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For some reasons my Windows XP desktop is freezing after maybe half and hour of use ( just normal usage such as browsing the internet, no fanciful gaming). This is already happening 3 times today; yesterday was OK.

I checked my system log after my machine restarted, there was no record of exception, no record of error, as if everything was fine.

When the machine freezes, everything becomes irresponsive; mouse can't move, keyboard doesn't work, the clock at the bottom left of the screen simply doesn't moving forward, it's as if the passage of time stops completely for the machine. The hard disk isn't busy also, as the hard disk light near the power on/off button isn't blinking.

The funny thing is when I force-restarted my machine, I was not prompted with "scanning the disk for bad sectors" blue screen-- which is fairly typical if this is a hard disk problem.

Any idea what can be the problem? Registry? Bad sectors? Memory problem? Some of the yahoo answers suggest that registry corruption is the problem here. But I've been extra careful in installing and uninstalling software, not to mention that prior to this incident I didn't install anything on my machine.

Edit: I have scanned my C drive and it has 12 kB of bad sectors. Could this be the reason?

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overheating maybe? –  stijn Nov 4 '10 at 12:29
    
@stijn, from what I know of the computer overheats it will restart. But my machine isn't restarting in this case. –  Graviton Nov 4 '10 at 12:32
    
I've seen systems lock solid like this when overheating. Is the fan noisy? Can you go into the BIOS when you reboot and check the CPU temperature reading? –  njd Nov 4 '10 at 12:38
    
@njd, the fan is no more nosier than usual. But as you said, maybe I should check the temperature –  Graviton Nov 4 '10 at 12:42
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@njd, I restarted the machine, and the temperature is fine –  Graviton Nov 4 '10 at 12:51
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2 Answers

Just to remove memory as being a possible factor. Depending on how much RAM you have installed on your computer. Try taking one stick of RAM out at a time until you have noticed that the problem is consistent with all the RAM.

To remove the HDD and the OS as being the issue (if you have another HDD laying around), use another hard drive and install LINUX (something free so there are no license costs) and see if the problem persists. Comment back to tell me the outcome of these two tasks. I may be able to help you more.

-Good Luck

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it requires hell lot of effort and time to troubleshoot. –  Graviton Nov 4 '10 at 13:26
    
@njd, These are just things I would do to attempt to fix the issue. If you don't want to troubleshoot the issue, I can't help you... –  David Nov 4 '10 at 13:27
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Yes, it will require time to sort out a problem like this. If you don't have the time, simply purchase another computer. –  kmarsh Nov 4 '10 at 13:43
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Try running CCleaner to see if it is the Registry also could it be a program running either at the same time or in the background that can cause this.

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NEVER use CCleaner to "clean" your registry. It will cause many more problems than it will help. DO NOT DO THIS. If you use CCleaner, it will look at all unused registry keys, dwords, etc. and recommend that they be deleted. (sounds good) But some programs still use those keys, dwords, etc and just don't look like they are when the programs aren't running, resulting in a major system malfunction. –  David Nov 4 '10 at 13:01
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The problem with absolute statements is that they are always wrong. :) CCleaner is an excellent tool, and I do use it to clean my Registries, but I don't just take the blanket recommendation and always delete everything. It needs to be used intelligently. It is especially helpful identifying the remains of infections and malware. Simply saying DO NOT use this feature is silly. Learning, experimenting, and trial and error are all part of the process. Besides, CCleaner lets you back up your changes. –  kmarsh Nov 4 '10 at 13:42
    
How many people do you know will you allow to run through your registry (using CCleaner) and try to cleanup your registry. Most people will have major malfunctions (BSOD) if they do this. So stating that they shouldn't use CCleaner is helping them have less problems. I am just trying to keep people from breaking their registry. I know that they can back up their registry, but how many people even back up there computers, let alone there registry. –  David Nov 4 '10 at 14:09
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