Windows 7 x64 SP1
4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Creative Gamer Soundcard, 2.4Ghz Core 2 Quad, nVidia 8800GTS graphics card

I am in need of urgent help. I am an IT technician and I cannot diagnose this problem at all! Basically, my computer keeps skipping (freezing for a second, and then resuming constantly). It happens randomly, but a few times every few minutes. My sound also skips really badly when I play music.

I have uninstalled and reinstalled my sound card and graphics card drivers. I have also reinstalled my operating system (to see if that would solve the issue) and it has not. This tells me its hardware, or a program that I use regularly. However, my main question is, how do I work out whats causing it?!

I have scanned my computer with 3 different anti-viruses both before and after reinstalling the OS and they all came back clean.

I have (and mainly use) Firefox 7.0.1 and iTunes 10.5.1. Before I open any of these programs when my computer starts up, it starts to skip. So surely it could not be these?

I am really stuck on this guys and girls, so any help would be greatly appreciated. If you want any additional info, I will gladly assist!

Thanks in advance!


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
Have a look at what is being run at startup. The best tool to give you comprehensive info and control in this is autoruns - you can use it to identify what is running, delete anything you need - and, most usefully just temporarily flag something to stop it running as a test before finally deleting it if you need to - free from here:

Autoruns for Windows


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
You might also go to Control Panel, Performance Information and Tools, Advanced Tools.

The bottom line is Generate a system health report. It will run for 60 seconds, and if your system hesitates, maybe it will see why.

Other than that, I can tell you my system would stop for several seconds at times when I was trying to use a Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard. For some reason, possibly interference, the Bluetooth would seem to reinitialize and the system would stop while it did. You may not be using Bluetooth, but maybe something else.

Joe S

Excellent Member
What AV are you using? Do you have more than one installed? If you removed old AV programs did you use the maker's cleanup tool? AVG is a frequent cause of problems.

Thanks for your replies.

I downloaded AutoRuns and had a look, as well as a quick play and there aren't many services starting upon boot anyway. I disabled pretty much all of them (the others wouldn't have caused it) and the problem still existed.

I generated a health report via Performance Tools and there was nothing incorrect or wrong detected.

I have nothing BlueTooth orientated connected to my computer.

My anti-virus is Microsoft Security Essentials, but I've used this ever since installing 7 a couple of years ago and it's always been fine.

Now, I was looking at my event logs to see if they could tell me anything. I found numerous errors (warnings, critical and error classed) under Applications and Services, Microsoft, Windows, Diagnostics-Performance. The task catergory was "Boot Performance Monitoring" and "Shutdown Performance Monitoring". Could this be relevant?


Honorable Member
Random skipping\freezing definitely can be a hardware related issue. I had this issue once with a new computer and it was a faulty Motherboard that they of course replaced.

Try Procmon to see what's going on at the freeze times.

Also, who assembled the computer? If the motherboard and CPU are not compatible, this can cause problems.

Is your C drive new or old?

You can try to start into safe mode and see if the problem is there too. If not, it's a Windows\Software problem.
You can try to create a new user account and see if the problem is there too. If not, it's a Software problem.

If you are an IT, I don't have to ask, but did the problem just start recently where a system restore would come in useful?

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Fantastic Member
You didn't mention if you tried safe mode to see if you still have the problem. I would use it without networking first to elimnate that as a problem.
If it works there reboot and use safe mode with networking.
If it works than for sure it's more than likely a software issue.
If not the only other thing you can try is eliminating hardware, such as disconnecting extra HD, CD, DVD.
If more than 1 stick of memory try them one at a time than in different slots.
If the MB has onboard sound remove the sound card.
If the MB has onboard graphics remove the graphics card.
If you are confident reseat the CPU with new thermal paste.
It's just a matter of elimnation.
In the end it may be a mother board issue, if it's still under warrenty RMA it.

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