Computer Locks Up

[ad]Dear Computer Lady,

This problem seems to happen randomly, but always after using the computer for at least an hour or more. Suddenly, the program I’m using locks up. When I try to close it, nothing happens. When I click on another open tab, it opens with a completely black screen, but still showing the tool bars. I’ve tried closing all programs using task manager, but when AI try to open a program, I again get the black screen. The only way to get rid of it is to restart the computer. I’ve checked Google for a solution but nothing I’ve found works.

This began about a month ago. My computer is only a year old Lenovo desktop.

Can you help? Carole

Dear Carole,

I can’t tell you exactly what is wrong with your computer without taking a look at it and running some diagnostics.

First, I would look for a hardware problem. Is the computer overheating? You can run a program like speccy at: to check the temperature of different components in the computer.
I would also run a check on your RAM for errors, and your hard drive. I would also check your video card, make sure you have up to date drivers, and that it is not overheating.

If all your hardware is fine, then it is time to start looking at the software. If this problem only happens when you are using Internet Explorer, try using Chrome or Firefox instead and see what happens. If you experience this problem no matter what program you are in, a clean install of Windows might be needed. Make sure you back up your files first!!!

If you are not comfortable running these tests on your computer, your local computer shop should be able to do it for you. If you live in the area, give me a call, I would be happy to help.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • Rhino
    • July 6, 2014

    One possibility is that you have too much “stuff” on your windows partition. I suspect that all your data in on the windows partition which is 99% likely to be C:\

    If you have less than 10% free space the computer will not have the capability of swapping out active files in the swap drive. This may be causing your computer to freeze.

    Solution? Delete redundant data. Do you have multiple copies of photos? Delete unnecessary copies. BUT, do back up to a separate drive, or an online service such as Dropbox or some other similar service.

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