Why Does my Computer Keep Freezing – Troubleshooting Steps

There can be many reasons why you keep asking yourself this question. Why does my computer keep freezing? I received a request on a website where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions.

"It has froze up on me."

This individual had a Dell desktop computer with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. The first thing I check for on a computer that freezes up is for adware, spyware, malware, and viruses. I use my preferred spyware scan tool.

When it comes to servicing customer computers, I also just use any tools that are already installed. This person had another malware scan tool, that I no longer mention. However, since it was already installed I went ahead and ran a malware scan with this tool.

Each tool found the exact same 90 objects. Sometimes these adware, malware, and spyware tools will find different objects. Also, I run a PC optimization tool with my preferred PC optimization software.

When it comes to antivirus scans, I normally just run a virus scan with whatever the individual has installed on their computer. I always make sure that the virus database has been updated, before starting a scan. Also, I make sure that there is only ONE virus software installed.

You NEVER want to install more than one antivirus software. They will conflict with each other and slow your computer down to potentially a crawl. I usually check in device manager for any problematic driver issues.

Also, I check Microsoft windows updates to see if any of them are failing. Another tactic you can use is learn how to read Microsoft windows logs with event viewer. A freezing computer could be hardware related.

However, since I helped this individual remotely, then obviously I could not perform any physical hardware tests. Finally, I always run two major operating system scans. Number one I run a system file check scan with the following command:

sfc /scannow

Depending on how long each scan takes, I prefer to run this scan three times. It could be corrupt system files that is causing your computer to freeze up. Finally, I schedule a chkdsk scan to begin the next time the individual restarts their computer with this command:

chkdsk c: /f /r

You will need to type in Y for yes after hitting enter. This is a comprehensive scan that will check for corrupt system files as well as bad sectors. It could be bad hard or soft sectors that is causing your computer to freeze up.

You will then need to restart your computer. Leave the computer keyboard alone and the chkdsk scan should begin in 10 seconds. This Microsoft system scan can take hours to complete.

This particular individual did NOT contact me after I performed all the a fore mentioned troubleshooting steps. Usually, this means that I fixed their problem. If this individual had contacted me again complaining of a frozen computer then, I would have performed some hardware scans.

I would have tested the computer's random access memory even with Microsoft's memory diagnostic test. Also, I would have tested the hard drive. Faulty and or failing memory or hard drive can definitely cause a freezing computer.

Believe it or not a faulty memory slot will cause your computer to freeze up. However, that is more of a rare occurrence outside of the memory sticks or hard drive themselves beginning to fail. Hopefully, I helped answer that age old question of yours.

Why does my computer keep freezing?

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CPU Liquid Cooler – Dusty Radiator Can Cause Problems

CPU Liquid Cooler

I recently had an in person computer repair customer. They wanted me to diagnose an intermittent power issue with their gaming computer. They brought in a rather large gaming desktop computer.

They had recently moved this computer from home to home and even room to room. This Microsoft Windows 10 based computer would not power on. Intermittent power issues can be caused by many different reasons.

One being potential electric static discharge. Electrons, especially computers build up electric static. This can cause a desktop or laptop computer to not power on.

Disconnect the power cable from both the wall outlet and computer. Press and hold the power button for at least 30 seconds. Plug in the computer and now try powering it on.

I have noticed with my own personal experiences, that when I just move computer from room to room they will NOT power on, but discharging any electric static discharge works. This gaming computer had two obvious problems. The first one had a broken central processing unit heat sink.

This customer could not afford a new one. Apparently, since he had installed a liquid cooling system, this required a more expensive heat sink upwards of $60 dollars. The second obvious problem, was caked on dust covering the radiator for the liquid cooling system.

You never want caked on dust on heat sinks and radiators. This can and will cause your computer to over heat which in turn will cause it to not power on or shutdown while in use. Heat sinks and radiators need airflow.

They are designed to have gaps of space between the metal. When too much dust builds then air flow stops. These two apparent problems could be causing this gaming machine to have intermittent power issues.

Also, I noticed when powering on the computer that if I moved this gaming case, it would cause power to get cut. Then power would resume and then this computer would try to boot. This could be caused by overheating and or broken heat sink.

The heat sink had a crack on the upper left arm. You want a heat sink to make flush contact with the microprocessor. A broken arm could cause a misaligned heat sink.

Finally, I did not actually fix this customers computer. He just wanted me to troubleshoot. Yes, I charge a fee of $25 to diagnose computer problems.

Cleaning out a dusty radiator or heat sink is quite easy actually. Since this individual had built himself a nice gaming system, then replacing the broken heat sink is quite easy as well. Definitely, cleaning out the caked on dust will improve this overall system performance.

This liquid based cooling system had two fans on each side of the radiator. Obviously, it was not receiving proper air ventilation.

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Mac Shuts Down Randomly – Troubleshooting Steps

Mac Shuts Down Randomly

I received an in person customer recently whom brought me a Macbook Professional circa 2011. This laptop computer had the Mac shuts down randomly problem. Whenever, I receive a computer that randomly shuts down, I normally strip it down as much as possible.

What I mean by this is that I remove all external devices. For example USB flash drives, USB dongles, keyboard, mice, etc. I will also release any possible electric static discharge.

Power off that computer. Disconnect power cable from both wall outlet and computer. Press the power button for at least 30 seconds.

On laptop computers I remove the battery and set it aside. Then I take off the cover. This Macintosh requires multiple covers that you have to take off.

Also, you will need to remove 4 screws on each side. Two screws are removed from the rear. You will need to remove 4 screws on the bottom.

Also, you will have to remove the battery. A smaller cover protects the random access memory. This Macbook Professional circa 2011 had a failing DVD optical drive.

There are four screws to remove to take out the DVD optical drive. However, I could not loosen these screws so I decided to leave the DVD optical drive installed. I would rather not strip screws and create even further problems.

I disconnected the hard drive serial ATA cable. You must take the hard drive out in order to disconnect this cable. There are four screws that must be removed in order to lift out this hard drive.

Finally, I tested the two dynamic inline memory modules installed. They were both DDR2 5300 random access memory modules. I cleaned them with a dry eraser.

I tested each individual random access memory module in each slot. There were two memory slots present. One of these memory modules would sometimes cause this Macbook Professional to NOT boot.

The other memory module did NOT cause this problem. With the process of elimination, I deduced that it was a faulty dynamic inline memory module. I installed a two gigabyte DDR2 6400.

The original memory modules were both 1 gigabytes in size each. I have left this Macbook Professional circa 2011 model powered on for over two days now and it has NOT powered off once. Another interesting change I noticed was that now the battery charges.

This customer had told me that this battery no longer held a charge. When it comes to troubleshooting Mac shuts down randomly problems, there is a large list of possible culprits. Power supply, motherboard, memory, operating system, etc.

I normally start off with hardware troubleshooting, because often times this is the culprit. A faulty or failing memory module is NOT uncommon. Also, even a faulty or failing memory slot can occur.

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Computer Randomly Turns Off – Troubleshooting Steps

Another problem in information technology in the world order. This time a client had a randomly shutting down laptop. Here is their original request:

"It shut down unexpectedly. When I turn it on the white power light blinks 5 times. I recently put a new 1 terabyte hard drive in with Windows 7 professional."

Here is my response to this computer predicament. Disconnect the power cord from the laptop and the wall outlet. Take out the laptop battery.

Press and hold the power button for 30 seconds to a minute. Only plug the power cord to the laptop and wall outlet. Leave the battery out of the laptop.

Disconnect any external devices. For example USB flash drive, external hard drive, printer, etc. Now power on the laptop and see if it works correctly.

This laptop received a message that the battery reached a critical level and restored the session. They were able to get this laptop to power on, without trying to diffuse any electric static discharge. You could try using that laptop without the battery for awhile to try to narrow down what is causing it to shutdown.

Also, you could test the memory. If the computer no longer shuts off unexpectedly after a few days or a week, the issue is most likely fixed. You don't need to follow my instructions now that the computer boots into windows.

You can start a memory test from within Windows 7. Click the Windows 7 start button. Type "memory" into a search box.

Click on "Windows Memory Diagnostic". You will have two choices to pick from. "Restart now and check for problems" or "Check for problems next time I restart my computer".

Diagnosing and troubleshooting a computer randomly turns off can be a pain in the ass. There are many variables that can cause this type of problem. A failing memory module, failing memory slot, faulty power cord, faulty motherboard, operating system problem, failing hard drive, etc.

The list goes on and on and on. One technique is to strip down a computer with the least amount of peripherals. Disconnect all external devices.

Remove the battery. Remove the memory. Remove the optical drive for example digital video disc.

Remove the hard drive from your computer. Basically, you want a stripped down computer with just the motherboard, power supply, etc. This was a laptop, but if you had a desktop computer you could even take out all the add in cards.

For example video card, sound card, network card, etc. Anyone of these components can trigger some kind of fault that could cause this computer randomly turns off problem. My experiences over the years is often times hardware.

A failing memory module and or slot. Also, a failing power supply or active current adapter with laptops. You do NOT want to overlook an overheating computer.

Believe it or not too much dust built up in the fans or too much dust built up in the heat sink in a desktop computer can cause this type of problem. This is where years of experience helps and also the process of elimination. Finally, do not overlook issues like a faulty operating system.

You can read over the event logs with event viewer on a Microsoft windows operating system based computer. There might be some clues as to what speak piece of hardware is failing or faulty.

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Microsoft Security Updates – For Windows 7 Version KB4103718

Microsoft Corporation released cumulative update KB4103718 on May eighth two thousand eighteen. This update resolves three total issues. This update does NOT include any new features.

* server message block memory leak
* remote desktop server connection error
* other security updates

There is one known issue after installing this Microsoft security update. Streaming Single Instructions Multiple Data error. Microsoft claims they are working on fixing this problem.

If you have been keeping up to date with Microsoft Windows 7 security updates then this will become the only update available for install. However, if you have gotten behind or skipped some updates, those updates will also be installed. You can obtain this update via Microsoft Windows update or Microsoft Update Catalog website.

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Brother MFC 9325CW – Scanner Software Installation

A recent company on a third party website where I earl supplemental income, answering computer and technology related questions had missing Brother MFC 9325CW scanner software. Here is their request:

All of a sudden I cannot find the Control Center file on my MFC-9325CW that will let me Mail, Save or PDF the scanned document. I cannot find graphic that lets me pick scan. I have gone through all application files, all files cannot find much of a Brother file.

Please give me directions on how to download correct files for my MFC-9325CW & place those files under applications. Computers are set up Wireless. Message is "Check Connection".

But I cannot find any Brother file with applications.

This individual was using an iMac. You can download this Brother MFC 9325CW software. Select "Mac" under "Select Your Operating System (OS)".

You will need to select the correct operating system you are using. You can click on the Apple icon on the top menu of your iMac computer. Choose "About this MAC" and look for the operating system number.

For example "Version 10.11.2". Select this same version on the Brother downloads page under "Select OS Version". Now you click on "Search".

You will then need to click on "Scanner Driver". Click on "Agree to the EULA and Download". Select "Save File" and save this file to your Macintosh computer.

Double click this file to begin the installation. Follow the on screen instructions. Eventually, this software will get installed and you will have your Brother MFC 9325CW scanner software installed again.

I could NOT remotely connect to this customers' computer so I supplied them with these instructions.

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Microsoft Security Updates – For Windows 10 Version KB4093105

Microsoft Corporation released cumulative update KB4093105 on April twenty third two thousand seventeen. This update resolves thirty six total issues. This update does NOT include any new features.

* skype and xbox stop working
* group policy minimum password 20 characters
* microsoft edge freezes for a few seconds
* large game applications updates fail

There are two known issues after installing this Microsoft security updates. There is a false positive with KB4054517 that fails to install with 0x80070643 error. This update reports that this update did NOT install successfully when actually it may have.

You can click on "Check for updates" or type in "About this PC" into a search box to verify that this update did install. Microsoft is fixing on a possible solution to this false positive. When you installed KB4093105 then you might see the following message:

“We couldn't download Windows Mixed Reality software”

Microsoft claims they are working on fixing this message. If you have been keeping up to date with Microsoft Windows 10 security updates then this will become the only update available for install. However, if you have gotten behind or skipped some updates, those updates will also be installed.

You can obtain this update via Microsoft Windows update or Microsoft Update Catalog website. This Microsoft update applies to Windows 10 and Windows 10 version 1709 operating system. This update does NOT replace any previous update.

Your Windows 10 operating system build number will now be 16299.402 after installing this update.

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HP Pavilion Slimline – No Power Potential Fix

I received a recent in person computer repair customer. They brought me an HP Pavilion slimline S3507C computer that would not power on. After closer inspection the power button would not engage power.

I tried the proverbial release of any electro static discharge. You want to make sure that the power cable is disconnected from both the back of the computer and wall outlet. Now press and hold the power button for at least 30 seconds.

This did not fix this no power problem. I took the case cover off. You will need to remove three screws on the rear of the computer that tightens down the cover. Now you can remove the case cover.

Also, I had to remove two screws to loosen the multi card reader. The card reader is right next to the power button. The power button on this HP Pavilion Slimline S3507 is a two to three inch wider button.

This power button is attached to the front cover. You can release the front cover by pinching four plastic release mechanisms. Once I was able to get the front cover off, I found the small plastic power button.

With modern computers, many times power buttons are simply one plastic button that presses down on another smaller switch that is often times made out of plastic as well. You want to become careful with the smaller switch because the cables can snap off. Also, the smaller plastic piece that you press down on can break.

I plugged the power cable back into the computer and wall outlet. However, pressing directly on the smaller power switch did NOT engage power. I gently moved the power switch around and kept tapping it. Finally, when I pressed down on the switch, power successfully engaged.

Also, you could try disconnecting the power lead to the motherboard, if you still cannot get the power to engage. I placed the front cover on and booted the computer into Microsoft Windows. I tested using the larger power button on the front cover a handful of times until I was satisfied that I successfully fixed this no power issue.

My computer repair experiences with power switches, are that they rarely fail. However, you could replace the smaller switch that attaches to the motherboard if you still cannot get it to engage power. Many times I notice that the smaller switch that connects directly to the motherboard sticks and does not engage properly.

I notice more power switches that were broken than actually fail.

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MAC OS X Yosemite – Upgrade to High Sierra Instructions

I received another customer question on a third party website, where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions. This is the customers question:


I have a MacBook Pro that was purchased in 2012. It current operating system is OS X 10.10.5. I installed Turbo Tax 2017 and I got a message saying that I must install OSX10.11 to use this product.

How do I download OSX10.11? How much will this cost? Can I do this online?

This individual installed TurboTax 2017. This program will not work unless their MacBook Pro is upgraded to OS X 10.11, which is also known as El Capitan. Newer versions of Turbotax, for example 2017 versions, now require MAC OS 10.11.

This is known as El Capitan. In order to upgrade your MAC operating system, you must now have an Apple ID. This customer could NOT install El Capitan.

However, they were able to install High Sierra and thus I have included instructions for upgrading MAC OS X Yosemite to High Sierra. If you have installed High Sierra before, then all you have to do is browse to the "Apple Store" on your Macintosh. You need to login with your Apple ID.

Click on the "Purchases" tab. A list of all your previous purchases will populate. Apple considers operating system upgrades as purchases. Select "High Sierra" and then click on "Download".

Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, this download can take possibly hours to complete. If you have NOT installed Apple MAC OS 10.13 High Sierra before, you will need to download High Sierra from this alternative Apple Store download link. You will need to access this link from your Macintosh computer.

Once High Sierra completely downloads, then the installation will open. You will need to enter your MAC password and accept some terms of conditions. Keep clicking "Next" until you come across a "Restart" window.

Click on "Restart" and your Macintosh will reboot and begun upgrading from Apple MAC OS 10.10.5 Yosemite to Apple MAC OS 10.13 High Sierra. You can click on the Apple icon and select "About this MAC" to verify your operating system. You should see MAC OS 10.11 populated or a different version.

Here is a bonus tip. Now that you have successfully upgraded your Macintosh to High Sierra, you can upgrade other MACs to High Sierra by just logging into the Apple store with your Apple ID and clicking on "Purchases" tab. You can then download High Sierra from this tab.

Finally, if you are having problems upgrading to High Sierra, it might be because your Apple Macintosh hardware is NOT compatible.

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Lenovo Flex 4 – Built in Camera Not Working Troubleshooting Tips

I received another customer question, on a third party website where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology questions. Their question is below:

My camera is saying it cannot be found. It is built into the computer and I can't figure out how to get it fixed. I have downloaded a driver support but it did not seem to fix the problem either.

This customer has a Lenovo Flex 4 with Windows 10. They downloaded a driver support to update their camera driver, but that did not fix the problem. They also tried to get into their antivirus software and check some configuration settings but that was not successful either.

Let me cut to the chase and potentially save you some time. What most likely fixed this issue was this simple step. The Lenovo Flex 4 has a camera key that is located near the F8 function key.

This is a camera toggle switch. What this means is, if the camera is enabled, then pressing this key will disable the camera. Pressing this key again would enable the camera.

This customer pressed the camera key once, and low and behold she was able to use her camera. Windows 10 has a camera application that you can use to quickly test a webcam. If that does not solve your problem, then as an added bonus I will give you some potential tips that still may fix your problem with your Lenovo Flex 4 camera not working.

Check to make sure any antivirus or third party firewalls are NOT blocking your camera. Browse to "Device Manager" and see if it is listed under "Imaging Devices". If that camera device has a yellow exclamation point next to it, chances are you just need to install or reinstall a Lenovo Flex 4 camera driver.

Make sure the device is NOT disabled in "Device Manager". Check to see if the webcam was turned off under the camera "Privacy" settings in Windows 10 or in "Lenovo Settings".

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