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PC periodically "freezes" for 20-30 seconds


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#1 Cynthia Moore

Cynthia Moore

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:28 AM

I have an old Dell laptop running XP which I can't decommission until I am able to get all of the applications moved over to a new Surface Book running Win 10. Sometime in the last week or so, the XP machine developed a tendency to freeze up periodically. The freeze will last anywhere from half a minute to several minutes during which I can't do much of anything except hotkey between any running apps. When the freeze thaws, the machine will run normally for anywhere from a few hours to a day or so and then freeze up again. I have not installed any new applications in several weeks.

 

Here's what I have tried:

  • Rebooting.
  • Checking for updates. I think everything is current.
  • Malware scans. I have run both Malwarebytes and Spybot S&D with the latest updates. Malwarebytes found nothing, Spybot found 2 PUPs which I had it quarantine. I then reran both again.
  • Defrag. It said it wasn't needed, but I ran it anyway. The hard disk has 186 GB free of 465 GB total.

This is more of an annoyance than anything else as it clears up on its own, but if there is something else I can do to resolve it.

 

Thanks

 

Update: I have been doing some testing. The "freezes" appear to occur on irregular intervals and do not appear to be related to my activity. One just occurred as I was composing an email. I wasn't actively doing anything, just sitting there thinking, when the disk activity light came on solid and the cursor disappeared. I was able to display the location of the cursor using the Ctrl key and I could move it around, but it was not visible on the screen and the keyboard seemed disabled. I was able to hotkey around the list of active apps, but none of them would activate.

 

I was able to get that Task Manager using Alt+Ctrl+Del. The top two processes in CPU usage were svchost.exe at 50% and System IDel Process at 45-48%. The top memory usage apps were: Firefox at 360MB, Outlook at 209NB, and svchost at 145MB.

 

The next time it happens, I'll try to get a screen shot capture.


Edited by Cynthia Moore, 10 July 2018 - 02:47 PM.

Running Win 10 & Office 365.


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#2 kaffekop

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 02:11 AM

As a first attempt you could try to disable automatic updates if enabled.

When searching in vain for new updates the update process eats a lot of ressources.



#3 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 10:25 PM

It looks like I have found the culprit -- Carbonite. I didn't suspect it for awhile because I've had it for many years. I know it slows the machine more than it should, but it has never brought it to its knees before. I have now run several tests with various apps turned off. The system freezes only occur when Carbonite is running. Fortunately, I can shut it off when I need to use the machine and turn it back on when I am not using it.

 

Carbonite used to be a wonderful backup tool. But over the years, it has gotten worse and worse and the customer service is terrible. Half the time they can't even comprehend the question. All I get are canned answers that usually have nothing to do with my question. I will be looking for something else to use on my new Win 10 machine.


Running Win 10 & Office 365.





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