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I'm running a machine with Windows XP Professional 64-bit. Every so often, it will freeze for no apparent reason. That is, everything stops responding, except the mouse. I can move the mouse around, but I can't click on anything. Keyboard input is also not accepted/received when this problem occurs.

The three-finger salute fails to bring up the Task Manager. Even pressing the power button on my computer fails to shut it down. The only way out of this that I have found is to hard-reboot the machine (i.e. pull power or hold power button in for 10 seconds).

This problem was occurring on the system when it had all its updates and after a fresh install when not everthing was quite yet updated. I've run the Scandisk utility and the latest version Memtest86 that supports 64-bit architecture; neither found any errors.

The last time this happened was on a fresh install of Windows. Only Nero Essentials, Avast antivirus (disabled), Firefox, and Spybot were installed. I was not running Nero, Firefox, or Spybot at the time, and Avast was disabled, so I'm pretty certain this is a Windows issue.

Is anybody familiar with this problem or have any pointers?

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i quit using xp x64, most problems are caused by poor drivers, many of them are barely functional. – Molly7244 Dec 8 '09 at 15:39
Yea, if you weren't running something else, the most likely cause is a bad driver. This can lock up the entire system fairly easily. – BBlake Dec 8 '09 at 17:07
For what it's worth, I had the same symptoms on my XP Pro netbook after installing the .NET framework. I had to reinstall Windows to solve it. – goblinbox Mar 8 '10 at 23:22
up vote 2 down vote accepted

This was answered in How do I reassign conflicting IRQs? which mentions Managing Devices.

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I agree with Martin, check for the logs and see whats up. There could be some sort of bottleneck going on. Setup the performance logs and see whats up.

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As we've all seen (every time we insert a CD or DVD) - in Windows the disc diver locks out the GUI. The three times I've seen this symptom, its been because the hard drive was retrying failing sectors. My suggestion is boot to safe mode command prompt and run a non-destructive full disc all-sector scan using the utility your drive's manufacturer offers for download. A modern drive will re-map the defective sectors to spare sectors set aside for this purpose if possible, and if not possible the utility will tell you. Next run chkdsk using chkdsk /r to left chkdsk take a full pass over the entire hard drive to check for and map out at the file system level any remaining bad sectors not mapped out by the drive firmware. Finally, run chkdsk again using chkdsk /f to fix the file system. (If you have multiple drives test all of them at each step). If that doesn't solve the problem, check for corrupt drivers using sfc /scannow. You may need to use your installation disc to replace any corrupt files found.

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