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I have a Toshiba Laptop. I recently did a fresh installation of Windows 7.

I have been noticing, don't know exactly since when, that the system just freezes when I am working. The only way is to do a hard reset.

I don't know if some software is causing it. Is there any way, through log messages, to find out the reason for the system hang? If I can pinpoint the issue to particular software, system upgrade or something, I can revert back the changes.

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2 Answers 2

It has happened to me too; even with a brand-new win-7 home premium - it still froze. Checking with 'hijackthis' does give you more details about what is running and hence, what might cause the freezing. Also: under CMD type msconfig (right-click to execute as admin) and see what programs squeezed themselves in the boot-up sequence without true need; uncheck all suspicious or unnecessary (like HPupdate etc) and restart.

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If your run out of options after looking into logs/events you could try to force System Crash from keyboard when this happens and then analyze the dump* with debugger (windbg for example- link to debugging tools here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg463009.aspx).

*You wold proably want to set dump type to kernel, you can set it in System->Advanced->Startup and Recovery

How to enable keyboard initiated crash is described in details here: Forcing a system crash from keyboard
Main points:

You must ensure the following three settings before the keyboard can cause a system crash:

If you wish a crash dump file to be written, you must enable such dump files, choose the path and file name, and select the size of the dump file. For more information, see Enabling a Kernel-Mode Dump File.

With PS/2 keyboards, you must enable the keyboard-initiated crash in the registry. In the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\i8042prt\Parameters, create a value named CrashOnCtrlScroll, and set it equal to a REG_DWORD value of 0x01.

With USB keyboards, you must enable the keyboard-initiated crash in the registry. In the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\kbdhid\Parameters, create a value named CrashOnCtrlScroll, and set it equal to a REG_DWORD value of 0x01.

You must restart the system for these settings to take effect.

After this is completed, the keyboard crash can be initiated by using the following hotkey sequence: Hold down the rightmost CTRL key, and press the SCROLL LOCK key twice.

(...)

Limitations

It is possible for a system to freeze in such a way that the keyboard shortcut sequence will not work. However, this should be a very rare occurrence. Using the keyboard shortcut sequence to initiate a crash will work even in many instances where CTRL+ALT+DELETE does not work.

Forcing a system crash from the keyboard does not work if the computer stops responding at a high interrupt request level (IRQL). This limitation exists because the Kbdhid.sys driver, which allows the memory dump process to run, operates at a lower IRQL than the i8042prt.sys driver.

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