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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Intermittant freezes while running (not a start-up issue)

    Hi All -

    For about the past two weeks, my desktop freezes with no known cause. It lasts a minute, or two, then functions again.

    one local repair guy suggested that it's likely Windows has decided it doesn't like a driver. but i haven't updated any driver.

    what's changed or been added in the last two weeks? two things that i can think of ...
    - i got rid of Comodo Firewall - i got unhappy with it. on 6/5, i installed Privatefirewall 7.0, which CNET etc had rated very well. if you think that would account for it, PLEASE let me know !
    - Windows Update, Critical items (not including IE10).

    there could have been other changes/additions, too, but i don't recall what they were, and i don't know how to find out. if you want to suggest how i could look into that, i'd be very open to your guidance/suggestions !

    I've looked into eventvwr, but don't see anything there. Then again, maybe i don't know where to look - there are a lot of options there.

    Also, while an eventvwr tip would be welcome, i am also wondering about other (3rd party) diagnostic programs anyone might have had good experience with ...

    This is a DIY machine that has run reliably/stably for a couple of years now.
    Win 7 x64
    ASUS M4A89GTD-PRO/USB3 Rev 1.xx
    3.30 gigahertz AMD Phenom II X4 B60
    AMD Radeon HD 7700
    RAM - 8GB
    Norton AntiVirus Version 20.3.1.22

    i can fill in anything else about the hardware that might help. and ANY help is very welcome - thank you for your time and thoughts, and sharing your experience !

    Michael

  2. #2
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    If you've switched security products, ensure that you run the appropriate removal tool for the old product after uninstalling it: http://www.carrona.org/avuninst.html or you will see problems if there are any remnants leftover (Norton, McAfee and ZA being most frequently seen causing similar issues post- uninstall).

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    thanks for posting and your suggestion, Satrow -

    i usually use Revo to uninstall, but i didn't do that this time. actually, i think i do have a Comodo uninstaller.
    i'll look, and if i come up empty i'll try your suggested link.
    in fact, i ought to keep track of that link anyway. thanks for providing it !

    Best, Michael

  4. #4
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    Hi Satrow - i did run the Comodo Removal tool, and THANKS for that - but ten minutes later i had the same Freeze problem again.

    it's quite a nuisance. plus, i am really curious about what's going on !
    i suppose i could try a System Restore point, and maybe it will come to that, but i like to learn, figure stuff out.

    SO - any ideas about 3rd party diagnostic tools ?
    ALSO, ways to see what system changes or files/ programs, additions have happened sorted by date ?

    either would be AWESOME ! thank you for wanting to help me !

    Michael

  5. #5
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    If you have some idea of when it began, you can list installed programs by date from the Control Panel entry. Unfortunately, not all installs will be listed there, you may find more by using the Start > Run and entering %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu, which will open Explorer to your profile Start Menu, then check in the All Users location: C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu.

    I have little experience of troubleshooting freezes, I'm led to believe that hardware problems commonly cause them. Hard drive/paging file, perhaps graphics card/heat issues ...

    Another thing to check is any Windows Updates that have been installed recently.

    For loaded drivers, DriverView can be set to list the drivers by release date, for 3rd party drivers - View > Choose columns > check the top 2x options plus Modified date and you can then list the latter column by date to see the oldest (try to update them to 2011+ versions, anything older than mid 2009 are suspect - probably Vista drivers) and then the newest. Once you have a list with dates to work on, you can uncheck the top 2x entries and check the most recently updated Microsoft drivers (normally related to Windows Update).

    You can also try a Clean Boot and create a new User profile to see if the freezes still occur: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

    There may be some clues in the System/Application logs (check immediately after a freeze) or in the (Start > Run) MSINFO32 Windows Error Reporting section (very hard to read ).

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  7. #6
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    Thank you for hanging in there with me this far, Satrow !

    ID'ing new apps/programs - those are actually easy for me to find. i use Download Accelerator Plus, so all my downloads are right there.


    yes, it could've been new hardware, but i don't have any.
    heat: i wondered about that too. it kind of acts like that, and summer is here. but A/C keeps temps ok in the "computer room". i'm not thinking that's likely to be it.

    looked into eventvwr, went through the whole list and not one item had a Critical Event in its history ... also opened MSINFO32, but there is no Date column, so it didn't help ...

    a local computer-fixing friend said to look at drivers. so I was happy to get DriverView. it reminded me that my deletion of Comodo Firewall (it was very intrusive) and install of PersonalFirewall 7.0 was about when this started. (sometimes i seem to miss what's right in front of me.) I just got rid of that firewall (good reviews, but ...), got a different firewall - now we'll see if the freezes stop.

    if it's still happening after this, i will let you know.

    meantime, thanks again !

    Michael

  8. #7
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Ok, good luck and keep us informed!

  9. #8
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    OK - i began to think it might be Firefox, which i noticed had been freezing itself lately. so i tried uninstalling using Revo to get rid of traces, then re-installed.
    but nope - that wasn't it.
    and replacing PersonalFirewall 7.0 with a different one didn't solve anything either.

    this did start about the time i got rid of Comodo firewall. it seemed it was always "learning" and had become increasingly intrusive. i still don't know what other changes/additions i might have made around that time. i AM getting more reluctant to do a System Restore back to 6/5 as time goes on.

    as well as just wanting to resolve the freezing problem, i have become very curious about it, too ! i'd like to understand it ! what happened (i.e., what did i do) to bring it on ??? i guess it happens a couple of times a day. but it is unquestionably a nuisance when it DOES happen !

    so, i'd be grateful for any new ideas to explore !

    Michael

  10. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    MEMORY
    Try running a memory diagnostic like tool memtest86, or Windows default memory diagnostic tool, in advanced mode overnight
    to rule out issues with your system RAM.

    PROGRAMS/DRIVERS/PROCESSES
    Sysinternal's Process Explorer may be of assistance for monitoring running apps, drivers, and processes.
    Fred Langa
    has an article that might be useful in getting you started.

    Some other resources from Mark Russinovich’s technical blog;
    The Case of the Intermittent (and Annoying) Explorer Hangs

    Fred's also got a decent article on the use of the Windows 7 performance monitor that may be of help in your quest to determine what is going on;
    Exploring Windows’ Administrative Tools: Part 2

    Lastly, you might want to run a "sfc /scannow" from an elevated command prompt.
    (sometimes this tool can effectively resolve minor corruption issues in OS related components)
    To See and Read the SFC /SCANNOW Scan Results

    Good luck
    CLiNT
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    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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