Computer Freezing Help

System manufacturer / System product name
January 8, 2009 at 15:27:38
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 2.4 GHz / 1022 MB
Hello. I am having a major problem which I have not been able to solve. I am not sure whether this is a software or hardware issue, however it is vital that it be fixed. I come here to desperately seek assistance.

For the past month or so, my computer has been freezing. When it freezes, and after I have to (manually) power off the computer and restart it, the same freezing occurs later on. From what I can see, whenever it freezes, it duplicates one instance of a program and disallows any more openings of programs, and attempting ending the duplicated program fails. For a better visualization, I took a picture from my phone so you can see. Since the computer was frozen, I couldn’t take a screenshot…

Sorry about the quality, but the two main things to acknowledge in that picture is the fact that it displays two of the exact same tasks being open in processes (despite only one window being open) and their statuses are Not Responding. Also take note that this happens to almost all of my applications, not just Firefox.

I was so fed up with being in the middle of something and then the computer rebooting. I scanned everywhere with Avast Home Edition and it picked up no viruses whatsoever. I also used Spybot S&D and Spyware Terminator. After seeing that there were no viruses being picked up, I decided it was time to reformat my HDD… So, I did indeed perform a quick-format it and reinstalled Windows XP. I had made a backup disc (two, actually, adding to over 9GB) so I installed all the plugins, put my pictures and music files back in their folders, and then I started to install things… Everything worked fine, until I began installing Nero 9. It froze at 16% and I had to reboot (Same duplication problem). I didn’t know what to say or do, so I just tried again. Same thing happened… OK, so I move on to install other programs. They work, but when I go on Firefox, it freezes and duplicates yet again.

Right now, I am thinking of three possibilities, ordered from greatest possible to least possible, in my opinion. These are all hypothetical, of course.

1. A very sneaky virus, undetectable by the latest protection, infected all my installation/plugins/etc. files thus causing some sort of glitch making programs spawn another instance of itself and freeze.

2. I have a corrupt version of Windows. I had originally owned an HP with a retail-version of Windows XP Service Pack 3 installed. However, when I tried reformatting that HDD and then using the license on this PC, it failed, and Microsoft wasn’t too helpful in letting me transfer that software I spent over $100 for to the new computer. This new installed XP I have is downloaded, I admit, however I feel it is very legitimate given the fact that I had already purchased and still own the original disc itself. When I try using that disc, however, it claims “another user is registered with this license” or something along those lines. I have used this downloaded version for a while though, and before this problem I have had other problems, but nothing similar to this.

3. Something is wrong with my hardware, and for whatever reason, every time I use certain programs at a random time they will freeze.

Thank you for taking the time to read this far. If you have any ideas, hints, suggestions, etc., please do not hesitate to mention anything you think will help.

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January 8, 2009 at 16:20:04
Maybe some ideas here ---
System Boots With No Problem, But Crashes Or Freezes After Several Minutes

Most Virus and Spyware scans are likely to work better in Windows Safe-Mode.

SORRY, I notice that page link no longer exists

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January 8, 2009 at 16:28:39
Thank you for your response, however that link did not work.

I will try to scan it in safe-mode, thanks for that suggestion.

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January 8, 2009 at 17:06:57
Checking your memory wouldn't hurt:
There is a version to create a bootable floppy diskette and/or an ISO for creating a CD.
Run it overnight and any failures are unacceptable.

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Related Solutions

January 8, 2009 at 17:07:46
When the computer freezes, what process is taking up the most memory? Have you run Disk Cleanup and defragmented? How much free HDD space do you have on the OS partition?

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown

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January 8, 2009 at 17:33:53

Thank you, I will try that.

@Jennifer SUMN:

I'm not aware of the answers to those questions other than, yes, I do defrag often. Once a week at least.

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January 8, 2009 at 18:08:43
Have you checked to see if you have an excessive heat buildup? Possibly a fan has quit.

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January 9, 2009 at 18:32:44
I will look into that.

I just added another gigabyte of RAM, and it hasn't frozen yet. It froze before that after the RegFix/Cleaner/ with 2GB RAM, I will see if it will improve the situation. It has yet to freeze, but if it does, I will do a full-format and proceed from there.

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