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HP PCs - Advanced Computer Lock Up or Freeze Troubleshooting (Windows 10, 8)

This document is for HP computers with Windows 10 or Windows 8.
If the computer continues to lock up or freeze, follow the steps in this document.

Step 1: Run hardware diagnostic tests

Make sure the issue is not hardware related by performing diagnostic tests.
  1. In Windows, search for and open the HP PC Hardware Diagnostics for Windows app.
    If the app is not installed on your computer, download the latest version from the HP Hardware Diagnostics website.
  2. On the main menu, click System Tests.
  3. Click the System Fast Test tab.
  4. Click Run once.
    While the test is running, the time remaining and test result for each component displays on the screen.
  5. If a component fails a test, write down the failure ID (24-digit code) and contact HP Customer Support. The information is also available in the Test Logs on the main menu.
    If no system component failed, continue with these steps.
  6. On the HP PC Hardware Diagnostic app, click System Test, and then click System Extensive Test. The Extensive Test might take several hours to complete.
    • If an issue is not found, continue to the next step.
    • If a component fails a test, write down the failure ID (24-digit code) and contact HP Customer Support.

Step 2: Uninstall software in Safe Mode

Uninstall any applications that might be causing the issue. Old versions of software and software updates might be corrupt, which can cause Windows to lock up or freeze.
Make sure you are not using more than one virus scanning application. Remove any others as a troubleshooting step to make sure they are not causing the computer to become unresponsive.
If the computer became unresponsive (locked up or frozen) after installing a specific application, remove that application.
Do not uninstall Windows Updates.
  1. Press the Windows key .
  2. Click the Power icon, press and hold the Shift key, and then click Restart.
  3. On the Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot, and then click Advanced options.
  4. Click Startup Settings, and then click Restart.
  5. Press the 4 key to restart the computer in Safe Mode.
    When the Windows desktop displays, Safe Mode displays in the four corners of the screen.
  6. Press the Windows key :
    • Windows 10: Scroll down the Start menu, click Windows System, and then click Control Panel.
    • Windows 8: Click Control Panel.
  7. Click Programs and Features.
  8. Find the application causing the lockup and note the Installed On date.
    If another application was installed the same day the issue started, that application might be contributing to the lockup.
  9. Select the application that is causing the lockups, and then click Uninstall or Uninstall/Change.
    The Uninstall or change a program screen
  10. Follow the on-screen instructions to remove the application.
  11. Continue uninstalling applications until you have removed all the software associated with the lockups.
  12. Restart the computer.
If the computer continues to lock up, continue to the next step.

Step 3: Update the BIOS

BIOS updates can resolve problems related to lockups. Go to HP Customer Support - Software and Driver Downloads to see if a BIOS update is available for your computer.
If a Let's identify your product to get started page displays, select your computer type, type the model name of your computer, and then click Submit.
The software and drivers page for your computer opens.
If a BIOS update is available, follow the instructions on the download page to install the update. For more information, go to HP Desktop PCs - Updating the BIOS or HP Notebook PCs - Updating the BIOS.

Step 4: Check and clean air vents to prevent overheating

Dusty or dirty air passages or vents might cause the computer to overheat.
Use compressed air to keep the air passages clean and free of dust and dirt. This increases airflow and reduces heat in the computer. Go to HP Desktop PCs - Reducing Heat Inside the Computer to Prevent Overheating or HP Notebook PCs - Reducing Heat Inside the Laptop to Prevent Overheating for more information.

Step 5: Scan for and remove viruses and malware

Update your virus scanning software and conduct a scan of the entire system (usually an Advanced or Complete scan) for viruses, including any USB storage devices you connect to the computer. If you do not have virus scanning software installed or your subscription has ended, install updated virus scanning software and scan the system. Go to Computer Might Be Infected by a Virus or Malware (Windows 10, 8) for more information.

Step 6: Use Microsoft System Restore

Use System Restore to return your computer to an earlier state before the lockups started.
  1. In Windows, search for and open System.
  2. Click System protection.
    System protection
  3. On the System Protection tab, click System Restore.
    System Restore selection in the System Properties
  4. In System Restore, click Next.
  5. Select a Date and Time from the list that matches a time before the lockups started to occur.
     Restore point selection in System Restore
  6. Click Next.
    The Confirm your restore point window displays.
  7. Click Finish, and then click Yes.
  8. The computer restarts automatically after the restoration completes.
  9. If lockups persist, try an earlier restore point.
If the lockups still persist, continue to the next step.

Step 7: Reset the computer

If none of the previous steps resolved the lockups, back up your personal data, and then reset your computer by reinstalling the operating system. Depending on your version of Windows, choose one of the following links for more information:






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