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For the past 1-2 weeks my desktop becomes unresponsive sometimes. The problem seems to happen as I load a page in Google Chrome; it could be any page though today it happened when I tried to load a page with Flash content in it. The problem is not consistent and there is no pattern. I can do a virus scan using some software (not antivirus installed--never needed that) but I strongly suspect it is some software I installed or some Windows Update. This is a very powerful Dell Optiplex 990 with 16GB RAM, so Memory shouldn't be an issue.

When the problem happens the cursor becomes spinning even over the taskbar and control alt delete takes a long time. Eventually I get a message that 'this program is not responding' with end/close and 'cancel' icon. But repeated end or cancel does nothing. Then the menu for ctrl alt del comes up.

The rest of the applications keep running fine though I can't get to them because the cursor is the wait-cursor.

What is happening? How can I find what exactly caused the problem? Thanks.

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What version of Chrome are you using? Until you open Chrome, do you have problems? – wizlog Jun 27 '12 at 13:43
19.0.x. Not sure what exactly triggers the problem: Happened three times in last couple of weeks and all those times it was while I was in Chrome. Too little data but definitely a new problem. Thx – Meengla Jun 27 '12 at 13:47
This sounds like a problem with Flash. Disable it – Ramhound Jun 27 '12 at 14:48
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Update all you addons/plugins. A problem with Flash or a poorly designed addon (that may be running in the background) is probably at the root of your issue.

Try disabling everything you've added, then restarting Chrome. If Chrome no longer crashes, you know that the problem is addon related, and you can then (therefore), enable them one by one to see if the problem comes back.

Additionally/alternatively consider using Google Chrome Canary. This article is slightly outdated, but it does a good job explaining what Canary is.

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Wizlog: But why does the entire computer becomes unresponsive? I have seen plenty of browser add-on/plugin crashes but never seen that the computer and even the Ctrl Alt Del becomes unresponsive/slow. – Meengla Jun 27 '12 at 15:14
@Meengla: That is very complicated question. The simplest answer I can give you here is that Chrome (or any program causing the computer to crash) begins to hog system resources. When other programs or even the operating system tries to run (operate normally) they lack the necessary resources. (Programs would then become unresponsive/slow...) To figure out if this is the case, log system resources/activity, and if/when your computer crashes, refer to the log to determine if the availability of system resources was an issue, and (if so) which program was the greatest contributor. – wizlog Jun 27 '12 at 15:47
I know, a difficult question and I frankly don't have enough data or pattern to say what is the exact trigger. It could be a VM hogging system resources or some browser plugin. I will try to log system activity and see what's the status around the browser crash time... Thanks! – Meengla Jun 27 '12 at 16:45

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