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Laptop freezing

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Watis
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Laptop freezing

#333108

Postby Watis » August 14th, 2020, 9:54 am

My Laptop, running Windows 10 Home, version 18363, the 19/09 edition, and is fully updated.

Over the last few months, it has started randomly freezing. The screen still shows the display at the moment it froze. This happens after between several hours and several dozen hours of use. There is no warning that it is about to happen and, when it does, all control is lost, necessitating a forced power off. It always restarts normally.

It is not overheating.

There's nothing that looks relevant in Event Viewer.

I've tried not using certain programs that I suspected may be the cause but found none so far.

It can even happen while I'm away, so I find out when I try to use it again. It is not trying to sleep or hibernate at these times.

So, any ideas where to look next?

TIA,

Watis

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Re: Laptop freezing

#333141

Postby mc2fool » August 14th, 2020, 11:03 am

I'd start with hardware checks, not 'cos I necessarily suspect that's the most likely cause but 'cos they're (mostly) easy to do and eliminate, and you could waste an awful lot of time looking for other causes if it does turn out to be a hardware problem.

I'd start off with seeing if Windows is reporting any disk errors (right click drive, Properties, Tools), and then run through all the tests the BIOS offers, starting with disk & memory.

Infrasonic
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Re: Laptop freezing

#333154

Postby Infrasonic » August 14th, 2020, 11:33 am

I'd agree with running hardware checks first. Laptops get physically stressed even when they are kid gloved.
Every mobile phone I've ever had has given up the ghost eventually due to hardware issues.

Even if you have sleep and hibernate turned off (what about Windows Fast Startup?), it may be worth looking at your power profiles advanced settings to see what suspensions are occurring.
In 'high performance' mode the defaults still often have some things turning off after a while. What you get offered will be dependant on your OEM's implementation of the ACPI.
Obviously on a laptop they'll be looking to optimise the battery life, so keeping it plugged in to the mains, run in high performance with nothing in suspend mode could be a good A/B starting place to then see if any suspends you initiate cause issues. If it still plays up in that everything on mode at least you've eliminated that as a cause.

supremetwo
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Re: Laptop freezing

#333188

Postby supremetwo » August 14th, 2020, 1:30 pm

Watis wrote:My Laptop, running Windows 10 Home, version 18363, the 19/09 edition, and is fully updated.

Over the last few months, it has started randomly freezing. The screen still shows the display at the moment it froze. This happens after between several hours and several dozen hours of use. There is no warning that it is about to happen and, when it does, all control is lost, necessitating a forced power off. It always restarts normally.

It is not overheating.

There's nothing that looks relevant in Event Viewer.

I've tried not using certain programs that I suspected may be the cause but found none so far.

It can even happen while I'm away, so I find out when I try to use it again. It is not trying to sleep or hibernate at these times.

So, any ideas where to look next?

TIA,

Watis

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Midsmartin
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Re: Laptop freezing

#333244

Postby Midsmartin » August 14th, 2020, 5:05 pm

My suspects would be as below. Some less likely than others, but still worth checking as weird unlikely things can and do happen.

* Faulty RAM -> type 'memory' into Windows search and you'll be taken to "Windows memory diagnostic" which should do what it says. Or, if you have more than one RAM module, just take one of them out in rotation to test. Of course your laptop will be slower while you run it on 50% RAM. You might try swapping modules anyway, even if the diagnostics passes. Diagnostics can miss intermittent faults.

* Faulty hard drive (although you don't report any other symptons). Some/most HDD manufacturers have diagnostics software to download free. Device Manager will tell you model of HDD, and hence manufacturer.
WD diags are here:
https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?p=2
They work on other makes too though.
If it's an SSD, then generally they either work or they don't!
Running "chkdsk /f" from an admin command prompt will test the filesystem for corruption, or "chkdsk /r" will do a long test for a faulty disk if it's an old-style mechanical HDD. Maybe less point in this on an SSD.. someone may correct me.

* Faulty drivers. Usually the graphics card is the 'worst' driver. This doesn't feel like a display driver problem, but you never know. From device manager, identify the display adapter and see if there's a newer driver from either the laptop maunfacturer's website, or the adapter manufacturer's website.

* Conceivably some non-Microsoft service running in the background, though it seems pretty unlikely. Type "msconfig" in the windows search box. On the services tab, tick "hide Microsoft". Untick any of the others you fancy, all at once, or in batches, reboot, and see if it behaves better over a few days.

*dusty fan/overheating. Though you seem happy this isn't the cause.

Watis
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Re: Laptop freezing

#338156

Postby Watis » September 4th, 2020, 6:14 pm

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I ran a disk test, which it passed.

I then decided, on a hunch, to install the 2004 update, which was waiting for me. Whatever the issue was, the update fixed it, presumably by blitzing whichever Windows files that had become corrupted.

And now, after three weeks of very heavy use, it hasn't frozen once!

Watis


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