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Windows 7: Win becomes unresponsive requiring hard shutdown, no recent changes

23 Jul 2016   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Win becomes unresponsive requiring hard shutdown, no recent changes

I've been having a pretty weird problem that started about a month or two ago, and happens anywhere from once a week to once every other day. No software was installed around when this started happening, and no hardware changes were made in the preceding months, either. I've had this machine for about 2 years.

Every program will become slow and/or unresponsive, and if I can manage to close any of them, the item text will vanish from the taskbar but the "icon" will still remain. Here's a picture to illustrate . No matter how long I wait, it will not go away, and no programs remaining open will start to respond. Additionally, I cannot start any application - an application I try to start will appear in Task Manager (I always have it running, so I didn't have a need to open that, thankfully) but only using a very small amount of RAM. No matter how long I wait, it will never use more than like 224kbish of RAM. I can close some applications using the task manager. But sometimes if I try to end a process, it will ask me "Are you sure?" and then will proceed to not close it, or close it so it "vanishes" from the taskbar like in the picture and the task manager and the taskbar freeze. Sometimes they freeze independent of me doing that.

Trying to restart via the start menu does not work. No matter how long I wait, no applications will close, and nothing will change.

Things I have tried without success:
-sfc /scannow
-avast! antivirus
-Hard drive change (I recently cloned and replaced my C: drive with another drive, but this problem predated that change by about 2 weeks, and has persisted with the drive change)

There are also no consistent triggers. I have left the computer on for a few days when I go out of town, and find my messenger windows seem to be up and running, but actually turned unresponsive and stopped receiving messages after I was out of town for a day or two, with no indication anything was wrong. Messages I typed and sent after this "silence" were never received by the other party, and checking the message history via an external interface after a reboot confirms there was more I did not receive, and the messages I tried sending went into the ether. Additionally, Steam was unable to connect to the Internet, so it seems whatever problem this is also impacts Internet access.

The only thing I can think of that MIGHT be related to this is: I don't want Windows 10 and have chosen to hide some updates related to that, but might have missed some. I've never accepted any of the install prompts and have them hidden. I've built my past two computers and consider myself pretty savvy, but I've never seen anything like this and have no clue how I would even search for it to see if others have had it.

I should also note there were a few times when after logging into Windows, the network connection refused to work. A reboot or two later, it would work with no problem. This has not happened for a while and could have been me being impatient but thought it worth mentioning. Waiting on programs to respond or the machine to restart via the start menu has meant me waiting hours, though, so that unresponsiveness is definitely not my imagination.

Sorry if I posted this in the wrong place. Please let me know any information you'd need. Thank you!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jul 2016   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Hello oddprob,

A few more things to try:

1. Possibly a corrupt user account. Could create a new account and see if the issue persists.

2. Check Device Manager for Driver issues. Once there, be sue to click on "View" then "Show Hidden Devices."

3. May still be Malware related. You could post in our "System Security Forum" for help.

4. Run CHKDSK.

5. Run Clean Boot

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jul 2016   #3

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring

My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Aug 2017   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64

I hate to bump this very old thread, but I did resolve the issue and haven't seen any other posts anywhere on the Internet about it. The problem was avast! antivirus. I don't know what it was specifically about avast, but I noticed when I disabled the shields that my system was stable until the next reboot. Uninstalled avast, installed Bitdefender, and the issue never resurfaced. Sorry again to bump an old thread, but hopefully this helps someone somewhere who is having this problem and looking everywhere for help and finding no answers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win becomes unresponsive requiring hard shutdown, no recent changes

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