Why do Computers Freeze-up, Stall or Become Unresponsive?

Your day at the office was going so well, you were getting so much done, you just finished your last batch of reports, and then suddenly, your cursor won’t move, your keyboard won’t type, and no matter what you do, your PC doesn’t respond. It’s a helpless feeling, and we’ve all experienced it.   The burning question everyone has in that moment is, “What happened!? What caused this? What do I do?” Sometimes the answer is simpler than you think, and other times the cause involves a myriad of factors. Let’s look at the most common ones:

Most Common Reasons Your Computer “Froze”

  • Bumps and Batteries
    One of the most overlooked but simple causes is that a cord became loose. Maybe the last time you dusted your desk you didn’t realize it but your arm bumped your mouse cord and it slipped out just enough to no longer receive all the signals it needs. Or if the cord is under your desk, your foot may have inadvertently knocked into it. This applies to your keyboard as well. But what if you have a wireless mouse or keyboard? The batteries may have just worn out. It should be one of the first things you check, after the cord connections.
  • Lag or “Hanging”
    Sometimes you’ll notice your computer stops responding only right after you give it a particular task to do, like close out an invoice, run a large report, or start up a large software application. Some people call this lag or “hanging.” It’s the pause that occurs when your computer is too busy computing a task to do anything else. This is more common in older, less powerful computers. Typically, the newer or more powerful your computer is, the faster it can “compute,” tasks and therefore the less likely you are to experience any kind of significantly long freeze-up or any freeze-up at all. Sometimes if this is the cause, the computer will unfreeze after a few minutes, but not always. Either way, it might be time to upgrade your computer.
  • Overheating
    The temperature of your PC is something you always have to take into consideration. Heat is a computers kryptonite, and once it gets too hot, a PC will oftentimes freeze, restart or shut down altogether. You may have wondered why every computer you’ve ever encountered has a steady hum emitting from it. That is the internal fan housed inside your PC, constantly running, trying to keep the internal temperature of all its components low and stable. If the fan breaks or becomes blocked from too much dust or debris, the temperature inside the PC will heat up, and that will cause errors to pop up and/or frequent freezing. If strange squealing or grinding noises start to emerge, or your PC falls completely silent, it might be time to have a professional take a look inside, because your fan might be failing. It’s an especially common issue with older computers.
  • Software issues
    Sometimes your computer will become confused or conflicted while trying to do its computations and will lock-up or become unresponsive. An outdated operating system or software product might be the cause. Operating systems, software and drivers all run off a series of code that needs to stay compliant with the other systems and hardware on the computer. Vendors make this possible through frequent updates, or “patches,” which are snippets of programming language or “code” they release as needed that helps keep everything compliant. If an end-user fails to install the latest patch or update into their PC, it could cause software issues or conflicts that result in freeze-ups.
  • Computer viruses or malware
    One of the things any PC user, especially in the office, has to look out for is computer viruses and/or malware. If either of these gets into your PC, some of the symptoms include lock-ups, random errors, a significant decrease in speed and frequent shut-downs. There are a variety of ways these could end up on your system, and they are particularly problematic because they can spread to other computers in the office. An MSP specialist can help remove and prevent either of these by installing the proper security software program.
  • Hardware issues
    The difficulty with troubleshooting a computer is that usually there are no clear or immediate signs or error messages that can help someone determine exactly what’s happening. Hardware problems can cause a computer to freeze either on a regular basis or intermittently. If your hard drive starts to fail, your memory goes bad, or your CPU is faulty, there are no clear signs that will point to exactly what the problem is and how to resolve it. Sometimes a computer will die slowly, and experience random problems that get worse over time, other times it will give no indication of a problem at all, then suddenly stop working one day when you least expect it. This can be particularly frustrating at the office, the place where it’s most important that your PC work properly. Few things are more frustrating than watching this essential, powerful tool turn into a useless lump on your desk. If you checked some of the more easily resolved issues and you are still having problems, it might be time to seek out an expert.


The Ultimate Solution

Whether your computer is freezing up many times a day or just a few times during the week, it’s usually evidence of a problem that, if left unresolved, will lead to something very serious that could result in a loss of data, significant hardware damage, or both.

Hiring an experienced business to business managed service provider is an important step towards fixing these kinds of issues for your business or avoiding them altogether. Endecom has been working with a multitude of businesses for years, keeping their PC’s up and running and their networks optimized, up-to-date and healthy.

Endecom would be happy to chat with you about your concerns and how we can help. Contact us!

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