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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Windows 95/7 hangs

    After all these years you would think that Microsoft could at least figure out how to prevent system hangs. [OK! It wasn't their fault this time!]

    My system is hanging. Hard. Control-Alt-Delete (one or many) doesn't work. I've tried waiting, once overnight, to see if it would come out of it. The only cure is to hold the power button for a while until the system resets. This has been happening for a couple of weeks. I didn't have time to mess with it at first and it seemed related to FireFox, so I switched to IE-9 and kept working, hoping that another FireFox update would come along and it would magically fix itself. Today it has started hanging while running IE-9, so that was a red herring.

    There does not seem to be any particular event that causes the hangs. I have walked away from a working system and it hung while I was elsewhere. Sometimes it hangs within a few minutes of using the system, usually within a few hours, it has occasionally gone almost all day.

    I thought I would try using system restore, but there is no useful restore point. (More on that in another posting.)

    Can anyone give me a hint on how to approach this problem? I assume there is a core dump taken when I do the hard reset. Would it be useful to look at that? Is there a tool to make it understandable to me?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Backspacer; 2012-07-24 at 18:06.

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    I was looking through the windows update history and noticed that there were three Samsung updates at around the time I started having this problem. I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 phone and something must have been installed when I plugged it into my USB for the first time. So I thought I'd uninstall them and see if that helps. But I can't figure out how. They are clearly there in my update history and there is a link to Installed Updates where you can uninstall an update. I clicked the link and waited for the page to re-imagine itself and the Samsung updates aren't there. They aren't in the main Add/remove Programs screen, either. So where are they? Is there some other place where third party updates can be found/removed?

    Thanks.

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    They are updates to what? When you plug something, the hardware is identified and a driver used, but probably you had installed some software before (I don't really know how do you connect to an Android phone).

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    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    I have never installed any software for the phone. I assume, that these were installed when the phone was plugged in to the USB port. I do sort of vaguely remember "something" happening when I first plugged it in.

    I just went looking for a device driver to remove, but can't find one. Maybe that's because the phone is unplugged at the moment. Hmmm. Could there be a conflict between the phone and something else? I think I'm going to do some testing along this line...

  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    I also just searched the registry for "samsung" and it appears that something was installed and registered. Presumably a driver. We bought two identical phones at the same time and I was plugging and unplugging both of them from my computer when I first got them. I see two entries under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers\EventHandlersD efaultSelection. They are similar but different enough that I wonder if one of them is corrupt.

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    If you insert the phone, it should be visible in the device manager list and you can check the driver from there.

  7. #7
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    So far my computer has not hung since I unplugged the phone. I'm kind of enjoying that! I will probably wait until just before I shutdown for the night and then I'll plug the phone back in and check the driver.
    Last edited by Backspacer; 2012-07-16 at 20:50.

  8. #8
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    Let us know how it goes.

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    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Well the computer didn't hang in 24 hours with the phone detached. The phone gets attached and detached so often that it was impossible to retrospectively correlate it to the hangs. A few minutes ago I plugged it in and it did appear in the device manager. It seemed to think that the driver was up-to-date and working, but I uninstalled the driver, restarted the system without the phone, and then plugged in the phone again to reinstall the driver. So it is all installed and working right now. But then it worked fine before, too. We'll see if it hangs again. Should happen sometime today if it is going to.

  10. #10
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Problem is not solved. Phone was unplugged all day today. (I have lost it, but I know where it isn't: plugged in to my computer!) Multiple hangs today. I sure wish someone knew how to determine the cause of a hang, or even what software was running or waiting or whatever to cause the hang. Once hung it won't come back whatever I do or however long I wait. Where do I find the crash dumps on this thing?

  11. #11
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    Question is, are you having crash dumps? If it just hangs, I doubt it.

    Have you tried to look at the hardware side of things? Checking temps, making sure fans are working, testing memory? Hangs like those can very well be hardware related.

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    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    I am having solid hangs where I have to hold down the power button to end them. I suppose you are right, that would not create a crash dump. Where would I check to be sure? They aren't on the desktop.

    Is there any way at all to figure out the cause of such a hang? It is starting to severely impact my productivity. (I hold my breath, wondering if it will hang while I am writing this...)

  13. #13
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    After all these years you would think that Microsoft could at least figure out how to prevent system hangs.
    MS has over the years, made significant progress in the crash and hang department.

    The fact that you have to do a system wide reset or power cycling on your setup is particularly troubling because most newer MS operating
    systems will limit a crash, freeze, or hang to a specific program, process, or service. [isolate it from the kernel]

    Which leads me to speculate on the overall health of your setup's software and or hardware environment.




    The first place to look would be the event viewer, but your unlikely to find the root cause staring you down in there, because many of the errors generated will relate to an improper shut down or some similar error type.

    Before you start doing anything or making any types of changes, get the drive imaged and ensure that you can reliably recover that image from a bootable disk.

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    If there are dumps, a tool such as BlueScreenView will find them and let you access their info.

    Clint already suggested imaging your drive, which would be an elementary precaution. I would probably do it outside Windows, just to try to maximize the chance of it completing without another freeze.

    Once this was done, I would try to actively find the cause of the hang. Software wise, I could try a Windows non destructive reinstall. I must say, however, that I would try the hardware side of it, first. A visual inspection of the running hardware to make sure all the fans are working, then some memory testing (you can use Memtest for that, or if you use multiple memory chips, you could try removing some of them temporarily and see if the system crashes and proceed until you find faulty chips or all have been tested in such a way). As I said before, you could monitor temperature in your system, not sure if you have monitoring tools provided by your motherboard or system manufacturer, but if not, something like HWMonitor could be used.

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    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    I downloaded HWMonitor. Interesting. CPUs are max=48C, have been creeping up all day. (AC is broken, but ambient here in the office is not over 80F.)

    The disks are actually more interesting. The C: drive is at 54C while the D: drive is only 40C. The C: drive is original to the system - a WD1600ADFS "Velociraptor" drive. The D: drive is a WD6000 Velociraptor with somewhat higher performance as well as greater capacity. Interestingly, the original C: drive - same WD1600ADFS model - died of heat problems, though the symptoms were totally different than this. I bought the new, larger one and moved the D: drive to the C: position because I didn't need a huge C: drive.

    I think it looks like there is yet another new drive in my future...

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