Experience has shown me that when any version of Windows "locks up," most often it is doing more than it is capable of doing at that moment. It does not have the resources to comply with your demands ...so it bails out!
Depending upon the quality of your machine, the amount of RAM you have, the size of the L1 and L2 caches which you set, the number of progs that are runing at the same time in the background, and the number of operations you are doing in the foreground, at the same time ...ALL WILL CONTRIBUTE TO A LOCK-UP when taken in concert.
Reset the parameters of whatever you need, and can, to increase their sizes on all fronts.
Download and run "Process Explorer" [free] and check to see which progs are running ...record a hard copy of them on a note pad. See if you can go on about your regular business and induce a freeze up.
Work back wards from the systray...shut down some of those program...tick them off on your list. See if you can induce another freeze up under this new condition. If it does not happen, then maybe one of those progs was over taxing your system. If it does happen, proceed to Process Explorer, at the bottom of the list you will see the operations running that are not Windows dependent ...see if you can kill one or more that are not necessary, and whether you can induce another freeze up. Tick them off.
etc.... it all boils down to a process of elimination until you can isolate the problem program...
All that being said... I am an avid believer in reformatting to solve just about every problem that is software related on a computer...when the cause/cure is just beyond me to figure out. Many think that I am nuts
but after 12 years playing with these critters, I have found it less of a head ache just to go with the flow and be more careful with what I install next time ...and how I maintain what I do have installed.
Common sense and logic are your best and first line of defense. On one level, computers are as dumb as a brick and as blind as a bat, unless you do its "real" thinking for it, it will not cooperate, it does not know how to cooperate. So, save yourself hours, days, weeks of grief with a relatively simple to do reinstall of Windows, and a clean reinstall of only the most absolutely necessary 3rd party software.
On another level, I have also found that Windows is like a wonderful woman ...who needs careful and thoughtful consideration. Treat "her" kindly and "she" will treat you kindly.
Every error is the result of human input, or the lack of... , 95% of the time.
P.S. I like a wee program called "StopIt" found at [McDaniels Development] http://mcdev.com/w/
StopIt will easily point out which progs are running, and which can be killed on the spot...BE CAREFUL. When I freeze up, it is ususally when using my internet browser, I go to the StopIt shortcut in my taskbar and tap it, up it pops...I double click on the browser title, and pop...it's unfrozen! It is usually the last one or two problems that are causing the issue...you learn this over time.
Something to consider...then you can keep a log on your note pad of which progs are running, and which process you killed, and what happened as a result of it...again, a process of elimination.
Edited by b1caez01, 09 September 2006 - 10:12 AM.