If you find your computer freezing up for no apparent reason, then you have a problem that needs looking into. If it happens at startup, it could indicate that there are too many program all trying to load. Reducing the number of startup programs should help in this instance.
A computer freezing up is not necessarily a sign of something seriously wrong. Sometimes computers just don’t know what to do next and try to do too many things at the same time. The result is the familiar computer freezing up syndrome. It’s irritating, but easily fixed.
If the escape key doesn’t cure the problem, reboot the system using Control, Alt and Delete pressed simultaneously. You will lose any work that you haven’t been able to save, but there often isn’t a way around that, other than getting into the habit of saving your work every few minutes to limit any possible damage.
Using the Control, Alt and Delete combination on most modern Windows-based computers will open up the Close Program dialogue box. If a program is not responding for whatever reason, it will say so next to the program name. You can highlight the name of any program not responding and close it forcefully by clicking the End Task button.
Your computer freezing up is not your cue to start panicking. Stay calm and assess the situation. Look at the hard disk working light on your computer. It’s usually close to the power light and indicates that the hard disk is being written to, or read from.
If it is fully lit without any flashing that means that your computer is working hard and may not be able to respond to your impatience. Wait until the light goes out, meaning that the hard disk is no longer working hard, and try again. If all the controls are still frozen, it is likely to be some other problem.
Your computer freezing up could just be a bad connection from your keyboard or mouse. This would not be an actual freezing of the system, but it would appear similar. Check all connections carefully, making sure they are fully connected. That may not sure the problem, but it will eliminate one more thing.
A computer freezing up could indicate the presence of a virus, spyware, malware or a Trojan. These malicious programs that are deliberately introduced to computers with the intention of doing damage are usually badly written. Clean computer code is the last thing on the twisted minds of the programmers, so sometimes the spyware, etc, simply freezes the computer.
You will need to scan your entire system with a suitable program designed to seek out viruses, spyware and Trojans – many are available free – and remove them if possible. It is quite possible to fully recover from an attack, though usually stressful. The best thing of course is to protect your computer as much as possible to prevent an attack becoming likely.
When you find your computer freezing up, stay calm. Check that the hard disk isn’t working flat out first. Then try hitting the Escape key a few times to see if that “undo’s” the problem. Use the Control, Alt, and Delete combination to close any program that is not responding. Check all connections, and finally scan the system for nasty programs that you may have picked up. Treat your computer freezing up as an irritation and not the end of the world.