How to Deal with Random Freezes on Windows 7

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How do you fix random freezes on Windows 7?

Windows OS freeze up is a very common issue and has been an integral part of all Windows operating systems released over the years. There can be multiple reasons for Windows 7 to freeze and if the frequency of it is high then it is a matter of concern and needs to be addressed.

Random freezes on Windows 7 – Causes and Fixes

Over clocking – If your CPU and motherboard are overclocked to get higher speeds, it may heat up your system. The CPU fan is unable to cool the heat produced by them as it is not designed to handle more heat than the specified limit. So if you have over clocked then put it back to the default settings to resolve the issue.

Disable new software or update – If you have installed any software or if the system has recently been updated then the system might face random freezes with Windows 7.
If this is the case, then first open the program uninstall utility from Control Panel and then uninstall this new update or program.

You can also run ‘System Restore’ to put your system back to a date when it was working fine. To achieve this follow these steps-

  1. Click Start and then go to All programs
  2. Go to Accessories and then click System tools
  3. Click on System restore and choose a date when the Windows 7 was working fine. Once the settings are applied it will restart the system.

If the system still freezes you can check the number of programs that are running in the background. All the programs running in the background are displayed on the right hand side of the taskbar. If there are too many listed, your system is bound to become slow as these programs are running without being used. To stop all the programs you can follow these steps-

  1. Click Start, type msconfig in the Start Search box and press Enter.
  2. On the startup tab clear the checkboxes for all unwanted programs and then click OK.
  3. Restart the system.

Get rid of virus or malware infections– If the system is affected by a virus or malware the system is bound to become slow. It is always better to update your Windows and antivirus program and then run a thorough virus scan on the system.

OS Core Files – If the core system files are modified then the system might become slow so it is better to run the System File Checker (sfc) tool to replace these system files. To run the sfc follow these steps-

  1. Click Start and go to All programs.
  2. Browse to Accessories.
  3. Right-click Command prompt and then select Run as administrator.
  4. If you are prompted for the admin password enter it and Click OK.
  5. At the Command Prompt type sfc/scannow

The utility will check your system for any system file which is modified and will replace it.

Resolve hardware problems – Remove all the external hardware connected to the system and then check if the system freezes. If it still freezes with external hardware removed then you will have to open the system and check for internal hardware which can create these problems. You can also run a good hardware diagnostic tool to check for hardware issues. If a faulty hardware is identified, you may have to get it repaired or replaced to resolve the error.

Heat Issues with fan and CPU – Problems with the CPU fan or dust deposits  slow down the CPU fan speed and  the fan becomes ineffective in driving all the heat out.  So, if the CPU fan is not running properly, you may have to replace the fan. Also, if the fan has gathered lot of dust, clean it to prevent the CPU from heating up.

The CPU is placed on the motherboard with a thermal paste that absorbs a lot of heat from the CPU. You can apply more paste on the CPU so that it has enough on all the corners of the CPU. This will counter the problem with heat issues and reduce the random freezes with Windows 7.

Hard drive and RAM –
Clean the RAM to remove dust deposits and then run a complete diagnostic scan on RAM and hard disk.  If any of the components fail, replace the component to resolve the problem.
If there are no hardware issues, you may have to reinstall Windows to resolve the error.