Windows 10 hangs tight: causes and remedies

One day the computer may freeze, completely losing control. The user's task is to interrupt this freeze with minimal loss of personal data and applications with which he worked.


  • Reasons for a complete freeze of a computer or laptop
  • Practical methods to eliminate the cause of a complete freeze
    • Selected applications
    • Services Windows
      • Video: which services can be disabled in Windows 10
    • Viruses as a reason for freezing Windows
    • HDD / SSD instability
      • Video: how to use the Victoria program
    • Overheating of PC or gadget components
    • RAM problems
      • Checking RAM with Memtest86 +
      • Video: how to use the Memtest86 + program
      • Checking RAM by standard means Windows
      • Video: how to check RAM using standard tools Windows 10
    • Incorrect settings B IOS
      • Video: How to reset B IOS
  • Crashes in 'Explorer Windows'
  • Deadly stuck applications Windows
    • Video: how to restore Windows 10 using a restore point
  • Mouse pointer not working

Reasons for a complete freeze of a computer or laptop

PC or tablet freezes dead for the following reasons:

  • failure of RAM;
  • overload or failure of the processor;
  • drive wear (HDD / SSD-media);
  • overheating of individual units;
  • faulty power supply or insufficient power;
  • incorrect settings for firmware B IOS / UEFI;
  • virus attack;
  • consequences of improper installation / removal of programs incompatible with Windows 10 (or another version Windows) of the application;
  • errors in the operation of services Windows, their redundancy (too many services are started at the same time) with very modest performance of a computer or tablet.

Practical methods to eliminate the cause of a complete freeze

You need to start with the software. Hereinafter, Windows 10 is taken as an example.

Selected applications

Everyday programs, be it Skype or Microsoft Office, can cause problems. In some cases, the drivers or even the version Windows are to blame. The action plan is as follows:

  1. Check if you are using the latest version of the given application, which may be the culprit for the freeze.
  2. Check if this application is loading ads, news from its developers, etc. It's easy to check in the settings. The same Skype, for example, in the latest versions loads advertisements of profitable offers for calls, shows tips for use. Disable these messages. If there is no control of such messages in the application settings, you may need to 'rollback' to earlier versions of the application that are compatible with your version Windows. Tab 'Notices and messages' in the window Skype

    Commercials in any application consume additional resources

  3. Remember how often you installed new programs. Each installed program creates entries in the registry Windows, its own folder in C: \ Program Files \ (starting with Windows Vista, it can write something in C: \ Program Data \), and if the application comes with drivers and system libraries, then it will 'inherit' in the system folder C: \ Windows \.
  4. Update your drivers. To launch the 'Device Manager' press the key combination Win + X and select 'Device Manager' from the drop-down menu. Find the device you are interested in, give the 'Update drivers' command and follow the instructions of the hardware update wizard Windows 10. Update Drivers button in Device Manager

    A wizard allows you to update drivers for devices that are not working correctly

  5. Get rid of autorun nonessential applications that interfere with your work. The list of auto-starting programs is edited in the folder C: \ ProgramData \ Microsoft \ Windows \ Main_menu \ Programs \ Startup \. The autoloading of a specific third-party application is disabled in its own settings. Startup folder in Windows 10

    Empty your startup folder to get rid of the startup applications that interfere with your computer

  6. Update the system. In some cases, this helps. If you have new hardware with good performance, then feel free to install yourself Windows 10, and if you have a weak (old or cheap) PC or laptop, it is better to install the earliest version Windows, for example, XP or 7 and find drivers that are compatible with it.

The OS registry is a multi-tasking software environment that requires careful handling. At startup Windows, it is loaded entirely into RAM from the C: drive. If it has grown from the abundance (tens or hundreds) of installed applications, there is less free space in RAM, and all processes and services run slower than before. Even if you remove an unnecessary program, its 'remains' are still in the registry. And then either the registry itself is cleaned by special applications such as Auslogics Registry Cleaner / Defrag or RevoUninstaller, or Windows is reinstalled from scratch.

Services Windows

Services Windows is the second tool after the registry, without which the OS itself would not be multitasking and friendly, unlike older systems such as MS-DOS.

In Windows dozens of all kinds of services work, without which it is impossible to start work, not a single application would start. But not all of them are needed by most users. For example, if you don't need a printer, you can disable the Print Spooler service.

To disable the service, do the following:

  1. Give the command 'Start' – 'Run', enter and confirm the command services.msc. Command in the Run window

    Enter and confirm the command to open the Services window

  2. In the service manager window, view and disable services that you do not need. Select any of the services to be disabled. List of services in the Services window

    Select any of the services you want to configure

  3. Right click on this service and select 'Properties'. Properties item in the service context menu

    Use the properties of a separate service Windows to configure it

  4. Select in the 'General' tab the status 'Disabled' and close the window by clicking 'OK'. Startup Type item in Service Properties window

    The service configuration algorithm has not changed since Windows XP

  5. Disable each of the other services in the same way, and then restart Windows.

The next time you launch Windows, the performance of your computer or tablet will noticeably improve, especially if it is low-powered.

Each service starts its own process with its own parameters. Several different services sometimes run 'clones' of the same process – each with its own parameter. This is, for example, the svchost.exe process. It and other processes can be seen by calling the 'Task Manager' Windows by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del (or Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and going to the 'Processes' tab. Viruses can also clone processes of individual services – this will be discussed below.

Video: which services can be disabled in Windows 10

Viruses as a reason for freezing Windows

Viruses in the system are another destabilizing factor. Regardless of the type and subspecies, a computer virus can launch any resource-intensive process (or several processes at once), whether it be deleting, formatting something, stealing or damaging important data, 'blocking up' the bandwidth of your Internet channel, etc. If more specifically, viral activity includes:

  • cloning the svchost.exe process (dozens of copies) in order to 'blockage' the performance of a computer or gadget;
  • attempts to force-close vital for the system Windows processes: winlogon.exe, wininit.exe, driver processes (video cards, network adapters, audio services Windows, etc.). It happens that Windows does not allow to close a process, but the malicious code 'floods' the system with endless attempts to close it;
  • blocking 'Explorer Windows' (explorer.exe) and 'Task Manager' (taskmgr.exe). This is the sin of extortionists and distributors of pornographic materials;
  • start-stop of various services Windows in random order, known only to the developer of this virus. Critical services can be stopped, for example, 'Remote Procedure Call', which will lead to persistent and sometimes irreversible hangs – under normal conditions, these services cannot be stopped, and the user will not have the right to do so;
  • viruses that change the settings of the 'Task Scheduler Windows'. They can also cause resource-intensive system and application processes, the abundance of which will seriously slow down the system.

HDD / SSD instability

Any disk – magneto-optical (HDD) or flash memory (SSD-drive, flash drives and memory cards) is designed in such a way that the storage of digital data on it and the speed of access to them is ensured by dividing it into memory sectors. Over time, they wear out in the process of writing, rewriting and deleting this data, the speed of access to them slows down. When disk sectors fail, writing to them occurs, but the data can no longer be read. Instability of hard drives – the appearance of weakened and 'broken' sectors on the disk space of an HDD or SSD drive built into a PC or laptop. You can solve the problem in the following ways:

  • software repair – reassigning weak sectors from the spare area of ​​the disk;
  • replacing a drive in which spare sectors have run out, and bad sectors continue to appear;
  • 'cutting' the disk. Before that, they find out where bad sectors have accumulated on the disk, then the disk is 'cut off'.

You can 'trim' a disk either from one end, or arrange partitions on it so that they do not touch the accumulation of bad sectors. Single 'killed' sectors appear in the process of many years of wear and tear, but their colonies (thousands or more, going in a row) arise from shock and strong vibration during operation, or with frequent sudden power outages. When the colonies of BAD sectors become multiple, it is easier to replace the disk immediately before the data loss on it becomes catastrophic.

To check drives, HDDScan / Regenerator, Victoria applications are used (there is a version for MS-DOS if the C: partition is affected, and Windows does not start or hangs tightly during boot or during operation) and their analogues. These applications provide an accurate picture of where the bad sectors are located on the disk.

The drop in disk performance (BAD sectors) on the Victoria graph

A drop in bitrate to zero on a disk means that the disk itself is damaged

Video: how to use the Victoria program

Overheating of PC or gadget components

Anything can overheat. Both the system unit of a desktop PC and a laptop with an HDD are equipped with coolers (fans with a heat sink).

The cassette-modular design of a modern PC (the motherboard with the rest of the blocks and nodes inserted into its connectors and / or connected to it with loops) provides for active cooling of the entire system. For a year or two, a thick layer of dust accumulates inside the PC, which makes it difficult to heat the processor, RAM, hard disk, motherboard microcircuits and video cards. In addition to the general 'hood' (it is located on the power supply or near it), there are fans on the processor and video card. Dust cakes and accumulates, as a result, the coolers go to their maximum rotational speed, and then the PC turns off more and more often due to overheating: thermal protection is triggered, without which the computer would become a fire hazardous device.

The inside of the PC, covered with dust after six months of intensive work

Dust collects on cables, slots and channels of the motherboard and other components

All home PCs, laptops and netbooks are equipped with a cooling system. Ultrabooks have it, but not all models. But in the tablets there is no thermal hood – they turn off, restart or go into economy mode when heated over 40 degrees (battery recharge is automatically turned off), and it does not matter if they themselves overheated or in the sun.

A tablet is a mono-board chassis with auxiliary parts (microphones, speakers, display-sensor, buttons, etc.) connected by loops. Such a device consumes much less electricity than a full-fledged PC, and does not need fans.

A self-disassembled PC or gadget can be cleaned with a blowing vacuum cleaner. If in doubt, contact your nearest service center.

Vacuuming your computer

You can clean the device from dust with a blowing vacuum cleaner yourself

Another cause of overheating is the capacity of the power supply and batteries, which is unable to compensate for energy costs. It's good when the PC power supply has at least a small power reserve. If it works at its limit, it does not cost anything to overheat, which is why the PC will often freeze / shut down at best. In the worst case, protection will fail one day and the power supply will burn out. In the same way, any component can burn out.

RAM problems

Despite its simplicity and insensitivity to frequent sudden power outages, RAM is vulnerable to static electricity and overheating. You can also damage it by simultaneously touching the live parts of the power supply and the legs of its microcircuits.

Logic circuits working with a data stream are so arranged that they work with very low voltages (except for directly supplying power to the '+' and '-' in the circuit) in tenths and hundredths of a volt, and the sudden appearance on the legs of the microcircuit of voltage from several volts and more guaranteed to 'break through' the semiconductor crystal underlying such a microcircuit.

A modern RAM module is two or more microcircuits on one printed circuit board (strip).

8GB compact RAM for gaming laptops

Increased RAM performance – easy to take with you on your toughest job

It is possible to guess that it is the random access memory that has deteriorated by the signals of the service 'beeper' of the PC (a series of short and long signals), controlled by B IOS / EFI, or when the 'screen of death' suddenly appears while the system is running Windows or when it starts. On older PCs running Award B IOS, the RAM was checked immediately before the logo Windows (or Microsoft) appeared.

Checking RAM with Memtest86 +

Memtest's flaw lies in the infinity of RAM check cycles. You can interrupt the check at any time.

Memtest86 + main screen

Commands are distributed by keys – use any of them

The interface of the program resembles the installation bootloader Windows 2000 / XP and, like B IOS, is very easy to use. The action plan is as follows:

  1. Download and burn the Memtest86 + program to a disk or flash drive. For example, you can create a multiboot flash drive from which, in addition to checking memory and disk, you can install different versions Windows, 'overclock' the processor, etc. Option for the main menu of a multiboot (universal) flash drive

    Through the MultiBoot menu of the installation flash drive, you can carry out comprehensive PC diagnostics

  2. Exit from Windows and include in B IOS the priority for startup from removable media.
  3. Turn off the PC and remove all but one of the RAM bars.
  4. Turn on the PC and wait for the Memtest to start and finish checking the RAM. Memtest86 + notifications about RAM BAD clusters

    The list of bad clusters (sectors) of RAM is indicated in Memtest in red

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the remaining RAM modules.

Memtest86 + specifies each BAD cluster (on which megabyte of RAM it is located) and their number. The presence of at least one such cluster on the RAM matrix will not let you work calmly – resource-intensive applications such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, media players (for example, Windows Me dia Player), many games with detailed three-dimensional graphics (Call of Duty 3, GTA 4/5, GrandTurismo and World of Tanks / Warcraft, Dota and others that require from / to several gigabytes of RAM and performance up to several cores of a modern CPU). But if you can somehow put up with the 'crashes' of games and films, then work, for example, in a studio on such a PC will become hell. You shouldn't forget about BSOD ('screen of death'), which sweeps away all unsaved data.

When at least one BAD cluster appears, you no longer have to wait for the check to complete. The RAM is not repairable – replace the faulty module immediately.

Video: how to use the Memtest86 + program

Checking RAM by standard means Windows

Do the following:

  1. Click Start and enter the word 'check' in the search bar, run the memory checker Windows. 'Memory Checker Windows' in the Start Menu

    The program 'Memory Checker Windows' allows the most complete scan of RAM

  2. Select Restart Immediately Windows. Save your work and close all active applications before restarting your PC. Select Immediate Memory Check Windows 10

    Memory check works without main graphical shell Windows

  3. Wait for the application Windows to check the RAM. RAM check with default parameters by means of Windows 10

    The test severity can be adjusted by pressing F1

  4. When testing, you can press F1 and enable advanced settings, for example, specify 15 (maximum) passes for more thorough diagnostics, select a special test mode. Press F10 to apply the new settings (as in B IOS). Advanced memory check selection Windows 10

    You can increase the number of passes, RAM check algorithm, etc.

  5. If the result does not appear after restarting Windows, find in the 'Start' menu the Event Viewer Windows, launch it, give the command 'Logs Windows' – 'System 'and open the Memory Diagnostics Results report. On the General tab (near the middle of the System Information window), the logger Windows will report errors. If they are, an error code, information about bad RAM sectors and other useful information will be indicated. RAM check information in the Help tab of the Event Viewer

    Open the RAM check results by going to the logs Windows 10

If there are errors identified with Windows 10, the RAM bar must definitely be replaced.

Video: how to check RAM using standard tools Windows 10

Incorrect settings B IOS

First, you can reset the B IOS settings to optimal. Entering B IOS is carried out with the F2 / Del keys when the CMOS Setup screen is displayed with the manufacturer's logo before starting the boot Windows. Select Load Fail-Save Defaults by pressing F8.

Award B Main Menu IOS

Select Load Fail-Save Defaults

When you reset the default settings, according to the manufacturer, the optimal settings B IOS are set, thanks to which the PC's 'dead' freezes will stop.

Video: How to reset B IOS

Crashes in 'Explorer Windows'

Any errors in the explorer.exe process lead to a complete hang of the 'Explorer' and to its periodic restarts. But if the PC is frozen tight, the taskbar and the Start button are gone, and only the desktop screensaver Windows with the mouse pointer (or without it) remain, then this problem could arise for the following reasons:

  • data corruption of the explorer.exe file in the system folder C: \ Windows \. The explorer.ex_ file (folder I386) is taken from the installation disk and copied to the \ Windows \ folder. It is better to do this from the version Windows LiveCD / USB (via the 'Command line'), starting from the installation flash drive, since when it hangs Windows, control from the previously working OS is lost. In this case, a multiboot disk / flash drive is what you need;
  • wear, disk failure during operation Windows. In this case, sectors are damaged exactly in the place where the explorer.exe executable component was currently located. A very rare situation. The version of the Victoria program (including the DOS version) will help, all from the same multiboot flash drive or DVD. If software repair is impossible, the disk must be replaced;
  • viruses. Since already installed anti-virus programs are not available, only a fresh installation Windows will help. Before that, start from a multiboot disk that contains Windows LiveCD / USB (any version), and copy the valuable files to other (external media), then run the reinstallation Windows.

For example, when installing earlier versions of the Daemon Tools program, it is impossible to enter Windows 8 / 10 – only the desktop background is displayed, and 'Explorer Windows' and applications from the startup list do not start, it is impossible at all start any work in Windows. Attempts to log in with a different account do not lead to anything: the desktop Windows is not displayed and the account selection menu appears again. Absolutely no methods, including 'rollback' the system, work. Only OS reinstallation helps.

Deadly stuck applications Windows

In addition to PC hardware crashes and component problems Windows described above, users often experience specific application failure. Fortunately, this problem is less critical than the final freeze of system processes vital to Windows.

The reasons are as follows:

  • frequent installation of other, new applications that disabled this application. There was a substitution of common entries in the registry Windows, a change in the settings of any services, a substitution of common system DLLs;
  • requires forced reloading (from third-party sites) to the C: \ Windows \ System32 \ directory of .dll files pointed to by this or that application that refuses to start. This action is unsafe. Before any actions with the \ Windows \ folder, check the received library files with antivirus programs;
  • the application version is incompatible. Install a more recent version, latest updates Windows 8 / 10, or use an earlier version Windows. You can also enable compatibility mode for the launch file of this application by right-clicking on the shortcut, clicking on 'Properties', then 'Compatibility' and selecting the version Windows in which this application worked; The 'Compatibility Mode' item in the properties of the exe file

    After saving the compatibility setting, run this application again

  • careless work of third-party PC performance optimizers, for example, jv16PowerTools. This package includes an aggressive registry cleaner Windows. After such a procedure, many components and applications, including this program, stop starting. If Windows does not hang tight, use System Restore. To do this, press the key combination Windows + Pause / Break, in the system properties window, give the command 'System Protection' – 'Restore', and in the 'System Restore' wizard that starts, select any of the restore points; Selecting a system restore point in Windows 10

    Choose the restore point at which your problem did not manifest itself in any way

  • viruses that have damaged the launch file of a particular application. For example, if there are problems with the editor Microsoft Word (the winword.exe file is damaged in the C: \ Program Files \ Microsoft Office \ MSWord \ folder – the location of the .exe startup files changes depending on version of the program), you need to check your PC for viruses, and then uninstall (if uninstallation is still possible) and reinstall Microsoft Office. Launching a PC scan using Dr.  Web CureIt

    Checking Windows for viruses often fixes the source of the problem

  • crash of any application. In older versions Windows, a message appeared stating that no action was allowed. This error was not fatal: it was possible to restart the same application and continue working for a long time. In Windows 10 the problem may appear more often; Application error in Windows 10 with specific token

    If an error code is displayed, you will need to update the application or write to Microsoft

  • unspecified errors. The application starts and runs, but hangs in the same place. Remove all frozen applications with the Task Manager. The item 'End task' in the 'Processes' tab of the task manager

    After closing the frozen application, you can start it again

Cases of Mozilla Firefox browser crashing when going to an unverified site and submitting a bug report to the Mozilla Foundation are just the beginning. A similar 'trick' existed in Windows XP: you could immediately send Microsoft information about the error of any application. In modern versions Windows, interaction with software developers has reached a more advanced level.

Video: how to restore Windows 10 using a restore point

Mouse pointer not working

Mouse failure in Windows is a common and unpleasant phenomenon. The reasons for its occurrence are as follows:

  • breakage of the USB or PS / 2 connector / plug, the mouse cord is frayed. Check the operation of the device on another PC or laptop. If the mouse is USB, connect it to a different port;
  • contamination, oxidation of the contacts of the USB or PS / 2 port. Clean them up. Reconnect the mouse to the PC;
  • failure of the Nano Receiver (or Bluetooth) wireless mouse, or a depleted internal or replacement battery in the device. Test the mouse on another PC, insert a different battery (or charge the battery). If you are using a tablet with Windows, the Bluetooth function must be enabled in the tablet settings (when using a mouse with Bluetooth); Bluetooth - tablet mouse

    If you are using a mouse with Bluetooth, check if this function is enabled in the settings of your tablet

  • a problem with the mouse driver. Older versions Windows that do not have the built-in drivers and system libraries needed for mice, especially newer ones, often crash. Update the version Windows, the driver itself. Remove and reinstall the mouse: this is also an external device, and it must be correctly registered in the system;
  • the PS / 2 connector has been pulled out and reconnected. Unlike USB, which supports hot plugging and unplugging, the PS / 2 interface requires a restart Windows after the mouse is “reconnected”, even though the mouse seems to be working (backlight is on). Operate from the keyboard: the key Windows will open the main menu where you can give the command 'Shutdown' – 'Restart (Shutdown)' by moving the cursor using the arrows and / or the Tab key. Or press the power button (the system Windows is by default set to shutdown the PC), and then turn on the computer again; Restart button on the Start menu

    After disconnecting and attaching the mouse connector, the PS / 2 interface will ask you to reboot Windows

  • hard drive failure. It is not necessarily caused by damage to the disk structure: the disk itself turns off when there is a power shortage caused by overloading other PC resources (processor, RAM, connecting several external disks via USB, operating 'coolers' at maximum speed, etc.). This happens when the PC's power supply is also working at the limit of its power output (almost 100% loaded). In this case, after freezing Windows, the PC may shut down on its own;
  • PS / 2 or USB controller failure. The most unpleasant thing is replacing the PC's 'motherboard', especially if it is old, and all ports are on one rear USB controller at once, or a motherboard without USB ports was used with only PS / 2. Fortunately, the port can be replaced separately by contacting the same service center. If we are talking about a tablet, the cause may be a faulty microUSB port, OTG adapter and / or USB hub.

It is not difficult to cope with a complete freeze Windows 10 and specific programs. The above guides to action will help you. Good job to you.

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