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intermittent screen freeze when on internet

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help' started by rannoch, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. rannoch

    rannoch Established Techie7 Member

    This started to occur during November.
    I would be on the internet, in some cases for some time. and then the screen would freeze, and I would have to re-boot. Then it would happen again, and again.
    I checked that the Microsoft updates were up-to-date, cleaned out the temporary files, etc using cccleaner, and also cleaned up registry using ccleaner. Updated from IE9 to IE10, and the frequency reduced, but the system became really slow.
    I then switched from using IE10 to Chrome, but the freezing still happened, and after a couple of days I switched back to IE10.
    The freeze now happens every few days as opposed to daily - even down to once a week.
    The screen freeze means that I have to re-boot so I can't check if there is anything obvious causing the problem.

    Are there any checks I can carry out after I re-boot to identify the cause?
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Have you scanned for malware? Any errors in Event Viewer? Is the system clean of heat trapping dust? Are your temps good? Fans spinning?

    Unfortunately, many things can cause a system to freeze - which makes it that much harder to troubleshoot. As a hardware technician, I always want to make sure I am supplying good, clean power. So if me, I would swap in a known good power supply. You might also try running with just one stick of RAM. Be sure to unplug from the wall and touch bare metal of the case interior to discharge any destructive static in your body BEFORE reaching in.
  3. rannoch

    rannoch Established Techie7 Member

    I'll run malwarebytes. is that enough?
    How do I run Event Viewer, and can you recommend software I can use to check the temperatures.
    The PC has 4gb ram (2gb x2). I'll take out one and try for a couple of days, then swap.

    I am using Kaspersky 2013. Should I uninstall and try another anti-virus program e.g avast in case it's that. The freeze only seems to happen when I have a browser open.
  4. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Kaspersky is a good program - as long as you have had it running in real-time and kept it current you don't need to get rid of it for Avast. I still recommend supplemental scanning with MBAM, however.

    Open Event Viewer

    I use and recommend CoreTemp for newer Intel and AMD CPUs to monitor CPU temps. SpeedFan is a great and popular alternative. Open Hardware Monitor is also becoming very popular.
  5. rannoch

    rannoch Established Techie7 Member

    Installed malwarebytes, and ran scan - all issues were cleared.
    Installed CoreTemp, and will watch temps. Set the max at 90F.
    Checked memory modules - OK
    I was hoping that the PC would be clogged with dust, but very clean.
    I'll run it for a couple of weeks, and if it freezes, hopefully I can use Event Viewer to perhaps id the problem.
  6. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    The standard scale used internationally for computer temps is Celsius. You scared me when you said 90 until I saw the F. I recommend you change your scale to Celsius- especially when communicating your temps to experts. 90°F = 32.2°C which is outstanding, almost "cold".

    I get nervous when CPU temps frequently hit and stay above 60°C. When my temps start hovering near 60°C, that typically means it is time for me to clean my case's air filters.

    You say you ran MBAM and all issues were "cleared" - suggesting it found something, then cleaned them. Some things, like tracking cookies are typically not malicious while Trojans, worms, viruses and other items can be very malicious. What does the log say it found?
  7. rannoch

    rannoch Established Techie7 Member

    Sorry to leave this so long. In answer to the last question - what did the MBAM log say - nothing it was empty.

    The freezing has stated again, but with a twist.

    Purely by accident in December I disconnected my external HDD, and the freezing stopped. It was an old HDD so left disconnected.
    Through January, and now February no freezing.

    A couple of days ago I bought a new external HDD, and connected yesterday.
    Almost instantly the freezing started (that would indicate it's not an overheating issue), and I had to switch off the PC. This continued 7 or 8 times in 10 minutes. I can only hold the PC start button until the PC switches off, and then start up again - not good for the machine.

    The problem PC is a Dell Vostro desktop which came with a wireless card. I have another desktop which uses a wireless adapter (no problems at all with this PC), and a wireless HP printer. All going through a single TP_link router.

    What happened next is the twist. I switched on the PC after a freeze, and it froze again. This time, for no real reason, I switched on the HP printer, and after it had powered up the freezing stopped!
    I tried this three times with the same result - the freezing stopped. On one other occasion the freeze happened when the printer was on, and I switched the printer off, and then on, and the freeze stopped.

    I've disconnected the external HDD, and the freezing has stopped.

    I'm totally lost.
  8. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Well, as I noted 2 1/2 months ago, I always want to ensure I am supplying good power so, again, I would swap in a known good PSU.

    Since you printer connects wirelessly, I don't see where that has anything to do with your system freezing (or not freezing).

    You ext. HD, however, I assume is connecting via USB for data, and maybe power too. I would check device manager for errors. I would also try a different pair of USB ports and if the drive has an external power supply, ensure that is connected.
  9. rannoch

    rannoch Established Techie7 Member

    I'll have to take the PC to a repair shop for the power swap.

    I can't see why the printer has anything to do with it either, but that's what happened.

    The Ext HDD has it's own power, and it is switched on. I've tried different USB ports - same result. Device Manager shows all USB ports working correctly.

    I looked at the Event Viewer, but I really don't know what to look for.
  10. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Well, there's no shame in taking it to a shop. I am really sorry we were not able to help. I wish I could see (touch, feel and play with) that computer on my bench. Please let us know what the shop determines.