Article Number: 000132224
Watch this YouTube video to learn how to fix system freeze issue in Windows 10.
Duration: 00:02:41 (hh:mm:ss)
Closed captions: English only.
Cause information is not available.
If your computer suddenly stops responding while in Windows, you may be experiencing a computer lock up issue. For computer lock ups, there are steps you can take to attempt to discover the root cause.NOTE: If the issue recently started, note any recent hardware or software changes before beginning troubleshooting, as reversing those recent changes may quickly identify the issue.
A piece of hardware may be causing the lockup. Try unplugging all devices from your computer, including:
The only devices that you should leave attached to your computer are your monitor, mouse, and keyboard, if the computer is a desktop.
Once this is completed, unplug the computer from the wall, remove the laptop battery (if applicable) and hold the power button down for approximately 15 seconds. Then plug wall power back into the computer and attempt to restart.
If the mouse or keyboard is causing the lockup, go to the Dell Support Library page for Mouse, Keyboard, and Touchpad.
If you are unable to identify the issue by reverting recent changes or unplugging devices, you can troubleshoot using the steps that are listed below.Back to top
Windows may display an error code that is associated with the shutdown, restart, lockup, or error. The quickest way to find info on this is to use the search engine of your choice to look for your specific issue as Microsoft has detailed information for each:
For general information about types of error codes, see the Dell Knowledge Base article, Error Codes on Dell Commercial and Consumer products.
Watch this YouTube video to learn how to fix blue screen or STOP errors in Windows 10.
Duration: 00:02:59 (hh:mm:ss)
Closed captions: English only.
To determine if your computer is experiencing a hardware problem, run the Dell Preboot System Assessment (PSA) Diagnostics. For information about how to run Diagnostics, and to determine the issue, see Dell Knowledge Base Article How to Run a Preboot Diagnostic Test on a Dell Computer.
If the onboard diagnostics and other troubleshooting have not identified the root cause of the lock ups, you may want to consider running the Quick Test or Full Scan at Dell personal computer Diagnostics. You can Run a Dell Quick Test using SupportAssist.
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.
Windows 10 has integrated computer maintenance and performance tasks. No action is needed.
Also, use the System File Checker to verify the computer files and folders on your computer. To run System File Checker, click Start.
For 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.
Often, 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 computer to see if the problem continues. Learn How to Download and Install Dell Drivers
Blocked air vents can cause performance issues, as the computer may not be receiving the proper airflow and the processor may overheat. To protect itself from overheating, the processor slows itself down and this performance decrease can be interpreted as a lock-up. To ensure that this is not the root cause of the lock-up issue, perform the following steps:
Safe mode prevents noncrucial applications and drivers from loading. This allows us to eliminate the software as a possible root cause of the lock-ups or stops responding.
To boot into safe mode, follow the instructions below:
For instructions on booting into Safe Mode, see the relevant link for your operating system:
In Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, learn How to Boot into Safe Mode in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.
Open applications and test the computer in safe mode. If the symptoms exist in safe mode, continue the troubleshooting steps in this article. If the symptoms do not exist in safe mode, the issue is likely related to a driver or software and you may want to complete steps 6 and 7 to see if you can resolve the lock-ups or stop responding.
Be sure that your computer is running with the latest updates for Windows. Browse to the Windows Update website to be sure that your computer is fully updated.
If your computer is locking up or stopping responding while using a particular application, try uninstalling the application completely from the computer, then reinstall it and browse to the software vendor's website to update the software to the latest version.
The use of multiple anti-virus software programs may cause your computer to lock up. Anti-virus programs come preinstalled on most Dell Computers, so customers sometimes install other anti-virus programs without realizing that there is already one 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 program 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, so forth) can cause a Windows computer to lock up or appear to stop responding. To check for malware on your computer and to ensure that your computer is up to date on security software, browse to Dell Knowledge Base Article, Protect Your Computer or Remove Malware in Microsoft Windows
For anything virus, malware, and security related we recommend the content and videos on our Security and Antivirus page on the Dell Support Site.
If your computer will not wake from sleep or hibernate, browse to Dell Knowledge Base Article, Computer Does Not Wake Up or Resume from Suspend / Hibernate Mode.
Microsoft Windows contains a feature that is 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, learn How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft Windows on a Dell Computer.
When 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. Learn How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft Windows on a Dell Computer
Out of warranty? No problem. Browse the Dell.com/support website and enter your Dell Service Tag and view our offers.
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02 Jun 2022