Written by | Posted November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm Deconstruction

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

filed under General
Computer Woes
comment 9 Written by on October 31, 2012 – 10:40 am

I’m hoping someone out there who reads this can offer me some suggestions, as I’ve been having some pretty significant computer trouble for the last few weeks, and it’s progressively getting worse.

The Symptoms:

Computer periodically freezes. It does not blue-screen, nor does the hard disk stop spinning, it just goes completely unresponsive (mouse pointer frozen, no keyboard, num lock key won’t toggle, windows button doesn’t work, CTRL-ALT-DEL doesn’t work, etc.). The only way to unfreeze it is to hard restart it with the power button. Occasionally, it auto-restarts itself. Sometimes the freezing happens after several hours of doing various things, sometimes it happens just after restarting. Usually it happens when I’m trying to run multiple things at the same time (like Firefox, iTunes, and TweetDeck, or opening Firefox while WoW is running), but sometimes I’ll be typing a blog post and it will just freeze up (like just happened, thank FSM for auto-save).

This started happening with some regularity when the computer was left idle for long periods of time, like overnight. Then, after about a week of that, it’s gone to happening more and more frequently, to the point where it happened 7-10 times yesterday.

The only error in the error log is error 41, which is the “you hard restarted the computer using the power button” error. There is no recorded failure other than that windows did not shut down properly. Since there’s no BSOD, I have no other error messages to google.

What we’ve tried:

  • chkdsk and memtest both came back with no errors
  • I’ve cleaned the computer out thoroughly (it wasn’t very dirty) and checked all the fans, which are running fine.
  • I’ve unseated and reseated all the MB components
  • I’ve made sure all drivers and Windows7 are up to date (they were)
  • Restart into safe mode to run a virus scan/defrag – computer froze up about halfway through.
  • Booted the computer off of a Ubuntu CD. The computer did not crash overnight. Admittedly, all I did was boot it into Ubuntu (there’s not much you can do with it just as a CD so we didn’t really test anything stressful), and sometimes it runs for hours in Windows too. Still, this may be significant.

Possible things are a memory problem that memtest didn’t find? A bad windows driver (since it still crashes even in safe mode, but seemed fine booting off a Ubuntu CD)? I’m running out of things to check that could be causing this, but it’s REALLY ANNOYING.

I bow to your superior computer knowledge, internet. I’m running up against a total loss on what this could be. Help!

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9 Responses to “Computer Woes”

  1. My first thought was that this might be a RAM error, but you say you ran memcheck without any bad results, so I’m going to not consider that. A HD error is also a possibility, but you got the same results.

    I suspect that Windows is attempting to run something that either doesn’t exist or is pointing to the wrong location, and it’s hanging while Windows attempts to find the missing link.

    The problem with errors like that are that it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack to find out what program is the culprit. If this is the problem, I’d look in the task list to see if there’s something that gets automatically run or there’s something that is no longer on the computer, like a Yahoo toolbar updater when the toolbar has been removed.

  2. I’m inclined to agree with Redbeard, that something looks to be FUBAR in Windows, although I doubt you’ll ever find it. My suggestion would be buy a new hard and put a fresh Windows installation on it. Keep the original hard drive to copy data files, WoW, etc. to the new one.

    Whatever the problem is, fingers crossed you can get it fixed soon!

  3. Somehow it sounds like a heat issue to me… I know you cleaned it well, but check that the fans are running well?

  4. I figured you’d probably tried this, but anyway: does your anti-virus/security software include a registry cleaner? If it does, run it and hopefully it’ll clean up the junk that might have accumulated there.

  5. I had something similar (or maybe the same) happen on my Asus G73Jh, and while I’ve never figured out for sure what was causing it, I did a couple of things that at least seem to have cleared it up. The first one I tried after several days of scouring Asus formums and finding a guy who was having exactly the same issue and said it worked for him:

    1. Installed Game Booster (http://download.cnet.com/Game-Booster/3000-18512_4-10913645.html)

    2. Installed a Windows gadget to show me my GPU temp. Not CPU, but the graphics processor. From this I learned it was running way, way hotter than I had thought.

    3. Bought a cooling pad for the laptop.

    4. Set up a table fan to blow on the poor wee thing whenever I’m gaming, or whenever it seems to be getting hot

    And of course regularly clean the vents.

    I can also second the registry cleaner idea. I use Little Registry Cleaner:
    http://download.cnet.com/Little-Registry-Cleaner/3000-2094_4-10890826.html

    I use the portable version:
    http://download.cnet.com/Little-Registry-Cleaner-Portable-Edition/3000-18514_4-10920993.html

    Good luck! It is an insanely annoying issue.

    By zillah975 on Oct 31, 2012 | Reply
  6. Zillah >> I’m running off a desktop, but a heat monitor wouldn’t go awry here, especially since they seem easy to come by. I’ll see what I can do.

  7. Ok – I’ve checked the fan speeds and heating and everything is normal there. Ran the registry cleanup on CCleaner (which I already had installed), so that’s done as well. It’s only shut down once on me today, when I tried to open iTunes with Firefox running. It seems to crash when I make startup demands of it, like opening a new program, but once things are open and running, it’s mostly OK (mostly, as it did randomly freeze up on me while I was playing WoW yesterday too). I’m officially puzzled.

  8. Are you using an SSD? I ran into a similar problem, and resolved it with a firmware update.

    By Gorbag on Oct 31, 2012 | Reply
  9. Gorbag – I am not using an SSD. I have a regular old hard disk.

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