Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:13 AM
I'm trying to diagnose a problem my mother is experiencing with her new laptop from 400 miles away. Unfortunately, she is PC-challenged, so the information I have is minimal at best.
Within the past week, her Toshiba laptop (AMD Turion dual core chip running Win7 x32) began freezing. She noticed that her mouse was not responding. Thinking that it was simply the mouse, she switched to a new mouse and ultimately the touchpad. The problem is NOT with the mouse. She is experiencing complete freezes that require a hard power-off. The freezes occur anywhere from 5-15 minutes after boot. During attempted diagnostics, the system was so unresponsive that we tried booting into safe mode. Safe mode runs for hours without incident (causing me, in a very unscientific fashion, to rule out heat as the root cause). While in safe mode, she performed a complete system scan with an updated version of Malwarebytes. The scan found no issues. We managed to run a boot scan using Avast Free antivirus. This scan did locate virus(es?) almost immediately, leading me to believe that the infected files were boot files, services, and/or drivers. I had her move everything to quarantine. This did not alleviate the system freezes. I had her run the SFC overnight. I have yet to receive a report of the results.
I have read in various posts online that power management features have been known to cause system instability in some machines, but that disabling this feature results in loss of audio(?). I've also read that issues with some CPU drivers (specifically for dual core processors) have been theorized to cause this problem, which is used to explain the system's relative stability in safe mode. But I digress...
Anyone have any suggestions? She reports that there were no new (intentional) downloads, though Java, Windows, Avast, etc are set to update automatically. She has not installed any new software, nor has she visited any new websites. The problem seems to have emerged over the course of the past week and does not impact safe mode, leading me to the conclusion that the hardware itself is stable.