Ten different causes for lock-ups

When a computer encounters a hardware problem, it will try to display an error and warn the user that a component has failed. This response works well with peripherals and minor components like a keyboard, mouse or printer.

For more severe hardware problems, Windows will try to display an error and stop the computer to prevent new information from being lost. This results in a blue screen with a technical message in bright white letters being displayed. The top part of the error message with begin with Windows STOP error and an 8-digit code that begins with 0x. Once a blue screen stop error has been displayed, the computer must be restarted using the power switch. Any unsaved data on the screen at the time the stop error occured will be lost.

When a core component necessary to keep the computer running malfunctions, Windows may not be able to display a message to warn that a component has failed. Instead, Windows may lockup, freeze, pause, restart, run slowly or stop responding. When the mouse and keyboard fail to respond, then these symptoms indicate a hardware failure.

After 25 years of testing and diagnosing thousands of computers, we have found ten different reasons that a computer will lockup. Diagnosing lockups properly means having a skilled and experienced technician check for all ten of these causes.

1. CPU overheating due to failed CPU fan.
2. CPU overheating due to accumulated dust blocking CPU fan.
3. System overheating due to failed case or power supply fan.
4. Bad RAM.
5. Bad blocks while reading from or writing to the hard drive.
6. Bad peripheral component; network card, video card or modem.
7. Failing capacitor on the motherboard.
8. Root-kit virus that has modified system drivers.
9. Insulating washers improperly installed on motherboard grounding screws.
10. Failing power supply with bad capacitors.

While it is tempting to diagnose the cause of a lockup by the symptom, it is necessary to rely on component testing and diagnostics to properly identify the failing component.

If your computer is locking up or re-booting, contact us to have it properly diagnosed and repaired.

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