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Programs randomly freezing

  johndrew 12:21 18 Sep 2011

Something I have not seen in these Forums or experienced.

In the past three days I have had various programs freeze (Not Responding) for no apparent reason. They include Firefox, Outlook Express and Malwarebytes; this latter during an update, the others during normal use.

The only updates I have done recently are those to update my AV and anti-malware, Microsoft monthly updates and Firefox to 3.6.22.

I have carried out full scans for infections with nothing being found by AVG, Sptbot S&D, Spyware Terminator and Malwarebytes. Additionally the usual MS Removal Tool scan which was carried out during the recent update process showed nothing.

I have seen no similar reports but have no idea of the cause unless it is CMOS battery - but my clock is fine.

Can anyone offer any suggestion as to the cause or has anyone else experience this problem.

Many thanks in anticipation.

  johndrew 14:29 29 Sep 2011


Good idea. I think the potential for any cost effective solution has been well milked! Even so, it's a bit sad to leave XP!

  onthelimit1 14:53 29 Sep 2011

JD - I felt like you, but having had a W7 machine for 3 mths, no way I'd go back!

  Terry Brown 14:57 29 Sep 2011

When the PC is running their is always a small CPU usage, even when idle, if it is showing zero, then it could be the processor itself is at fault. Try the following:

Press CTRL- ALT- DELETE together to bring up the Task Manager.

Check the Performance to check the Performance settings (PF)(on idle should run about 3%) and the Networking. You should be the only user, also check applications to see if any other programs are running in the background.

I realise you are are competent with your computer knowledge, however sometimes it is the simple things that we forget, that trip us up.


  johndrew 17:14 29 Sep 2011


All is fine in that department. Performance (online with browser, OE, Task Manager and the usual background running) is generally no higher than 4% with the odd blip above.

The problem is that I can be using, say, Firefox for an hour or more and for no apparent reason it will stop responding permanently, ca't be shut down using Task Manager or any other means. This has happened with Word, OE, Malwarebytes and a couple of others as well. In all cases I can minimise to the Task Bar but not expand again. It is not possible to run an extra 'copy' of Firefox either as I get a message that it is running and to close it. The only way of closing any frozen program of this nature is to Restart the PC. Often, in the case of Firefox' it will open to the pages it froze at.

At other times the PC runs as it should.

I find it all very strange and can see no commonality to help diagnose the cause of the problem.

  johndrew 18:50 03 Oct 2011

I may be getting somewhere.

Although the initial MemTest check showed nothing that I hadn't seen in the PC from new, I decided to test each module separately. Whether it was me disturbing one of them or not I'm unsure, but one failed the test with some 109 faults indicated; the other 3 passed with no problems indicated.

As a result I booted up with only half the usual memory to find the freezing (of Firefox in particular) to still occur. As I keep backups of my Registry (made with ERUNT) I went back 12 months and loaded a saved copy - the freezing was still apparent.

I then reverted to my current Registry (saved today) and went back to Firefox V3.6.20. So far (everything crossed) it runs properly. I shall need to run for a few days before I shall be confident enough to believe the problem is resolved.

Does anyone know of any software conflicts with Firefox and anything else, or if damaged RAM can result in Registry damage? Perhaps one of the 'techies' can help or even suggest other items which may either improve stability or check for it.

  johndrew 09:28 04 Oct 2011

No. Firefox froze with only the good RAM as well.

Could this be caused by too little RAM in the system?

  lotvic 11:37 04 Oct 2011

I wondered about that (on page 2) and I thought it was measured in kilobytes, see info chart on Taskmanager

johndrew says: "I have 2GB RAM installed, but at any time Task Manager shows well less than 1GB in use; like now I have 845MB in use."

  Snrub 12:40 04 Oct 2011
  1. unplug every external connector and re-plug firmly paying particular attention to mouse and main power into rear of computer connections, try computer.

  2. run a malware check in safe mode, reboot, try computer.

  3. run Event Viewer if fault persists to see if there are any clues to fault.

  johndrew 13:51 04 Oct 2011

I have reinstalled the other 2 memory sticks even though I know one is faulty. I would have installed only the good one but the PC recognises this configuration as a 'memory failure' and will not boot. The PC runs a little better like this and I have ordered replacement memory from Crucial - it should be here soon.

lotvic & Woolwell

You are correct for the individual usage, I was quoting the Commit Charge value which I understand as the total memory in use; am I correct?.

In terms of individual usage, Firefox appears to be a bit of a hog at 163,964K and the System follows a 150,000K, everything else is way below with AVG, for example, at around 8,250K.


Have been that route with nothing found or resolved. Thanks anyway.

  johndrew 10:17 06 Oct 2011

Well I have installed the new memory and carried out a quick MemTest run which showed no errors at all so there should be no problem there.

I have installed the RAMBack tool you linked to but can find no 'button' for it. Have you found one?

When I ran Firefox it froze again and would not close using Task Manager or any other facility. I had to Restart the PC to clear it.

I have noticed that in Task Manager there is only a single entry in Processes when it freezes, but there are two in Applications. I find this strange but am uncertain if it is connected to the problem.

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