's someone that can suggest something to try before I go crazy with lack of sleep!!

If I need to post something about what's running / about my system, please let me know and I'll post it.

Cheers - here's hoping for someone who can help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
09 Dec 2013   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Mark try these



http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/433-disk-check.html < DO NOT run on a SSD

http://www.superantispyware.com/


http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/

download from bleeping computer
then Free Malware Removal Tools scroll down to the TDSSKiller and run it delete any rubbish you find.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2013   #3
markharmer

Windows 7 64bit professional
 
 

Hi there ICit2lol

Thank you - having a go at these now, will report back!

Appreciate your suggestions.

Mark
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

10 Dec 2013   #4
markharmer

Windows 7 64bit professional
 
 

Nada, unfortunately. The system reports as clean - and I forgot to say, I use superantispyware all the time. Adwcleaner is a goody - thanks for that - but having done the first run and picked up a few things, it's now reporting back as clean too.

BTW I'm not ruling out hardware faults, but have twice been into the PC and cleaned it all (dust) and made sure everything's where it should be and that all cards / plugs and sockets are seated properly.

Just seems that all the applications freeze, but for some reason the desktop animations still look OK. When I go away from the PC I come back thinking it's all still OK, then I click on one of the desktop / taskbar (and it animates) / start menu items, but nothing happens.

Does anyone know what logs I might look for under event viewer? If I can work out what was happening when it freezes, maybe that will help. I'm doing some work this morning on the PC and of course I'll be in a position to know exactly when it froze - so will take a note of the time and look for events around then.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2013   #5
markharmer

Windows 7 64bit professional
 
 

Aha - so I've been managing to get it to run for nearly 45 minutes while I created a web page for my school choir, uploaded it and some files, and ran filezilla to change some directories, also adding a password to an online folder via firefox. All working flawlessly, and I was checking the music I'd uploaded online.

After about a few minutes of listening to this (while tidying up and saving my web design in Webplus), I opened windows explorer to search for a folder, and the machine whited out and did its spinning circle of death thing. The search results didn't appear instantly like they normally do and I got an empty folder with the green bar moving slowly from left to right along the top. It didn't do anything else. However, the music (playing online via firefox / quicktime plugin 7.7.4) was still playing fine, and ran all the way to the end.

Nothing else happened in windows explorer and none of my open programs would respond. Eventually I had to interrupt the power as usual to get out of the pc. But hopefully there's a clue there for someone. Windows search has been troublesome and sometimes the indexing doesn't work so it runs really slowly. In the past it has reported corrupted files in Event Viewer (but that could have been happening a lot and I just never looked before).

I have had a good look at event viewer up to the time of this latest hang and can find nothing which seems to be related to windows search or anything else that could indicate a cause. But please anyone come back with suggestions for anything to look for as I have to start a big video editing project for a client and I'm really nervous about losing time / work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Dec 2013   #6
markharmer

Windows 7 64bit professional
 
 

Ok - this is interesting and might help. I've created a filter in event viewer and just included the "Kernel-Power" events - which are listed as critical. Basically that's where I press the power button to turn off the computer.

I've noticed they are all around an hour apart - for example, most recent first:

10/12/2013 22:40:05
10/12/2013 21:39:01
10/12/2013 20:36:43
10/12/2013 19:35:41

and before my evening meal:

10/12/2013 18:06:13
10/12/2013 17:04:13
10/12/2013 16:00:56

and this morning:

10/12/2013 12:33:00
10/12/2013 11:29:50
10/12/2013 10:27:24

I had an "always on" power scheme including disabling USB suspend, hard drives and PCIe Link state power management. So I'm wondering what else might be associated with these timings. Sometimes I didn't start windows immediately but the times are suspiciously similar.

Any thoughts anyone?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2013   #7
markharmer

Windows 7 64bit professional
 
 
Solved!

Just typing all those issues into this forum made me investigate that "1 hour" thing and I discovered the SSD I have, Crucial M4-256GB, had an issue with a version 0009 firmware, which would cause it to go unstable after an hour if the disk had more than 5000 hours on it.

Sure enough, I checked and mine was ver 0009 and had 6200 hours on it. So I cloned the disk to another SSD (just in case the FW update failed, sending it to the great motherboard in the sky) then flashed the firmware in the failing drive.

Just been running it using 10 very processor- and memory-hungry apps simultaneously for the last hour and a half and it's sweet!

So - hope this helps anyone else with such a mystifying problem. I have to say part of it was just looking at the logs and seeing that pattern. Just so relieved that I don't have to be on edge all the time expecting a program to crash.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win7 freezing - taskbar animations / mouse working, but nothing else




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