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Why Do Computers Lock Up?

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms, Hardware & Peripherals
 
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Robert writes:
 
My wife was trying to get on her computer somehow it locked up and  she could  do nothing. She had to restart her computer.  Why does a computer freeze up or lock up you cannot do nothing ????
 
Without the specifics of your situation it’s impossible to say why your wife’s computer locked up. But a good way to think of a computer locking up is to think of person  passing out. Because it can happen for similar reasons.
 
It’s possible the computer may have been trying to do too much at once. If you’ve got two programs going at once that require a lot of your computer’s resources, it may freeze up. You can press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and start the Task Manager. If you select the Processes tab, you can see the programs that are running and at what level they are taxing the CPU and Memory of your computer.
 
Performance will give you an overview of how your total system resources are being used.
 
Make sure you give you computer time to complete a task. If you click on something at it doesn’t open right away, continuing to click on it over and over again is just going to slow your computer down because you are giving it more commands to consider.
 
If this is a reoccurring issues, your computer may be getting too hot and basically swooning from the heat. Touch it and see if it feels unusually warm. The culprit might be dust. If it’s a tower model, you may want to open it up and blow out the dust and pet hair or have a professional do it.  Also check the fan, if the fan on your computer stops working that can cause serious overheating issues.
 
If you have pets, this can be a real issue. Especially if you have a pet that enjoys napping on a warm computer.
 
It’s also possible that you have not been looking after the health and well-being of your computer. Make sure to run regular Windows updates and virus and malware scans. Check out this article on the system maintenance for more information. You can also do a quick maintenance check up  by typing “maintenance” in the search box and selecting “Perform recommended maintenance tasks automatically” from the results.
 
The System Maintenance Wizard will open. Click next and it will run a quick check of your system.
 
If this doesn’t happen often, there’s always the possibility of a power surge or hit of some kind, so do make sure you have your computer plugged into a proper surge protector.
 
If your computer seems to lock up exclusively while you are on the Internet, the issue could be with your browser or a plug-in such as Flash in that browser. If this happens while using Internet Explorer, you may need to upgrade to a newer version. If you find it happening while using Firefox or Chrome, you may need to upgrade to a newer version, but it’s also possible that you might need to downgrade to an older one. Some sites do not get along well with certain versions of certain browsers.
 
If your wife plays Flashed-based games, Flash Player could be a culprit. She may need to update Flash or try disabling it for awhile to see if that takes care of her locking up issue.
 
~ Cynthia
 

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