Vista – My System Freezes For No Reason – Workaround For Now.

Dear Bill,

I’ve got a problem. Last week while Windows Vista Ultimate was sitting idle, no programs open, no updates being downloading, no nothing, my system just froze up. No mouse, no keyboard, nothing. I couldn’t get it unfroze. I tried ALL of the tricks I know, nada.

Fortunately I have my system to power off when I push the on/off button on my tower. That worked as a work around for now. But it took about 5 minutes to really, really shutdown. OK. It was just a fuke. No harm no foul. But then the next day it did it again. What’s up with that?

Hardware problem? I don’t think so. You see I dual boot Vista and XP on the same computer. And for the past year XP hasn’t even whimpered. It just works. No freezes, no blue screens, no problems.

I even rooted around in the performance, reliability and log files. The system is running just fine. Nothing is wrong, is wrong, is wrong, is wrong………….!

Suggestion: You may wish to expedite the release of SP1 for Vista. :-)

All the best, Ron

PS I still don’t have any sound working in Vista either. :-(

[tags]microsoft, vista, sp1, [/tags]

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • Doogal

    I’ve got the same problem. The screen freezes, mouse won’t do anything, nothing from the keyboard. I’ve also got no sound, even bought a new soundcard and no luck, what machine have you got? Mine’s a Dell Dimension 5150

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Doogal,
    Mine is a custom built desktop with Asus mobo. I finally got the sound working by using a XP driver, which shouldn’t of worked. Once I uninstalled the wrong sound drivers that were supposed to work, the system no longer freezes.


  • Jonathan Bailey

    I am having exactly the same symptoms with an HP Media Center PC, 2 gigs of RAM and Vista Home Premium pre-installed. There are no error messages at all. It just stops responding and all I can do is a hard reboot. I did get a period where it behaved itself. My Windows Live OneCare firewall had quit working. When I reinstalled OneCare, the freeze behavior returned. I have tried turning the firewall off again but no change.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Jonathan,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
    Regards, Ron

  • Ben

    Yep having the same problem system just freezes at first i thought it was heat cos its a new custom pc but it dose it cold as well. I now have it working perfectly once i have tuned off UAC. and every time i try to turn it back on with in 3 mins of start up bang goes the pc freeze again, and an error in the system log of “Windows Servicing failed to complete the process of changing update …” and then some radom shite that changes everytime

    can anybody confirm this on there system too??

  • Joe Hanink

    I’ve been having this identical problem… random freezes. I tried new video drivers, registry hacks, etc. to no avail.

    My system seems to be “cured” only after

    a) reseating my memory – I read that static buildup can lead to freezes
    b) disabling all but the essential msconfig startup items. This included ALL the nvidia related items.

    I was at my wits end, but now all seems to be well.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Joe,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It is appreciated. :-)

  • rebecca

    yeah I’ve been having the exact same problem only it’s just got worse. Vista tried to install a patch recently and failed only half installing it before freezing and crashing, it then lost the wireless. I attempted system restore … that was yesterday morning… it’s still going over 24 hours later… I think it’s dead, but don’t want to end it.

    I want to use the recovery disk but the warning on the back is making me hesitate… apparently if I use it it will erase my second hard drive as well as the one vista is installed on… The one where I backed everything up in case something like this happened. Not sure what to do now, but I know one thing, as soon as I get hold of a copy of XP it’s being installed on that laptop instead of Vista. I’ve had no freezes whatsoever with the XP computer or random crashes when nothing is running.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Rebecca,
    If you disconnect the second hard disk than the drive info should remain safe from being destroyed.

  • Simmie

    Okay so like I just bought this new pc and it’s running on vista and I wanna pull every strand off the top of my head. I left my pc running recording a show and when I tried to wake my system up after it being in sleep mode it gave me this crazy pixelated screen and the sounds was messed up also I don’t know what yo do!

  • Ron Schenone

    Have you contacted the OEM for suggestions?

  • Blake

    Sorry to say, my experience has been that this isn’t a Vista-only thing: I used to get it on a Dell under XP. The only solution back then was to format/reinstall (and do a full format, not “quick erase”).
    That said, I have been doing some digging now that my Vista desktop is be-plagued with the freezing. I’ve disabled “Superfetch” because it’s bad for gaming (Google for that and you’ll see), I’ve made sure Firewall/Spyware/Antivirus are all taken care of, run diagnostics ’til I’m blue in the screen (kidding).
    Two solutions I did see pop up: 1) If you’ve got SATA drives, be sure they’re plugged into the motherboard in order, e.g., 1, 2 instead of 1, 3. I imagine the SATA controller polls the ports in sequence, and if there’s a gap, it’s a holdup? Not sure. The other suggestion was to disable SATA ports you’re not using in the BIOS.

    The other is if you have a driver conflict, update or roll back the driver in question. But that’s kind of a typical tip you’ll find a lot of places. :-/

  • Mack

    I have Vista Ultimate with SP1 final and now it has random freezes. Just like in the first post i didn’t do anything. I think i’ll go back to xp vista still sucks.

  • Laura Tschida

    I previously had Vista on my HP M1170N (when it was first released) it worked fine then, but I preferred XP. Now I would like to use Vista … I did a clean install …. it froze everytime I touched the mouse to do anything. I called Microsoft…. after taking two days to give them my name….I attempted another re-install, but the third day, Microsoft called me back. Literally, after six hours on the phone, we were able to fix an issue with a corrupt Adminstrator file…. but everytime I add anything or spend more than five minutes doing something it freezes and I have to do a hard reboot.

    I have read the following:
    1) Alter the bios … unselecting EIST… whatever that means or how you do it was never explained.
    2) That Nvidia is causing it and it should be uninstalled…..

    Why is it that we cannot get answers from Microsoft or the OEMs on these issues?

    I really need help….It would take weeks working through Microsoft.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Laura,
    Have you gone to the HP site and confirmed you have ALL of the latest drivers and BIOS update if applicable for your system?

    In looking at your model it appears that XP Media Center was the original OS. My suspicion is that since your original install of Vista, and the recent install, that the drivers have changed.

    NVidia seems to have issues with Vista so I would also make sure you have the latest drivers for your video as well. This will cause freezes.

    Good luck.

  • Desalegn

    I have exactly the same problem with the first post. Every thing freezes up and I have to turn-off the power more than 20 times day. I have vista ultimate installed on HP pavellion. I was thinking a hardware problem. But the safe mood is working well. The problem , reading many posts, I guess on the HP drivers and Vista(the painful OS). Any help please!

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Desalegn,
    I’d go to the HP site and see if there are any updated drivers [I am fairly sure there should be] for your system & Vista.

  • Desalegn

    Hi Ron
    thanks for your fast reply
    I updated everything, drivers, bios, and lots of intel softwares to help the processor and the card. But non of them work. My pc freezes immediately, specially when I surf the web.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Desalegn,
    I would take a look than at your anti-virus protection or any additional software that either came preinstalled, you installed later, such as security suites.

    In particular Norton, McAfee and so forth. Let me know if you have any of these programs. Even 3rd party firewalls can slow or freeze a system. We usually refer to some preinstalled stuff as ‘crapware’ aka ‘crap’

    Read this about crap remover:

    This Dell user with a slow system until the crap was removed.

  • Pingback: HP Computer With Vista Ultimate Running Slow ~ The Blade by Ron Schenone, MVP()

  • Stephan

    I have the same random freezes on my vista system. When you google for vista screen freezes you get tons of results, but never an answer. Exept the usually advices like cleenup the system, check for viruses, check the processor temperature and so on.
    For me I can say that I have all dricer and vista updates, the pc is in a cool room and the antivirus runs well. Everest shows no problems.
    It is absolutely annoying to me, to see the silence of microsoft and the OEM’s to that problem. They act like it wouldn’t exist and left the people feel like they are a few exeptions.

    Please. If anyone has a real solution, make a big post on it.

  • James

    I have the same problem. Vista (Home Premium 32bit) will freeze randomly and I have to hard boot/power cycle. If I have music playing, it hangs and loops the last sound. I recently had XP Pro SP3 installed on this same pc and everything worked like a charm. I’ve checked the hardware and everything is good.

    Freezing seems to occur most when running Firefox 3 and visiting Java or Flash heavy sites.

    I’ve had the same results as Stephan – there are numerous reports of this issue on the web, but no real solutions. I’ve tried updating drivers, software, etc. I even installed Vista SP1.
    No changes whatsoever.

    System specs:

    Intel Dual-Core Wolfdale E8400
    Asus P5E3 WS Pro MB
    OCZ Platinum 2GB DDR3 1333
    ATI Radeon HD 3850
    160GB WD SATAII Primary
    750GB Samsung SATAII Secondary

  • Joseph

    Same thing is happening to me too!

    I just built a gaming computer around Vista ultimate 64-bit. Every day i get AT LEAST 2 computer freezes. It just freezes like nothing, with the last sound played being looped over and over.

    Is there any cure for this at all? yet?

    790i mobo, dual SLI with 8800 GT’s Superclocked, 4 gigs of DDR3 ram, 750gig HDD.

  • Steve

    Same issue as Joseph. Random freezes at desktop, sitting idle. Random freezes during playing games sometimes 5mins in sometimes 2hours-4hours in. Sound goes funky too looping over and over. Have to hard reset or power down to get comp out of it. Checked and troubleshot hardware and I don’t believe it’s an issue. Upgraded MB and video drivers. I can only blame vista now.

    Cure in site?

    790iultra nvivdia MB, Intel Quadro, dual sli 9600gt, 4gig DDR3 Ram, 120gigRaptor primary, 1TeraHDD secondary

  • Ron Schenone

    Here are some suggestions on a site I found:

    Have you installed SP1 yet?

  • Steve

    Yes SP1 is installed

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Steve,
    Take a look at the link above. If none of that works or doesn’t apply let me know.

  • Steve

    Looked at the above link.

    From the link I gathered this from the original post and replies:

    I am unsure if I still have any programs running in the background once the system freezes. I am unable to alt tab out or close the program.

    I do not use a wireless mouse, I do not have a modem, while it is frozen the screen and everything will freeze or it will just go black.

    I do not have a dell. I built it from scratch so the dell fix does not apply. i have SP1 and Vista 32 installed. I have not tired to install 64, seemed like a lot of work for an unsure fix.

    Previously I had switched out the RAM thinking it may be bad RAM but I still have the issue with my friends working and tested RAM. I don’t think it’s a videocard issue becasue I can run crysis on ultra high and It won’t lock up at all. I have had the freeze issue mostly while playing age of conan, and the warhammer beta. But the fact it happens on the destop also while there is nothing strenious going on made me question vista.

    Temps are all within normal limits and I don’t believe that to be an issue.

    As of right now I had left my computer on all night to DL a torrent and when I arrived home 12hours later it was still working properly. So the freezing is random as far as I can tell. But it happens more so ingame than desktop freezes.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Steve,
    It sounds like you have tried all of the standard fixes.

    Only thing I can think of is a weak PS. What size ps is your?

  • Steve

    1k watts

  • Ron Schenone

    That should be enough. :-)

    You can try this. Before you play a game, disconnect any hardware you won’t be using. some of the RAM, the extra hard disk, anything to lighten the load. See what happens.

    Next try disabling the sound. Play a game and see what happens.

    Good luck. I wish I had your system in front of me to play with and test different things.

    Later, Ron

  • Steve

    I just tried it for kicks but I googled 790i freeze and I got a lot of hits. Turns out the nvidia board has a history of being on the unstable side.

    A lot of people reporting my problem… so I know who is to blame now… forgive me vista

    Guess I see what I can dig up.

  • Rodney

    I have an HP Media Center M1170n and also have lock ups with the Blue Screen/memory dump. I have also had an issue rebooting past the blue startup screen. I had to unplug a USB device and reboot so as to get back up running. This staarted just adding the USB cable modem. My Ethernet modem communication went down.

  • Nis Christensen

    I’ve got the same problem as everybody here, but mainly happens when i play World of Warcraft. But also when i watch movies. Im running with a split screen:
    Samsung SyncMaster 226cw as main and Samsung 40″ as second.

    I’ve updated all drivers also BIOS.

    Im running with Bullguard v8.0 and nothing ells as security. (Windows firewall disabled).

    Vista Home Premium 64Bit
    Intel Quad CPU Q9300 2,50GHz
    4 GB 1033 MHz Crossair
    Geforece 9800GX2
    Samsung 1Tbite Sata HDD
    PSU 750Watt Thermaltake Key 3
    Auzentech Prelude 7.1

    I’ve noticed some problems with the Auzentech Prelude 7.1 in Vista. Sometimes the sound locks up, Mainly in World of warcraft.
    But also when i just surf on the net listening to musik, but here the sound starts lagging.

    Dont know if this helps anything, or any of you have any ideas to what i can do.

  • Joe

    I have had the same problem. I run Vista 64bit and my game freezes after a while. I changed a power setting and it hasnt happened since. In Vista, the hard drives are set to sleep after 20 minutes. If you are running more than 1 drive, your other drives might turn off, which causes your game to freeze. Set drives to never turn off. Hope that helps.

  • Tolis

    Exactly the same problem with me. The “freeze” is more often when I surf with internet explorer.
    I run Win Wista Home Premium 32bit with SP1. My mouse works fine but it doesn’t open websites, open programs and when you choose to restart it can take 10 even 15 minutes to restart.
    My system is an AMD X2 6000 , M2N32 SLI, 2 x WD 80GB RAID 0, 2 x 8600GT @ SLI, 2 x 1GB GSKILL DDR2 800, CORSAIR 620HX,

  • Ben2

    Wow…. Same problem everywhere I go. Even if people have a fully updated driver system… or downgraded.

    This is amazing…. should a lawsuit be taken to action?

    Here is my story and symptoms, if it might help. When I build my machine I had Mushkin Ram installed instead of the corsair. I would get random freezes one in awhile with memory blue screens. I replaced the ram and magically the blue screen errors went away. Except for the freezing. The freezing happens seldom. I could go a week before it happens. When it does happen I an usually just chatting online, listening to itunes, and burning a DVD. The other night when it happened I was watching a movie off my HHD while backing up some files to a external HHD. My auto power save mode is off, I turn that on and off manually. I keep a external HHD connected to my UPS, and usually use my Card Reader rearly, which is never plugged in to the UPS. I had a hard lock playing bioshock only twice, but that was with my old mushkin ram. Command and Conquer 3 play well, not problems there. I also did have it lock up maybe twice when just using firefox. I user Nero7 to burn, and use ffdshow decoder.

    After reading other forums on this problem I cam to some ideas…

    I don’t think it is a heat issue. Everyone who says when there machine lock up that there temps are fine. Even people who have water cooling there 790i locks up. I don’t know though if people use the extra fan that connects to the Northbridge Heat Bar. I don’t. That could be worth a try connecting it.

    Other people claim it is a vista problem, but this problem happens with users with XP. And people who have vista using a x48 don’t seem to have much of a problem here.

    I read other forums too where people disable the sound all together and still get lock ups.

    Its not just one manufacture, this problem happens to EVGA, XFI, MSI and Asus with 790i.. also with the 750i and 780i boards.

    Its not a SLI probelm, people have turned off SLI and still get lock ups.

    Post all over have come with no solution. Post linking to post, its everywhere.

    I did find that EVGA support told a customer, and that was to reinstall the graphics drivers in safe mode, and to flash the bios and go back to the p03 driver. Not sure that would help in our case, maybe worth a shot. Reading on it didn’t seem to work for other people.

    Anyway, I have come to thinking that tthe nForce 7 series is just a poor chipset. And if there was a driver that could fix it, Nvidia has not come up with any solution yet.

    There is my two cents.

    Win Vista 64 SP1
    Intel QX9770
    BIOS P06
    EVGA 790i ultra motherboard
    4 G Corsair XMS3 1600 SLI
    EVGA Geforce 280
    Vilociraptor 300 Gig
    SilverStone 1000W

  • Nis Christensen

    This post from the Blizz forums solved my problem, regarding frezz in world of warcraft:;jsessionid=890831A8028C7D254F3ED3D953DD263A.app06_05?topicId=1016061799&sid=1

  • George D

    Hi all, I’m having the same freeze problem. At first it was JUST when the system was idle. But it has since started happening sporatically during boot and infrequently while moving the mouse.

    I have a new Q6600 system, with an eVGA 8600 GTS, running XP SP2.

    I built the system about 2 months ago and had it on my desk without a case for 4-5 weeks running a 8600 GT with no problems AT ALL. I run two monitors on one card at 2048X1536, do a lot of graphics and video work. No games.

    I was planning on building an identical system for my wife. (I’ve been building systems for a living since 286 days – due to health I had to quit a few years ago, tho). I got the parts for her, some cases & couldn’t get another 8600GT, so I bought the 8600 GTS. I put my system in a case and installed the GTS and the CD drivers that came with it.. I didn’t plug in one HD (RAID, no impact) and swapped the HD LED polarity. I ran it for several day that way with no problems.

    I opened the box, plugged in the cables and put it back together. I had to unplug the monitors to do this. I plugged them back in and only had 2048X on one mon. 1940 x 1440 on the other mon. was the highest it would go. I tried to find some way to fix it, but couldn’t & got no help at the eVGa forum. I finally decided to install the newest drivers. I did this and in the process discovered the check box to ‘Enable modes not shown by adapter’ When I checked it I could configure the monitors to 2048X. I did this and moved on, happy to have solved the problem.

    I worked 3-4 hrs on projects and other things, customizing, configuring, etc with no problems. I stopped for a couple hours rest & when I came back – freeze. Had to cold boot.

    I couldn’t muck with it yet, so I wrote a plea on the eVGA forum for help and did what I had to do on the system with no problems. I stopped 3-4 hrs later. When I came back – freeze. Had to cold boot.

    –sidebar of thought–
    I’ve fought freezes like this for years. They used to THE prevalent problem in Windows. It has 80% of the time been related to vid drivers and frequently vid drivers VS mouse drivers. The only time I’ve seen no use freezes has been screen savers, power saving profiles and hybernation. Do to all the problems with those three, I NEVER use them. Keep in mind, I have built dozens of Win9x systems that were crash-proof, no problem systems that ran 24×365 for years, so I HAVE learned some things over the years. (I’ve built even more NT systems starting at 3.51.) Anyway, I’ve always been very strict about what vid cards I use, what ‘goofy’ and unknown apps are installed and only MS mice and Keytronics keyboards. KB’s and mice have more impact that you’d think. What I can’t understand is what the f*** is wrong with MS and their mouse drivers. I truly think after what I’ve read today, they are part of this problem. Some of the freezes during boot appeared to be when something was loading into the tool tray.

    I have a cordless Intellimouse Explorer, one of the first versions. The only driver I have been able to get to work reliably with it or any other mouse for as long as I can remember is…. v. 4.1. When this driver came out I migrated from a somewhat stable, (if I rigidly controlled other things) v 3.x. Version 4.0 was a turd. Version 4.1 worked and was necessary for anything more than a 3 button, wheeled mouse, (if I remember correctly) When I built this new system, I decided to experiment with new mouse drivers on the first XP install. (I usually a trial install on a new MB/CPU config the first time and work out any kinks, then do a fresh install to leave on it.) I tried every version of mouse driver I could find AND none of them worked – it was around the 4th of July, so the explosions fit right in!

    If you think about it, the vid card mouse interaction is very severe and prone to errors – I’ve always been amazed it EVER worked. Varialby speeds of movement, reacting pixels, clicks, wheels – there’s a lot of stuff happening and the vid driver has to keep up.

    Anyway, those of you that are still fighting this freeze, don’t overlook the mouse. To find this issues if there’s no ‘magic bullet’ new driver is all about isolating HW, making logs of what you were doing, and systematic, disciplined testing. Think about all of the times since XP came out, (yes, it’s flaky like 9x used to be), you’ve had a unique program crash, or Explorer crashed, etc. Did you look at the tool tray? I have for years and found 90% of the time, the mouse icon is GONE.
    –end of sidebar–

    Again I got no help from the eVGA forum. I finally decided to clean up some services that are unnecessary and clean out some apps that I don’t ‘know’. While I was doing this, I had a couple of freezes for the first time. I also had a couple of freezes while re-booting. I got a freeze in Firefox v 2.12 for the first time, but what was different was nothing else was frozen. I started to save things, close things and I found that the eVGA Precision was froze, but not the MB temp/fan control panel I also had open. (I was thinking possibly temp) So I uninstalled Precision and went after some other unknown apps. I didn’t find any resolution. If I let the system sit, it WILL freeze.

    An hour or two ago I cleaned out the newest eVGA driver and went back to the CD version. It has worked fine in XP, but I have had a BIOS level freeze for the first time, with some color pixel artifacts on the black BIOS screen – a hint there. I’ve only shut it down once & haven’t tried a ‘no use’ test as I wanted to Google the issue and that brings me to you guys. There has been more intelligent discussion in this blog than I found on ANY of the 40-50 sites I read before here. (The Lunix – Ubuntu boys were screaming from the problem a year or two ago)

    I don’t have a magic bullet, but I thought I’d put some of my experience and thoughts out there for you guys to kick around. I’ve had a head injury and don’t sort things out as well as I used to – that’s why I had to quit the biz. ‘Cause of that I’m hoping a collaboration here might find an insight to the problem.

    If it continues for me, which I think it will, I’m going to dump the GTS and revert to the GT and see if the prob goes away. If so, the eVGA gets the card back.

    Does anybody around here know what the GT, GTS, SSC designations mean or where I can go to figure it out? It’s another of those damn acronym-identifying systems the manufacturer doesn’t up-front define. Do they think we’re mind-readers?



  • Ron Schenone

    Hello GeoD,
    Thank you for sharing your plight with us. It is very much appreciated.

    Sorry I can’t help with the acronyms. But I hear you about trying to ID those manufacturer secret codes. :-(

    All the best,

  • Adam Schroeder

    I had a similar problem with a custom built machine. The screen would freeze and I would lose control of my mouse and keyboard. I would be forced to hard-reboot.

    After 3 weeks I noticed audiodg.exe was creating a huge amount of handles without releasing them (in the hundreds of thousands). While your problems might not be caused by audiodg.exe — it could be caused by another process. I recommend you do the following:

    Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE to bring up task manager. Then switch to the performance tab and verify that the number of handles are not increasing rapidly. Mine would increase at about 3-10 handles per second when audio was playing.

    If you find the number of handles increasing — click on the processes tab. Click show processes from all users. Then go to View -> Select columns. Select “Handles” to be displayed — and any other columns you think could be useful. For me, this was how I identified audiodg.exe to be my problem. If you find that this is your problem also, go here for a solution:

    If you find that another process is your problem — search around on google. There will almost definitely be a solution for it. Post your results back here!

  • dusilbenafreor

    i have a similar problem, my computer, server 2k8 will freeze at the bios every time i boot it.
    it’ll show the motherboard brand, intel, gateway, ect. but then is freezes and i can’t do anything.

  • Adam Schroeder

    A follow-up to my earlier post…

    The problem with audiodg.exe appears to have been only part of the problem. I believe the real problem had to do with the voltage going to my memory. I increased the voltage to 1.9volts and it appears to have halted the screen freezes. If you’re getting screen freezes, you should review your RAM specs and verify the corresponding settings are set within your bios.

  • Con

    I have the same problem with my Toshiba U400 laptop. I thought I solved it when I did a scandisk (with repair bad sector option selected). It detected 8bytes. Then my laptop worked well for two weeks. Then it came back. I did the same thing, but now it just keeps happening. It’s rather annoying!!

    What I’m going to do tonight is to:
    1. Remove the 2GB Kingston RAM and then put it back. Who knows maybe it’s not on properly.
    2. Run Vista Memory Diagnostics.
    3. Run MemTest86.

    If it’s a RAM issue, I’ll go get it exchanged. If no issues are detected with the RAM, I’m going to start backing up the files I haven’t downloaded in the last two days, remove my personal files, then get Toshiba to look into it.

    I’ll keep you posted on how I go.

  • Joe

    Same problem, I’m running Vista home premium and just recently started getting freezes. I used to get a really weird crash when i watched certain online videos. The screen would get black and white lines in it and when i clicked or tried to do anything the PC would freeze and make an annoying sound. That hasn’t happened in a while but now it will just freeze for no reason no sound no weird lines just freeze in its current state. Nothing works not the mouse or keyboard, the first two times i had to hold down the power button but this last time i just left it alone and in about 3 minutes it restarted itself. Any answer or help you could provide would be much appreciated.

    My specs:
    Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz
    EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800 GT 512MB
    Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB
    Western Digital Caviar 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit
    EVGA LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

  • Peter

    Having the same experiences as all of you–new computer, screen freezes for no reason 5-10 times/day. I’m convinced Microsoft put Vista on the market to get fast money knowing it hadn’t been completely debugged. They did that with ME. This is typical behavior for companies that get too big and take too much of the market. I hope it eventually sinks them!

  • Aeron

    I am having a similar problem. I am running WinXP 64-bit professional SP3

    The following is the system I built about a year ago and have had no problems with at all. (it was overclocked** from the beginning)
    gigabyte GA-p35-ds3l
    Q6600- Overclocked to 3.56 (it stays within temp spec)
    2gb gskill ddr2 1066 (clocked at 1070)
    1- EVGA 8800gtx
    1- raptor 150gb
    3- caviar 500gb (freezes started roughly a week after I added 2 more of these hard drives)
    1-610 watt silencer power supply

    The freezing never occurs when I am in front of the computer but if I am gone for a day and comeback it will be frozen. (comp stays on 24/7)

    symptoms are no response from mouse or keyboard. graphics still appear. Have to Hard Reboot to unfreeze.

    **NOTE** The overclock was tweaked and perfected over the first 3-4 days of the computers life. It was then verified by maxing the system out for 48 hours with no errors.

  • Ron Schenone

    I’d check the fans and make sure heat is not the issue. Leave the case cover off and see if it still freezes up, Next turn off any type of sleep mode and see if the system freezes. Last thing I would try is to return clock to defaults and test for freezing once again. Finally use Mem testor to check you RAM.

    Good luck.

  • Jake K

    I have had this problem for a long time now, I remember the first three month or so with Vista, where everyone else had problems, but I as the only one had.. none.
    Well that was only for the first three month :( When others worked their problems out with Windows updates and so on, mine began to freeze, in the start it was almost always in game, a few times at desktop and so on.
    Now it freeze every 5 minutes +, some times (rare) it won’t freeze for a whole day, but it seems totaly random now.

    Anywho, my important drivers are all up-to-date, the Graphic Mobo and so on!

    I have looked all my hardware through according to heat, both with software, and with my bare hands, they all seemed quite cool, but my hard-disc, I fixed this by glueing πŸ˜€ on some coolers, so it is all cool now, but the freezes are happening just as randomly as before :)

    I then thought of the smaller drivers, the Mouse, Keyboard, sounds-driver and so on. Here two hour ago, my PC freezed 5 times on one hour, now this whole past hour I got no freezes. I can’t tell if it work YET, as I said earlier, “sometimes it won’t happen for a full day” but it looks really good already πŸ˜€

    What I did was to update my Mouse+Keyboard driver at Logitech, changed my two ram-sticks over, so #1 is in slot #2 and #2 is in slot #1 and booted in Debug mode..

    I will post later if I get a freeze, if not, I might post as well :)

    Jake K

    Sorry for my grammar, it’s late and I have no time to go through it all again x)

  • Ron Schenone

    Thanks Jake.

  • darren

    ive had random freezes , and im sure its related to the network , not sure what specifically , but it tends to happen if im downloading something and i leave the machine to idle whilst doing so , ive never found the true culprit , im running vista 64 ultimate , also i have bit defender installed , i do wonder if its to do with the ndis filter it applys to the network as protection.

  • Jake K

    No crashes yet :) I strongly suggest others to update their Logitech drivers, it sounds wierd I know, but it fixed my problem so far πŸ˜€

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Jake K,
    Thanks for passing this along to us.

  • Mike Ashley-Lahiff

    Hi all,

    I’m getting very similar symptoms to the above mentioned: complete system lockup, having to use the reset button to ‘recover’.
    I’m running a Shuttle SX48P2 E (Intel X48 + ICH9 mobo), 8GB XMS2, HIS HD 4850 IceQ4+ Turbo with Vista Ultimate 64-bit, so it seems it’s not just a problem with nVidia products.
    All the drivers are up to date, the memory has been tested and is working fine, I’ve also tried it at 2.1V instead of the auto setting in the bios, as I read somewhere 4 sticks needed 2.1V for stability. It seems to have made no difference. I’m loathed to do a clean install again, and I can’t see what difference it would make anyway. Does anyone have any ideas why I get freezing?

  • kehw

    I have had the same problem for 3 month now. I put the computer back to factory settings 1 month ago (all programs gone) but it did not help. Really annoying! Graphic drivers are updated and bios. I hope somebody comes up with a solution to this. I think I will try to change my ram-sticks too as Jake did above.

    nVidia geforce 7500 le
    Intel core 2 CPU 1.8 GHz
    2GB RAM

  • kehw

    Did not help for me. Already have hade 3 freeze occations since last message. The story continues…. :(

  • Ron Schenone

    Download SpeedFan and see what your temps are.

  • Mike Ashley-Lahiff

    I’ve now set the NB voltage to 1.4V as opposed to “auto” and the ram to 2.1V, again instead of the “auto” setting and I’ve been running a couple of days with no problems. I’ve even run some benchmarks and it all seems ok for the moment. We shall see…

  • Mike Ashley-Lahiff

    Oh very funny. Fate is a cruel mistress it seems. I clicked “Publish” to post that last comment and wham bam, we have a crash. Thank you very much, thank you very much. Back to the drawing board it seems…

  • Jake K

    Hi again! I still got the crashes so it’s not fixed 100% after whatever I did (I did almost everything) but long enough time have passed, so I can tell that it surely helped, I’m unlucky if I get even one Crash a day. Insteed of last month and pass I was lucky if I did not get 3 crashes or more.

    I hope this will help someone else. To see if this is vista’s fault, I might install the Windows 7 BETA on my machine to see if it fix the problem 100%, otherwise it is propably a heat or memory problem, but I doubt it.

  • somebody

    Um, i have a problem with freezing 2 minutes after logging on after my computer has been sleeping with the power light blinking and sometimes it crashes after playing a game for 30 min. wierd.

  • Vadim Berman

    In many cases, it is more simple than you guys think.

    Try this:

  • mary


    Just read your post. I will definitely give that a try. The Vista freezes are driving me crazy!! I’m about ready to just wipe the disk clean and install Ubuntu!!

    Will see if your solution works for me!


  • Kevin L

    I have the same problem! Ever since around friday 24 of april, I started gettingh freezes. Mostly around 17 minutes after boot, but now more and more just when the machine starts (after like 2- 4 minutes). I first thought it were some bad gadgets for vista. I use the sidebar now because i have 2 screens (just for fun, though). but i used both longer than that friday. like maybe 2 -3 weeks i doubt it’s because of any of those two. it’s getting a bit too much for me.
    i really have no idea what the cayse is, hardware works fine. and on startup nothing really boots ecxept the things that have to boot.

    anyway i had to type it out for everybody to read.

    thanks anyway

  • John G

    Ok, I my thoughts .. I have a clean maintained HP 4GB Vista 64bit machines. Would freeze about 1x per day .. since the last update about 3x per day .. mouse works, cursor icon spins . nothing can be launched .. clock ticks away .. no hardrive activity and no CPU activity (I look at the sidebar monitors for activity) – I am virus and graywear, malware free .. i have to power off .. now . If I run in safe mode, I can run for days on end with no issues .. is it the graphics card Nvidia ? I will look into and share my thoughts .. this is driving me crazy .. John

  • kewh

    Did it work mary? I have tried to reinstall Vista totally, but it still freezes. I have monitored my CPU and it was 40-50ΒΊ celsius. I did not manage to monitor GPU, maybe not possible for me, I dont konw. Anyway, I have added an extra fan now to push the hot air out from the case. CPU decreased to 30-40ΒΊ(!) but Vista still freeze. I am now about to hand it in to service. I am so fed up with this! But I am worried that they cant fix it either… Thank you for a good forum!

  • John G

    Hi All, I have been running 3 days with no hits at all, the big changes:

    1 – NO SWAP file
    2 – uninstalled my AVG virus and reinstalled with fresh image

    Not sure which it was .. but I am up and running ..

  • Mike Ashley-Lahiff

    I’ve discovered now, after a LONG time testing, there was a software conflict with BitDefender and Vista. Problem solved!!
    (For me, in any case)

  • kewh

    I have now returned my computer from repair. I costed 50 dollar but they did not find anything but a very hot graphic card. Focus was then on the graphic card but eventhoug they tried to get the computer to freeze by running “toast and havy load” etc the computer did not freeze at all at that time. So when I picked it up they had not done anything to solve the problem! If it turns up again, they said, they would help me or suggested that I should change graphic card. Sigh! Would it not have fozen when they tested it heavily then?! I was dissapointed anyway. Just burned money.

    How did you (Mike) detect that there was a BitDefender problem? Sounds interesting for me to check. I would be glad if you want to share your info.

  • Stefan

    My windows vista 64 bit system freezes constantly. It is just about 8 minutes after I start it that it freezes. The sound loops, the mouse doesn’t move, and I have to hold down the button to reboot. It’s a couple month old computer with 8 gigs of ram and a terabite of memory. There is DEFINITELY no overheating issue or virus issue. I have norton 360 and cyber defender. My computer freezes so much I had to use my iPod touch to write this… Can someone please help me?!?!?

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Stefan,
    Uninstall Norton 360 and Cyber Defender. See what happens. While you are trying this experiment stay off of the Internet. See what happens.
    Let us know the results.

  • david kool

    my vista is the same freezing all of a sudden without touching the i have to turn it off the hard way and i think it would brake but im not all started when i installed mcaffe antivirus but im not sure if its that ………….PLEASE HELPPPPPPPPP

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello david kool,
    I would uninstall McAfee and see what happens.

  • david kool

    would my pc brake if i turn it off by living the turn off button pressed.cause i just bought it weeks ago

  • kewh

    Just wanted to end my story. After “repair” (nothing done) it worked fine for a while but then the image on the monitor started to drift to the left once in a while. I then decided to buy a new graphic card and now it works perfect. No freeze at all. Must have been graphic card overheating for me anyway. I hope you guys find a solution to your problems. Its really annoying!!

    David, Im not sure if I got your question right but its ok to press power off button for more than 5 sec to turn the computer off. No problem.

  • Lavon

    Same problem random freezes… It works for a bit, but if I try to do more than one thing on my PC it freezes… Trying to go into MSCONFIG to figure out what to turn off and going to uninstall every program I installed. If that doesnt work I will format the drive and reinstall VISTA ULTIMATE.

    PCs are like people we cant make up our minds until someone sticks a gun to our forehead.

  • randy

    i had a vista system on my laptop and it has been freezing for the past week periodically i just installed windows 7 to see if that would fix it but to no avail as it still freezes so im going to try and reformat and reinstall 7 but i would like another opinion on this before i do anything hasty

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Randy,
    I would first confirm that ALL drivers are updated before taking the plunge. Also I would check your memory. If you have more than one stick, remove a stick and see what happens.

    If you require more assistance may I recommend our help forum at:


  • randy

    yep everything is up to date it took about two days before i froze again (i thought the system stabilized ) but no now it depends on how long i have it off before it freezes i.e three hours off it runs for three hours etc i may have to open it up and see thanks for the help

  • Aurelio

    I have the same problem as all of you. I am using a Dell XPS Studio running Vista Ultimate. I downloaded Speedfan and set it to automatic, and this seems to have reduced the frequency of freezing from 10 times per day to one or two. So it might be worth your while to give it a try. It’s free. You can get it here:

  • Charles

    So few people post solutions…
    I experienced the exact same problem as the first post but with only one OS. After hours searching for a software solution I tried hardware. In this case the CPU was constantly overheating due to a blocked air intake – removal of the heat sink and cleaning the vents worked wonders.
    Hope this saves people wasted hours and expense.

  • Charles

    I should have added that the above was a Fujitsu Siemens Amilio Li 1718 laptop with Windows Vista.

  • John

    I am having a very similar problem as those described here, but with a twist.

    I am running Vista on a machine I built myself. When I do a fresh install of Vista, I will get random freezes to the point where nothing but a hard restart will solve it.

    I’ve done all my due dilligence; I’ve ran Memtest and everything checks out. Prime95 finds no problems. All drivers are latest versions downloaded from component manufacturers instead of using Vista drivers. Airflow is good, hard drive checks out, temps are ok. Nothing to roll back to since this happens after a fresh install.

    Some days it doesn’t crash at all. Other days it feels like it’s happening every five minutes and I have to press the reset button. The mouse, keyboard, monitor, everything becomes non responsive. Nothing shows up in the event logs after a freeze other than that windows was shut down incorrectly (due to my hard restart).

    Here’s the kicker: After about 2-3 weeks, the freezing stops and never happens again. It only begins again the next time I have to reinstall Vista (which has been 3 times in 2 years for various reasons).

    I’m at my wit’s end with this problem. Why does it only happen for 2-3 weeks after an OS install?

    It happens on Windows 7 too, so I am presuming this is a hardware or BIOS issue.

    Any ideas?

    • Ron Schenone

      Hi John,
      The next time you install Vista or W7 try downloading all updates from Microsoft and see what happens.
      It could be that after an update is applied it fixes the freezing problem. Just a guess. If the problem
      didn’t go away after 2 to 3 weeks like you stated, I would guess bad RAM. But since it goes away
      after 2 -3 weeks I’m guessing update. :-)

      I’m going to post your question on my blog and see what other answer we receive.

  • Jim E Briggs

    Would some type of gigabit NAS box work for you? That’ll solve the issue of the syncing to all your computers… You could still use Dropbox for the other things you use it for, such as sharing your video content to others and uploading to YT and such. a couple terabyte NAS box might be the best bet for locally syncing videos.

    • Jake Ludington

      A NAS works in some cases but not others because I work from two primary locations. I also travel frequently enough that I don’t have the luxury of getting things pushed back to a NAS from a hotel or other remote location. It’s far easier to simply use Dropbox or even an online backup solution like IDrive.

  • Julian Perry

    I love using dropbox! Thanks for this article I really loved it :) please click on my name to visit my new blog!

  • shanselman

    But if the machines are on the same LAN then just enable LAN sync and the other computers don’t matter.

    • Chris Pirillo

      It’s not the local synching that’s a problem so much as it is receiving massive amounts of data from the other people who help with videos (via Dropbox). πŸ˜‰

    • Jake Ludington

      Chris’s comment is partly correct and I also have the issue (mentioned above in the post) that I’m not always on the same LAN.

  • TomB

    Doesn’t the bandwidth limit refer to copyrighted video? Also, if you provided your credentials to Comcast, isn’t it more than likely they would give you a pass?

  • Joshua Altemoos

    Comcast’s limitation are insane, I remember when it first came out that there CIO or whatever said noone would ever hit it… Well what was it 20% of all internet bandwidth was netflixs? I am sorry streaming media, SD or HD takes up a ton of BW, as does PC updates, and any other downloads. If I am paying $60-100 a month for a service, it better be unlimited. If someone gets a DCMA(sp) notice, then deal with that, don’t retroactively target everyone. Comcast will start telling people to get business accounts I am sure.

  • draconas rayne

    You do know that anything on DB in your home network will do a LAN sync right? you upload the videos to the cloud, cloud says “hey I received this, i better say that it’s ready to be downloaded” your other computers download a file lists then starts downloading, when detected that another computer is in your area with your account, it’ll download from that computer after getting the file list.