Computer Freezes - Locks Up - Software or Hardware?
Intel Duo Core
2 GB RAM
Ge Force Video Card
I'm having a problem with my Windows 7 system. I'm not actually sure whether it's a software or a hardware problem. My computer locks up (freezes) at completely random times. It doesn't seem to matter whether it is idle for long hours of if I'm using a program. The only way to shut it down is by turning the machine off and turning back on for a dirty reboot.
There are no error messages or a blue screen of death. I've actually went into Windows 7's event viewer and there is nothing on the log at the moment of the freeze.
This problem occurred about 2 months ago, and the lock ups also happened randomly. I did 2 things to try to solve the problem. I deleted all of my temporary files and I updated Windows 7 with as much updating as possible. The only thing I didn't do is add the Service Pack 1 update because it was acting funny, not downloading.
Then I had no problems for about 2 months until this weekend. I tried to fix the problem in the same way, but this time, deleting temporary files and updating Windows 7 seems to have had no effect.
I also took open my computer case and tried to clean all the dust away. I'm embarrassed to admit that it was very dirty inside and some of the vents were clogged. All the fans seemed to be working fine.
I have a hunch that it is a hardware problem. Something happened yesterday that makes me feel like it has nothing to do with Windows. It locked up, so I shut it down and turned it back on.
The problem was, that I started to even have problems in the bios screen or the screen asking me to open up in safe mode or normal mode. It would just lock up again.
Then my video card seemed to not be sending video to the monitor. It wouldn't lock up, but I would get no output on the monitor as I heard the windows loading chime.
I also had downloaded a program to check the heat on the processor, and it was at about 35-40 degrees celsius, well below the 85 degree maximum for my machine.
I left my machine off overnight. I then booted it up in safe mode because I intended to go to work and leave it on idle. I thought that might test the theory of it being a driver issue, malware, or some other software problem. Sure enough, it actually locked up in safe mode after 5-10 minutes. This makes me think that it is not an overheating issue of any kind.
I do have a lot of peripherals. I tried disconnecting everything from the USB but it had no effect. Lockups still happened.
The frequency of the lockups actually seems to have increased.
I haven't really checked my RAM. I plan on doing a memory test when I get a chance. I'm really at a loss as to what hardware component might be failing, and it's a real bummer that there is no error code in the event viewer to help me. I am beginning to think of the Blue Screen of Death as an ally rather than something to dread.