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Unresponsive scripts, crashing, 'Black Screen of Death'

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Hi everyone,

My girlfriend has a computer which is giving her gyp. She is almost completely computer illiterate, only having used the laptop for university assignments (mostly MS Word), to watch Youtube videos, to stream episodes of a certain vampire-based romantic/drama, and to use Facebook. Her computer is less than a year old, and those are the only uses it has seen.

Computer make and model: Dell N5010
Processor: Intel Core i3 CPU; M350 @ 2.26 GHz
3GB RAM; 64-bit OS; Windows 7, Service Pack 1


When surfing the web, the browser (currently Chrome) will freeze for around 1-3 minutes before a pop-up alerting that AVG Internet Security has stopped responding. Immediately afterwards, a small pop-up in the top left corner of the screen appears claiming 'This script is unresponsive' - yet it is not obvious which script it is referring to. Upon clicking 'Stop Script' (the other option being 'wait for response') the browser immediately crashes.

After the browser crashes, the computer is still frozen, only the cursor moves. Around 2 minutes later, I assume it's the OS that crashes because the entire screen goes black, but the cursor is still visible and able to move. Nothing happened for a few minutes after that so I gave the laptop a soft restart.

What I have done:

Before the crash, it appeared that the computer was just being slow due to poor maintenance. I downloaded CCleaner, and removed 3,999MB of data only to restart the computer and still have the problems. That was when the whole computer effectively crashed. Upon seeing the AVG pop-up, I immediately tried uninstalling AVG and all of its components - the most dodgy to me being the AVG PCTuneup and Repair. The computer still lags, so I then tried updating Adobe and Java to no avail.

Alas, I'm not much more computer-literate than she is, so my ideas have run out.

Any help will be very much appreciated. As she wouldn't know what to do, it will be me doing all the 'fixing', but as we don't live together (not even in the same city), I'd like to apologize in advance for any delayed responses on my part.

Thank you very much for your time and patience.

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    Grumpy Ol' MSgt (Ret.)

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Her computer is less than a year old

This is important to keep in mind before the warranty runs out.

AVG used to be my preferred anti-malware solution but they became severely infected with Norton-itus - that is, full of resource hogging bloat which, for many, has caused considerable problems. If me, I would uninstall AVG and install Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). And since she is running Windows 7, I would (and do) use IE9 too and see if the problem occurs with just Chrome or with any browser.

Note if she is using Chrome because she thinks she is more secure with it, then that is a false sense of security. Security is no reason to avoid IE9 (or IE8 for XP users) as IE9 continues to prove itself as secure, if not more secure than any of the alternatives. So the choice of browser should be based on personal preferences for the "look and feel", not for any perception of security.
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