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Tips for approaching a hanging computer?
How do I troubleshoot hardware issues related to a computer freeze/crash?

I have been having a lot of trouble with my computer ever since the new year rolled in. The issue being that my computer would hang or freeze randomly, sometimes for a few seconds but sometimes minutes at a time. I hoped I could find something on the internet to help me fix this, but I know very little about how computers work.

A few months back I ended up getting hacked, and after rebooting the computer to factory conditions and getting help from Dell tech support to reinstall the OS and drivers, the problem still persisted. Months later I called them up again to resolve the issue, andthey detected that my hard drive was failing, so they replaced it.

It's been a few days since I got the new hard drive, and I'm still having the same problem with hanging and freezing! Since the odds must be very low that they sent me another damaged hard drive, I don't think the problem has to do with it.

I'm running an Alienware Aurora R3 with a Windows 7 64 bit Operating system. If there's any other information about my computer that you think would be pertinent I'll post it, but I'm really not very knowledgeable about computers, so I can't think of anything

Thank you in advance, I hope we can fix this.

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If all software has been reinstalled and the HDD has been replaced, and the problems still persist, I would look next at the rest of the hardware. Also, can you provide any more details on the hanging/freezing? Are there any similarities from one to the next? Can you purposely reproduce it? Does it require a reboot? Sometimes/always/never? –  JoshP Jul 15 '12 at 4:09
    
Yes. When it does freeze, if I happen to be watching a video, playing a game or listening to music, the sound will sort of stutter and repeat the last half second of what came through the speakers or headphones until the hanging stops. It has never required a reboot as far as I can remember, and when it ends there are no error messages. –  Landon Jul 15 '12 at 7:13
    
Also, There have been a few occasions where the computer freezes up entirely, with each open program and whatever else I may have open failing to respond, and then I need to start it over. That hasn't happened since I uninstalled Malwarebytes though, because I think it might have clashed with my Bitdefender and Superantispyware –  Landon Jul 15 '12 at 7:14
    
Is your computer dusty? It may be heat related. –  DrinkJavaCodeJava Jul 15 '12 at 19:04
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marked as duplicate by KronoS, Dennis, Randolph West, techie007, Nifle Jul 15 '12 at 20:06

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1 Answer

Run Memory test?

Click Start, type mdsched.exe in the Search box, and then press Enter.
Choose whether to restart the computer and run the tool immediately or schedule the tool to run at the next restart.

Try Safe Mode (F8 on startup)? or a linux livecd? If either work fine than it is not a hardware problem...

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I ran the memory test and no problems were detected. I'm not sure how effective it would be to run it in safe mode to check for this problem, because the time span between the freezes can often be days at a time. –  Landon Jul 15 '12 at 17:45
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