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Josh, Computer Enthusiast
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Satisfied Customers: 21674
Experience:  Expert for over 10 years
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My desktop pc randomly freezes when using MS operating systems

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My desktop pc randomly freezes when using MS operating systems (have tried XP and Vista home). It does not freeze when running Ubuntu. Any suggestions please?
Hi! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you. Let's get started!

When does it freeze? Are you running certain software or is it random?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The freezes are totally random. Sometimes after a short period of rebooting and other times longer.

Let's try this...

Note: Please press CTRL+D on your keyboard to save this page as a favorite/bookmark or return through your email links if you setup your email address with Justanswer. The steps below will cause you to lose connection with our chat for a couple of minutes.

Please click on Start then type in MSCONFIG. RIGHT click on MSCONFIG and select RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR.

Click on the Startup tab and disable all

Click APPLY then OK

You will be prompted for a restart. Restart your computer. The reboot time and load should be quicker.

Once you reboot your computer please do this:

  1. Exit all programs, including Internet Explorer (Including our chat)
click Start

Type the following command in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER:


The Internet Options dialog box appears.

  1. Click the Advanced tab.
  2. Under Reset Internet Explorer settings, click Reset. Then click Reset again.
  3. When Internet Explorer finishes resetting the settings, click Close in the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box.
  4. Start Internet Explorer again.

After that is complete please run a virus scan:

, please download/run Malware Bytes. You can download it here --->

After it is downloaded/installed then run a FULL scan. Once it is completed, removed any viruses and restart your computer. (When prompted DO NOT start the trial, again DO NOT start the trial otherwise it will ask for you to pay at the end of the scan)

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Josh,


Yes, I will try what you suggest but should point out that today was a clean install of Vista so not much chance for it to have been affected with viruses or malware. I will communicate on my other machine.


I will say that UBUNTU will always run smoother than Windows.

I think you will always be dissatisfied with Windows after seeing how UBUNTU runs. Personally, I have UBUNTU and Windows installed on my computer to switch back and forth when needed.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The scan is still running. Yes, I liked ubuntu but was not able to install any version higher than 9.04 and that is why I went back to Vista.


I think there may be some conflict with the graphics because it mentions that ubuntu will run on low quality graphics and then nothing further happens. I have ARock AMD processor with onboard Nvidia graphics.


The Scan is still running!!!



The scan does take a while - No worries; take your time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have to go get supper for my wife. I will get back to you with results when and if the scan completes.

Okay - I will be here
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Josh,


The scan completed, taking 1 hour 50 minutes and no malicious items were found. Also, the system has not frozen.

That is good news - Continue to use it for a couple of hours and let me know if you experience any frozen screen issues.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It has not frozen since although it did restart itself back to the sign-in screen. I will continue to let it run and let you know how it performs.


If it is fixed, what of the tasks done so far could have fixed this problem?

The first set of steps where you remove startup items will really help out the speed and performance because a lot of programs will run in the background when you power on the computer and you won't even realize they are running.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have an interesting development. I noticed that the system was freezing everytime I tried downloading an application from the Internet. I disabled the wireless adapter card and plugged in the Ethernet. The download was successful (55MB download).


On reflection, the wireless adapter card was not enabled when I was using ubuntu because I did not have the linux driver.


It is a new edimax wireless adapter so it is unlikely that the card is faulty. Given all that, where else will I look for a problem using the wireless adapter or are there any tweeks I can make in the device manager.


Any thoughts?

What do you mean by 'freezing'? It sounds like the issue is with the wireless network connection (bad connection or weak connection) and causing the 'freezing' during browsing/downloading.

Does the freezing happen when you are not using a web brower such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I mean that the system freezes (not just the download) and it happens randomly, whether I am downloading or not. I just noticed that when the wireless card was actively downloading a big piece of data it failed time and again. When I switched to Ethernet it performed perfectly well and has continued to do so all night.


I do not think it is the wireless card because previously I had tried a TP-Link card and I had the same problem with the system freezing.


The operating system is new, albeit still Windows, so I am not sure what to do next.

It sounds like the issue is with the wireless connection to your router. When you are on wireless, the connection is weak and causing your computer to freeze while doing things via the internet but when you are directly connected, it is not happening.

I would suggest moving the router to a closer location and if it is already close then purchasing a newer router.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The wireless signal is very strong and besides I have had machine closer to the router before and problem still happened. We are about 5 feet from the router now.


Also, The random crashes happened at times when the internet was not in use, therefore suggesting something logical or physical at the MB level perhaps.


Very strange issue because if it was a hardware issue then it would occur when you are using a direct connection.

Are you getting the 'Blue screen of death'?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No blue screen, it simply freezes i.e., no mouse and no keys. I have to hit reset button to continue.

Extremely strange because there shouldn't be any hardware issue such as a bad RAM stick because there isn't a blue screen and it works fine with it being directly connected into the router.

Did you keep the desktop plugged into the router directly for a long period of time to give it a proper sample test?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, the machine has run continuously and without freezing for over 48 hours.


I forgot to mention, that the chap who gave me the machine was using a USB wireless adapter and that had also caused the random freezing.

If a wireless USB adapter and the wireless card are both causing issues then it has nothing to do with either of those products because they are in different ports of the computer.

Do you have an older router?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No, the router is a Thomson TG585 v8. It is probably 2 to 3 years old.

Would you be willing to swap out the router to test?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have a second router, which is another Thomson. I could try it but you should know that I have 2 laptops, 1 other desktop and an iPad which all work perfectly fine with this router.

If you could give it a shot that would be helpful
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay, I will try tomorrow and let you know.

Okay - Thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Josh,


I have tried with a Belkin N wireless router and have the same problem.

Thank you for confirming that.

Unfortunately without having the desktop in front of me and viewing the issue/running diagnostics, there is nothing more that can be done via this chat. The issue that you have is extremely rare. If you wish to stay with a Windows based operating system then I would recommend taking it to a local shop to have a look at it. They should be able to run a free diagnostic on the computer and take it from there.

I wish I had better news for you but anything more at this point would be wasting your time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Do you know of any diagnostic devices that I may use to determine what is occurring?

You can use a software called HeavyLoad that will stress test your computer.

Please click here --->
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