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Troubleshoot Windows 10 Freezing or Locking Up Randomly

I have run Windows 10 on about 4 computers over the past year and really didn’t run into big problems until recently. A few days ago, I started having a weird problem where my Windows 10 computer froze randomly, which ultimately forced me to perform a hard reset.

Oddly enough, I have a dual boot of this system with Windows 7 and have no freezing or blocking issues on this OS. I already had this type of problem, so I started doing various fixes like updating device drivers, installing the latest Windows updates, scanning with SFC, etc. and eventually the problem went away.

I’m not really sure which method fixed the problem, so I’ll just list them all and hopefully it will fix the problem for you. If not, write and comment and I’ll try to help.

First method – uninstall incompatible programs

I’m pretty sure this was my problem because I didn’t really have any problems with Windows 10 for several months until I installed a few new programs. Some programs were used to scan and / or modify my hardware (Speccy, Acronis True Image, f.lux, etc.), which could cause it to freeze.

However, any program can cause this problem, so review any new programs you may have installed and try uninstalling them to see if that solves the problem.

If you’re working on a clean install of Windows 10 and you’re having a problem, keep reading.

The second method – updating the drivers and BIOS

You’ve probably tried this already, but it’s still worth mentioning because it can definitely be causing Windows 10 to freeze. The main drivers you want to update are the graphics card, network card, audio, and chipset drivers.

If you have an NVidia graphics card, you really need to make sure to download the NVidia control panel program and keep it up to date. You don’t need to install all the other garbage that comes with it, just the driver. Check out my previous post on automatically updating Windows drivers.

Also, if you have Windows installed on an SSD, be sure to update the SSD firmware. For example, if you have a Crucial SSD, you can download its storage management software to do it for you.

Some users have experienced this problem with hardware that simply does not have a driver for Windows 10. In this case, it is best to turn off the device or replace it with a newer version. For example, if you have a really old Wi-Fi card and just don’t have a driver for Windows 10, try disabling it using Device Manager or BIOS and see if the hang goes away.

Finally, you should update the BIOS in such a situation. I usually don’t recommend updating the BIOS if everything is working fine, but it’s a good idea when something is wrong. Read my post on if the BIOS can be updated.

Method 3 – Set the page file

If you happen to notice that the problem only occurs when you copy or move large files, or do anything that requires heavy use of the hard drive, then the problem may be related to the paging file.

This is especially true if you are using an SSD in your system. You can check the paging file by going to Control Panel, then to System, clicking Advanced System Settings, clicking the Advanced tab, then clicking Settings, clicking the Advanced tab again, then clicking Change under Virtual Memory.

In the previous article, I provide some tips for optimizing the paging file that I would recommend in most cases, but for this problem, I suggest you keep the paging file in the same partition as Windows and let Windows automatically manage the paging file size.

Fourth method – disconnect all devices

Maybe the problem is not with Windows 10, but with some kind of external device. A good way to test this is to disconnect all devices from your computer and then boot.

You should disconnect all USB devices, including mouse and keyboard. I would suggest buying another mouse and keyboard and trying them out to completely eliminate external devices before moving on.

Fifth method – check for hardware malfunction

This is a little more difficult to spot and generally more difficult to fix. If there is something wrong with the hardware, you should see the problem in any other version of Windows you have installed. If you only have Windows 10 installed, you will need to perform a hardware test.

You want to read my posts about diagnosing memory problems and checking your hard drive for errors Also, you need to access your BIOS and check if there is any hardware test you can run from there. Usually there is an option like “Diagnostics” or something similar.

Don’t forget to check your CD / DVD / Blu-ray drive as well, as it is usually overlooked but can definitely cause problems on Windows.

Method 6 – disable overclocking

If you have a high-performance computer with a high-performance processor, your BIOS settings may cause Windows to freeze. Your best bet is to turn off any overclocking or automatic CPU settings.

On some processors, you should check if the C6 state is enabled or not. This function tries to translate the processor into low power code, but it can cause more problems. In general, go into BIOS and make sure everything is set to default for clock speed, voltage, etc.

The same goes for any DRAM modifications. Set everything to default or automatic and see what happens.

Method 7 – Power Settings

This option will probably only help those with a PCIe graphics card installed in the system. Go to Control Panel, then select Power Options and make sure you are using a high performance plan first.

If so, click Change plan settings and then Change advanced power settings.

Scroll down until you see PCI Express and then expand Link State Power Management. Make sure it’s off.

Method 8 – clean install of Windows 10

If you’re still having problems with Windows 10 freezing, it’s probably a good idea to back up your data and do a clean install of Windows 10. It shouldn’t take long, and if you have the latest version of Windows 10 installed, this feature is now built in. directly into the OS.

Read my step-by-step article on performing a real clean install of Windows 10.

Overall, Windows 10 is a great operating system, and it runs like a champion for most users most of the time. However, with so many hardware options that Windows has to support, some users will inevitably run into problems. Hope one of the above methods will fix any freeze issues in Windows 10. Enjoy!

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