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Windows 7: Random freezes

18 Jun 2012   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Random freezes

Hello. Since a couple of months I experience random freezes. They are quite frustrating, because still I cannot find a cause of them. I've dealt with many kinds of errors in the past and found solutions for them via google, also on this forum. Thanks for that. But not in this case. I've read somewhere here that freezes are often caused by software, but I haven't been able to pinpoint any particular, so I would like to ask you to help me.

The freezes occur while doing nothing special - visiting webpages, working on files and folders. Sometimes they occur after recovering from sleep, but these are rare cases. When system freezes, only hard shutdown works - the keyboard or mouse do not respond. No BSODs appear.

I've read and submit my latest dump files. I can also submit my previous dump files, from June 12. There are slight changes in Device Manager (before I removed Intel PRO/Wireless for both WiFi and Bluetooth - this resulted in one unrecognised Bluetooth peripheral device to disappear).

My system specs are (the rest in my profile):
  • Dell XPS L502x - 1 year old
  • Windows 7 SP1 64-bit - original from MSDNA, re-installed about 3 months ago
  • computer was shipped without an OS
Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Please remove any CD/DVD virtualization software, such as Daemon Tools/Alcohol 120%, as they use a driver called sptd.sys that is known to cause BSODs. Use add/remove programs to remove the software. After removing the software, use the sptd.sys uninstaller to remove sptd.sys from the system.

I prefer TotalMounter as my CD/DVD virtualization software as it allows me to burn images to a virtual CD/DVD if I just want an ISO file instead of a disc, and it is free.

Many use MagicISO - Convert BIN to ISO, Create, Edit, Burn, Extract ISO file, ISO/BIN converter/extractor/editor as well, which is also free.

Your crashes and freezes most likely indicate hardware problems. Run some hardware checks.
  • If you are overclocking any hardware, please stop.

  • If you have an SSD, make sure the following are up to date:
    • SSD firmware
    • BIOS Version
    • Chipset Drivers
    • Hard disk controller drivers/SATA drivers
    • If you have a Marvell IDE ATA/ATAPI device, make sure the drivers are up to date from the Intel site or Marvell site and not from your motherboard/vendor support site.

  • Run all but the advanced tests with SeaTools for HDDs.
    SeaTools for Windows

    SeaTools for DOS
  • Monitor temperatures during the following tests.
    Use the following programs to monitor the temperatures.
  • Run the boot version of Memtest86+ paying close attention to Parts 2 and 3 of the tutorial. Also, in case Memtest86+ misses anything and comes up with no errors, run the extended version of the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool for at least five passes. These you may want to run overnight since they take a long time to complete (run them an hour before bed each of the next two nights and check before going to sleep that they are still running).

    warning   Warning
    Before you proceed with the following, answer these two questions: Are you still under warranty? Does your warranty allow you to open up the machine to check hardware? If you are unsure of the answers to these questions, contact your system manufacturer. WARNING: The steps that follow can void your warranty!!!

    For Part 3: If You Have Errors: If you swap any memory components, follow these steps for ESD safety:
    1. Shut down and turn off your computer.
    2. Unplug all power supplies to the computer (AC Power then battery for laptops, AC power for desktops)
    3. Hold down the power button for 30 seconds to close the circuit and ensure all power drains from components.
    4. Make sure you are grounded by using proper grounding techniques, i.e. work on an anti-static workbench, anti-static desk, or an anti-static pad. Hold something metallic while touching it to the anti-static surface, or use an anti-static wristband to attach to the anti-static material while working. If you do not have an anti-static workbench, desk, or pad, you can use your computer tower/case by finding a metal hold in it, such as a drive bay.
    Once these steps have been followed, it is safe to remove and replace components within your computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2012   #3

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Thank you very much for your comprehensive answer. It will take me some time to run all the tests, but I will post back once I'm done.

I can only say that I ran all tests from Dell Diagnostics, including all advanced tests and no issue has been found.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Jun 2012   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Hi again. I removed Alcohol 52% and sptd.sys from my system and changed to TotalMounter, as instructed. I've run the following tests and found no errors so far:
  • Dell Diagnostics - all non-interactive tests (including all advanced tests)
  • Memory Diagnostics Tool - 5 passes of extended tests
  • FurMark - Burn-in Test (Fullscreen, native 1600x900, 8x MSAA), max. temp. = 77 C
  • Video Memory stress Test - for both integrated and dedicated video card
  • SeaTools - all but advanced tests (Long Term test has been interrupted overnight and SeaTools informed me it had been running abnormally long due to high capacity of the volume etc.; I didn't run it again since I've already run similar test from Dell Diagnostics)
I still have to perform Hardware and CPU stress tests, but I believe my problems are not of hardware nature, but IMs could be messing something up.

I turned off Kadu IM over a week ago and since then I haven't experienced any freezes. Yesterday I installed Google Talk and went to bed leaving computer finishing downloading something. When I woke up, I noticed the system restarted itself and notified me about unexpected shut-down.

I use Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 (legal). Today I disabled heuristics and IM security. Since then my fan starts up much less frequently (probably because disabled heuristics).

Could you please check if IMs and/or KIS are causing any problems? I attach latest dump files from the mentioned crash.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Nothing to really indicate the cause of the recent crash... One of your older crashes indicated your touchpad drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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