PC freezes on almost any application?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader 'Margie100' writes:

"Dear Dennis,

You've probably have answered this question a million times, but I am having trouble finding the right answer for me. I am running XP and lately this PC just freezes up when I open just about everything. Pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL usually fixes it but I know that this is a temporary fix and it usually locks up again shortly after that.

I've scanned my system for viruses, cleaned my hard drive using the defrag utility, and use scandisk to check for file-system errors. I know from your newsletters that it may be possible that there is left over-stuff in my system registry which may be causing my system to crash. If I just put my XP disc in and run it that will not fix it will it? "

My response:

Literally anything can cause a PC to lock up / crash: anywhere from bad drivers, virus, bad hardware, software running wild, Spyware, Adware, file system errors, invalid system registry, and more.

Fixing the registry using a utility like Registry Mechanic may save your PC from the occasional crash -- but, I would be hesitant to advise this as a quick fix, especially if your PC is crashing no matter which program you're launching.

RE: If I just put my XP disc in and run it that will not fix it will it?

Most likely not: installing Windows over top of Windows rarely ever fixes anything. If you want to rule out all of the above, your best bet is to back up your most important files and reinstall Windows from scratch (by formatting your hard drive). If your system doesn't work after a fresh reinstall of Windows, there is a good chance that you have a hardware problem (possibly bad RAM) and will need to bring it to a computer store.

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