locked
Why does the Windows 7 GUI lock up so often? RRS feed

  • Question

  • It seems that every few weeks Windows locks up for me on my system. Windows is still running, but the first symptom is that the GUI quickly becomes unusable. I can close a few open windows and stuff, but when I move the cursor over the task-bar all I get is the endless spinning wheel of death. Ctrl-Alt-Delete does not work. Some applications continue to update their on-screen windows, but nothing else works in the GUI.

    If I try to use remote desktop from another computer it never connects. If I try to telnet in from another computer, it never connects. If I try a remote shutdown, it never completes.

    However, if I ping my system from another computer, I do get a response. I can still stream media from my computer.

    What kind of zombie state is Windows in when this happens? How can so many things continue to work, but Ctrl-Alt-Delete does not work? Does no-one at Microsoft understand the relationship between Ctrl-Alt-Delete and a non-maskable interrupt?

    I just ran a full sweep of my system with both Microsoft Security Essentials and Malewarebytes two days ago, and nothing showed up. While I could have a virus, it seems like a low possibility. There is almost no CPU activity, so a CPU hog process does not seem to be the problem.

    In a more general sense, why is the Windows GUI so truly awful with respect to performance and responsiveness. While the current case only happens every few weeks, on a daily or hourly basis, various parts of the Windows GUI are always freezing up and pausing for seconds to minutes at a time. In particular, I have noticed that if Windows has any kind of problems with the file system, especially network files, it just seems to throw up its hands and say "I don't know what to do so I will do nothing useful at all."

    One of the things I really do like about Windows 8 is that "fast and fluid" seems to be more than talk, I really can notice the improved responsiveness of the GUI. Of course I don't have a lot of experience with Windows 8 yet, but really Microsoft, you had to wait until 2012 to actually care enough about your customers to attempt something like "fast and fluid."

    Anyway, can anyone shed any light on why I have to keep pulling the power on my Windows 7 system because there is no other way to unfreeze it from this all too common zombie state?

    Cheers, Eric


    Eric Kolotyluk - software developer, music DJ, swing dancer


    Wednesday, August 8, 2012 3:57 AM

Answers

  • Hi Eric,


    You can boot to Safe Mode and Clean Boot to check whether the system will freezes up or hangs.


    In addition, you can try to create a new account for the test.

    More reference: Fix a corrupted user profile


    Hope this helps.


    Vincent Wang

    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by Leo Huang Friday, August 24, 2012 9:53 AM
    Monday, August 13, 2012 8:40 AM

All replies

  • Hi Eric,


    I suggest you can test Safe Mode to check the result.


    If it works well in Safe Mode, please boot to Clean Boot to check which application affect this.


    Hope this helps.


    Vincent Wang

    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, August 9, 2012 8:53 AM
  • Exactly which problem is Safe Mode going to give me insight on, and how?

    One problem is that Windows just freezes up - like it just did again this morning. The other problem is that various applications, including Windows Explore on the desktop suffer from long pauses.

    For example, I went to my computer this morning and I cannot wake it from the screen blank. Strangely, when I try Remote Desktop, it gets further than normal and actually displays the login screen - usually it fails completely to connect - but still I cannot get logged in.

    As usual, telnet does not work, so there is simply no way to do a clean shutdown. I am really getting tired holding the power button down and waiting for the motherboard to cut power, but this is the only way I know of to get the computer going again.

    Interestingly enough, the other day Windows 7 Ultimate completely froze while I was using my spouse's laptop. So, now I have two computers where Windows likes to freeze in such a way the only path to recover is to hold the power button down until the motherboard cuts the power.

    Cheers, Eric


    Eric Kolotyluk - software developer, music DJ, swing dancer

    Friday, August 10, 2012 1:50 PM
  • Hi Eric,


    You can boot to Safe Mode and Clean Boot to check whether the system will freezes up or hangs.


    In addition, you can try to create a new account for the test.

    More reference: Fix a corrupted user profile


    Hope this helps.


    Vincent Wang

    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by Leo Huang Friday, August 24, 2012 9:53 AM
    Monday, August 13, 2012 8:40 AM