General Question

trypaw's avatar

Computer freezes randomly and gets slow? Happens every couple weeks?

Asked by trypaw (327 points ) July 23rd, 2012

My computer (hp pavilion a720n desktop) Freezes up (wont let me do anything have to hard shutdown) and sometimes goes really slow. It will freeze anywhere from 10 mins of use to like hours or days. This happens for a couple days every couple weeks. Sometimes it wont happen for a month. Its been going on for awhile. Any ideas on what this could be? If there is anything else I should tell you about my PC please let me know. Just starting to figure out computers. Thank you .
-checked for viruses already
-Drivers are up to date to my knowledge (I believe it is automatic updates)

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19 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

do you leave it on all the time? what os? what are the specs?

laurenkem's avatar

@trypaw, welcome to Fluther! I saw that you checked for viruses, but have you checked for both malware and adware? It almost sounds like your system is overloaded, if that makes any sense. And I’m by no means an expert, just guessing.

trypaw's avatar

@XOIIO I used to leave it on all the time until this started happening. Now I turn it off when I go to bed. OS is Windows XP and I’m sorry I’m not good with computers I’m still learning, Where/what are specs?

@laurenkem I have used AVG, spybot, and malware bytes to try and find any viruses/malware. Is there any other program you would recommend trying?

Mr_Paradox's avatar

Norton works pretty well.

jerv's avatar

Specs are Specifications; the basics are what CPU and video card, how much RAM, and how big your hard drive is. For instance, I have a Core i3–530 with 6 GB RAM and an nVidia GT240 video card.

Now, I checked your make/model and notice that your computer is eight years old.

You have an AMD Athlon(B) XP 3200+, a maximum of 1GB RAM, and lacks the slots to even take any video card made in the last few generations.

You are slow because you are using technology almost a decade old with little enough RAM that XP barely runs anyways. (Running WinXP on less than 2GB of RAM is masochism; imagine living in a 50 square foot apartment to see why.) When it freezes, it’s likely not actually frozen, but thinking about something that a modern PC would power through in a few seconds; mine is two generations behind current and was a low-end budget box (~$500) when new and still has more than five times the CPU power you have. Don’t use a Corolla to haul a horse trailer; get a truck.

@laurenkem I believe you are correct, and I’ve been doing this for decades.

@Mr_Paradox I use Avira since AVG has yet to regain my trust after getting my only virus ever on a PC. I use/trust the other two.

trypaw's avatar

@jerv how do I check my specs. Like for my RAM because my dad upgraded this computer alot for me so I could play sims 3. I had a ATI Radon 9800 graphics card before it died. Now its whatever the on board is. All I know is that it has extra memory and ram and is upgraded as far as it can go. Also I’ve had this PC for years and it just started doing this the past month. Why is my computer so out of date but worked fine a month ago?

jerv's avatar

I use Speccy

Their website is currently down, but I trust FileHippo.

jerv's avatar

Also, there is more to the aging process than obsolescence.

Thermal stress can do odd things to connectors (including solder joints), capacitors go bad, etcetera. Maybe you blew a DIMM (a RAM module); that’s happened to me before.

BTW, how often do you clean the thing? Does it look shiny, have more cat hair than my sofa, or somewhere in between? My old Pentium 4 was notorious for sucking in cruft, clogging the heat sink, overheating, and then either freezing or (more often) shutting down amidst a blare of high-temp alarms.

trypaw's avatar

I clean it out regularly. I also monitor my temp with speedfan. I just don’t know why its doing this. It just froze again and I keep having to force my computer off by pressing the button or unplugging from the wall. Which is safer when it freezes? How should I turn it off?

trypaw's avatar

Could this be my PSU or my motherboard at all? Its very spontaneous usually. But tonight its been all night its been going on.

XOIIO's avatar

I like to use CPU-z for specifications

jerv's avatar

When needed, I hold the power button until mine shuts down. Unplugging from the wall can cause voltage spikes that I doubt your PSU can filter out. Stock power supplies don’t have as good protection as a decent aftermarket one. Voltage spikes can do bad things to chips.

I wonder if running Memtest would help; I usually keep a live Ubuntu CD around just for that. I remember that I also had similar issues once that I could not track down and Memtest revealed a bad RAM stick.

trypaw's avatar

I was trying to do a system restore and I have a restore point like every day for months, but whenever I pick any day it cant be restored. There is an error. What would maybe cause my system restore to not work? It wont work on any date I pick.

trypaw's avatar

How would I go about running memtest. Anything special I should do, or just download it and go?

Mr_Grimm's avatar

DO NOT USE NORTON! IT’S A SYSTEM HOG AND IT LATCHES ONTO YOUR COMPUTER! sorry it had to be yelled It sounds like your computer might be really dirty inside, have you checked that? It could also be that your heat sink big aluminum thingy with a fan mounted ontop of it needs new heat component. If your wondering, gee what the heck is that!? Well your cpu puts off a lot of heat, when I say a lot, I mean a lot! That’s why the heat sink is mounted ontop of it, and has a fan mounted ontop blowing air onto it to disperse the heat. The heat component is placed between the cpu and the heat sink to allow maximum heat transfer. This stuff loses its reliability over time, and needs to be replaced. If you don’t know how to do it, I’d recommend either learning, having it done by a friend, or having it professionally done. For the system restore issue, that sounds definitely like a virus is hiding somewhere in your computer, and those programs can’t find it. Have you tried installing malwarebytes Then booting your computer into safe-mode and running a quick scan?

trypaw's avatar

I did finally get it figured out it was my power supply one of the prong things had burnt out I replaced my psu and no problems since . Glad there was no damage to my motherboard.

Mr_Grimm's avatar

Glad to hear your problem is fixed! :D Is your computer still giving you issues with the system restore?

trypaw's avatar

Yeah I think so haven’t checked recently

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