Windows may display an error code associated with the lockup or error. Use the search engine of your choice to look for your specific issue:
To determine if your computer is experiencing a hardware problem, run the Dell Online Diagnostics.
Be sure to regularly run maintenance tasks on your computer to keep it at peak performance. Select your operating system below to learn more about performance and maintenance of your computer.
Also, use the System File Checker to verify the system files and folders on your computer. To run System File Checker, click Start.
For Windows XP click Run... and then type sfc /scannow in the box provided and press Enter.
For Windows Vista and Windows 7, type sfc /scannow in the Start Search box in the Start menu and press Enter.
For Windows 8, type "maintenance" at the Start Screen, then select Perform recommended maintenance tasks automatically.
In many cases lockups can be caused by outdated drivers or BIOS settings. Be sure to regularly update your drivers to take full advantage of your hardware and software.
Generally speaking, you should update your drivers and BIOS in the following order:
Try updating each of these drivers individually and then retest the system to see if the problem continues.
Be sure that your computer is running with the latest updates for Windows. Visit the Windows Update website to be sure your computer is fully updated.
If your computer is locking up or hanging while using a particular application, try uninstalling the application completely from the computer, then reinstall it and visit the software vendor's website to update the software to the latest version.
The use of multiple anti-virus programs may cause your system to lockup. Anti-virus programs come pre-installed on most Dell Computers, so customers sometimes install other anti-virus programs without realizing that there is already a system installed. If you decide to install an alternate anti-virus software, it is important that you first uninstall any other anti-virus programs that may be running on your computer.
Choose only one anti-virus program and reinstall it. It is not recommended to have more than one anti-virus software package installed on your computer. Multiple anti-spyware packages that do not have an AV component do not conflict and can remain on the computer.
Malware (Virus, Spyware, etc.) can definitely cause a Windows system to lock up or appear to hang. To check for malware on your system and to ensure that your computer is up to date on security software, visit Dell Knowledge Base Article, "Protect Your Computer or Remove Malware in Microsoft Windows"
Microsoft Windows contain a feature known as System Restore to roll back changes to the computer based on "restore points" that are commonly scheduled by Windows. To access and use this feature, refer to the link below and select the System Restore option:
If you are still experiencing lockups in Windows, and the troubleshooting steps above have not resolved the problem, there is likely an underlying issue with the operating system. To restore Microsoft Windows to the original factory configuration, refer to Dell Knowledge Base Article:
Article ID: SLN129591
Last Date Modified: 10/22/2014 10:24 AM