Random Freezes

For the past two days my computer has been randomly freezing. When it happens, the keyboard and mouse become unresponsive and the display becomes frozen, continually displaying whatever was on screen at the time. If any sound is playing at the time it freezes, then a single, continuous tone plays from the speakers. It occured three times yesterday and so far five times today. The last time it happened, I left my computer on for ten minutes and it still remained frozen, so I was forced to hold down the power button to turn it off (as I had to do with all the other times). I have no problems during start up, except each time I start up after it's frozen, it'll tell me Windows did not shut down properly (because I was forced to manually turn it off) and prompts if I'd like to start normally or in safe mode. After start up, it may freeze within five minutes, or may not freeze at all for several hours. Each time it's occured I've been doing something different; a couple of times I was browsing the internet, listening to music or watching a movie with Windows Media Player, once it happened while I was typing in Microsoft Excel (nothing else was running), another time it occured when I was only watching a movie in WMP.

Just before the freezing occured, I moved the computer from one house to another, so something could have occured during the two hour drive, or while I was taking it apart/setting it up, but I was very careful and don't feel this is the case. Before the move, it was working completely fine. Since moving, the only new things I've added/done to the PC is connect a printer, and change my internet connection from a wired connection to a USB wireless modem (new house doesn't have a phone line). I tried a system restore, rolling back all my settings to a couple of weeks ago, before the move when everything was working. However, 15 minutes after doing so, it froze again. Additionally, a couple of the times it has frozen have occured while the printer and wireless USB modem have not been connected. I took the temperature using SpeedFan during one freeze, and it never rose above 60 degrees celcius (58 was the maximum). The internals have been recently cleaned for dust. I ran a virus scan with AVG Free (the most recent version and definitions) and my computer was clean.

The computer is two to three years old, and it has had problems before. (A few months ago I was getting random shut downs, which ceased once I replaced the hard drive with a new one and removed (what i think was) a faulty stick of ram.)

I can't really afford to buy a new computer, and I need it for university/work, so I'm really hoping someone knows something I can do to fix this problem.

My specifications are below, let me know if you need any more details.

Model: Compaq SR5240AN

OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition

Motherboard: MCP61PM-HM

PSU: 250 W Max (No UPS)

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4600+ 2.40 GHz

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430

RAM: 3.00 GB (2.87 GB usable) RamBo DDR2 (3 x 1.00 GB sticks)

HDD: WDC WD10 01FALS-00J7B SCSI Disk Device

Thank you in advance for reading through this and helping me out.


Extraordinary Member
After reinstalling all the primary drivers (Sound, Video, Motherboard chipset) I'd be looking at a stripping the motherboards down and checking the RAM slots are clear maybe use the old pencil erazer trick by rubbing the metal contacts on the ram chips edge that can sometime sort static issues, also the heatsink may need fresh thermal compound prehaps as it can boil off over time or maybe it's unseated slighty causing a hotspot that doesnt really show on a the cpu thermostat tests. Might also be worth checking the ram timings in bios aren't too tight.

Thanks for getting back to me Highwayman, I really appreciate it.

Just a little update, I ran Windows Memory Diagnostic this morning, and it didn't report any memory errors, so that's good. I'll update my drivers now. This is probably a stupid question, but where is the heatsink located? And how can I reattatch it properly if it's become loose?


Extraordinary Member
well removing and re-compounding the heatsink (sits on top of the cpu) will depend on your tech level, not really something you should do until all other options failed, nor should it be attempted without full knowledge and ability as if done wrong or badly can break the cpu.

further reading ;


All right, I deattached the heatsink, cleaned it out of all dust, and reattached it, but it's frozen on me three times since doing that, so I don't think that's the problem. I'll only attempt to re-compound it if I have no other option.

If it was a heat problem, you'd get some kind of warning wouldn't you? My brother's computer had a problem with overheating, and everytime it'd do so it'd beep wildly until he shut down. Wouldn't that (or something similar) happen to me if these freezes were caused by heat?


Extraordinary Member
On my old rig (3ghz Prescott & Nvidia 6800GT) I used to have a case with poor ventilation despite having 6 case fans, every warm day it would trip the heat with all sorts of horrible graphic glitches and often no warning, so when I got my current case I planned ahead and got a much better internal layout and case also has a huge 25cm panel fan which is nearly as big as the new mobo I got just the other day... Overclocks on air with no problems (not that I like doing that, just nice to know I can).

I want to mention that I have had several continuing freezing issues, and it seems that there is a common incompatibility issue with wireless mouses/keyboards and windows 7. After troubleshooting virtually every possible thing on my computer, dumping my Microsoft Wireless keyboard and mouse for a standard wired keyboard/mouse via PS/2 ports seems to have fixed the issue.

For more from many others on this issue:

Windows 7 RTM 64-bit mouse freezes/stutters multiple times per minute

Also, some people are having difficulty with wifi router connections causing freeze-ups. If you are running off of a wifi router, try ditching the router for a few days and seeing if the problem persists.

Some are having more luck with AES encryption settings than TKIP.

i have the same problem like bassexpander says with my computer freezing when it disconnects from the router connection and i try to troubleshoot it

My problem turned out to be a bad hard drive. I literally replaced my entire computer before I figured that out. Would have gone with a hard drive change as one of the first things, if my Western Digital HDD checking program hadn't been telling me all was fine all along. :(

:frown:Oh I didn't know.

I have exactly the same problem as Neytiri. Did you found any working solution ?

I did find a solution, sorry I didn't post immediately.

I had just started using a mobile broadband usb dongle when the freezing began, and apparently that, plus AVG and Windows 7, conflict with one another in some way to cause random freezes.

Found the solution here: Windows 7/AVG 9/Huawei E169G/E156B freezing – solution – mrfmanagement.com


Extraordinary Member
ahh USB broadband dongles... those tiny packages of hate filled annoyance. LOL

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