Like some other questions on this site, this is about Windows 10 freezing up, by freezing up, I mean that the Control Alt Delete key will not bring up the screen that lets me open the task manager. The screen is on. This is not a blue screen of death (BSOD). The only thing I can do when it freezes is hold the power button for about 10 seconds, which does a hard power off. After I power back on, there is nothing in the Event Viewer that helps me determine what is going on, but I do notice that there are no entries in the System log for the last 10 or 15 minutes before the crash. This made me wonder if it's a disk problem.

What makes me think it's NOT a disk problem is that 90% of the crashes occurred while running a developer tool that I use (Embarcadero Delphi), and occurs when resetting the debugger, which terminates its child process (a win32 gdi app). Having that process terminate, and its windows disappear, was the most common ways to hang my system. This hang does not reproduce when I moved back to Windows 7, only on Windows 10.

What I have figured out is that the freeze is either specific to Windows 10 itself or its drivers, as it does not occur on windows 7 on the same hardware, which tends to indicate it's NOT a hardware problem with my laptop:

  1. The case where the laptop freezes and dies is when it's booted up into Windows 10 version 1703, build 15063.540, 64 bit.

  2. The laptop does not freeze when booted from another hard disk that I have that has Windows 7, 64 bit, on it.

Both disks I have which I can boot this machine from have 64 bit Windows versions on them, either win7 or win10.

I have installed all the Thinkpad bios updates for this model, and gotten latest drivers from Lenovo and Intel websites and have all Windows updates installed. sfc /scannow did not detect any problems with image integrity.

The freezes are hard to establish a pattern for. I have had seven to ten freezes per day, an I have had weeks without freezes.

My question is:

  1. Does anyone have any theory which I can test or steps I can use to troubleshoot or track down the cause of this freeze?

  2. Is there anything I can run that will help me determine why the system is freezing up? I believe there is a hard crash occuring in the Windows kernel level. can I prove this or disprove this idea in any way?

Things which I have also done which have not helped:

a. It is possible to turn of Hyper-Threading in the bios, I have turned it off.

b. It is possible in Windows to disable the USB power savings modes, as some people report this causes crashes with certain Intel/Lenovo laptops. This is off, and the freezes still happen. (old control panel -> power options -> advanced settings -> usb settings -> usb selective suspend setting -> on battery = disabled, plugged in = disabled)

Some hardware notes:

  1. This thinkpad, like many edge series thinkpads has Intel integrated graphics and AMD Radeon graphics as well. The intel graphics are the primary graphics and all 2D apps seem to use that video driver exclusively. Installing and updating the radeon drivers has no effect on the crashes, and removing them completely has no effect on the crashes.

  2. It seems to me that a bug in the Intel HD 520 graphics drivers is highly likely.

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    The stand approach here is to try and force a full memory dump using the keyboard. docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/debugger/… You need to set this up in advance but hopefully next time it happens you can generate a dump file. Then you're off into the land of WinDbg and debugging but maybe start off just getting a full dump. This series has good information on all of this: channel9.msdn.com/Shows/Defrag-Tools. – HelpingHand Sep 11 '17 at 21:57
  • Interesting. Trying to follow these steps: docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/debugger/… My lenovo laptop is neither a PS/2 keyboard nor a USB keyboard, I think. – Warren P Sep 11 '17 at 22:32
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    You can set both registry values reboot and perform a test crash. If you don't have a scroll lock key you will need to remap the key. There is a Channel 9 video in the Defrag Tools series about this. – HelpingHand Sep 11 '17 at 22:39
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    That works. ON my thinkpad without a physical ScrollLock key, I use Fn + K to create the scroll lock key press. – Warren P Sep 11 '17 at 22:50
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    Complete Memory Dump is set. – Warren P Sep 11 '17 at 23:02

After a bit of trial and error plus poking around in the full dumps generated by the Scroll-lock key triggered technique (since there is no actual BSOD, you have to generate a BSOD to get the dumps), and after REMOVING the Lenovo supplied Intel graphics driver and forcing the Intel HD Graphics 520 OEM drivers onto the system, I am no longer able to reproduce the hang.

Instructions to remove Lenovo+Microsoft WQHL certified driver are provided in the .ZIP version of their drivers, you can download from the Intel website, quoting their readme, using the "Have Disk" path through Windows 10 driver selection hell:

Microsoft Windows* "Have Disk" Installation

  1. Click "Start", right-click "Computer", and click "Properties".

  2. Click "Device Manager" on the left.

  3. In the "User Account Control" window, click "Yes".


  4. Double-click "Video Controller (VGA Compatible)" if present under "Other Devices". (Go to step 6).

  5. Expand "Display adapters" and double-click the graphics controller.

  6. In the "Driver" tab, click "Update Driver".

  7. Click "Browse my computer for driver software".

  8. Click "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer".

  9. Click "Have Disk..." and click "Browse".

  10. Browse to the directory where you unzipped the file you downloaded, click the "Graphics" folder, and select the "igdlh.INF" file. Click "Open".

  11. Click "OK" and click "Next". The operating system will install the driver.

  12. Click "Close" and click "Yes" to reboot. The driver should now be loaded.

My current installed (non crashing) driver version is: dated 8/13/2017

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    There are many issues with some of the Lenovo-packaged Intel Graphics drivers. In fact, Lenovo support often recommends forcing installation of the Intel direct versions. – Moshe Katz Sep 18 '17 at 18:23
  • That's funny right there. If only Lenovo support and Lenovo engineering could get together on this. – Warren P Sep 18 '17 at 19:55

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