Laptop Screen Freezes

Laptop Screen Freezes

Laptop screen freezes can be an infuriating problem, especially since it can be a persistent yet inconsistent problem, which makes it terribly difficult to diagnose. Sending your computer back to Dell or taking your Toshiba to the local repair shop to fix ‘my laptop screen freezes’ can become an ‘adventure’ that requires far more time and money than is worthwhile to you.

However, that’s not to say that you should just abandon your problems and buy a new laptop. In fact, we have a lot of experience helping users overcome their problems, from laptop screen freezes when adding a printer to laptop screen freezing in cold weather. We’ve seen it all, so before you give up on ‘my laptop screen freezes,’ read this mini-guide, and try to apply these most common solutions.


Overheating

When a laptop overheats enough, it will crash, and that crash can result in shutdowns, reboots or laptop screen freezes. If you believe overheating is an issue, monitor CPU temperature. Clear and regularly clean all vents, and avoid obstructive surfaces, such as your lap or bed. You should also clean the internal fan monthly. These fans are generally easily accessible right at the bottom of the laptop. Use a cotton swab, and be careful not to free spin the fan, which can damage the bearing.

Cold Weather Can Cause Laptop Screen Freezes

When we think of laptop freezes, we tend to think of heat not a laptop screen freezing in cold weather. The important thing to understand is that a laptop screen freezing in cold weather is not actually occurring because of the cold but rather the condensation. Without realizing it, users often experience this phenomenon when they leave their laptop in the car overnight during the winter. The laptop gets very cold. When it powers up, the laptop parts heat at different intervals. So you have very hot and very cold, which cause condensation, which causes shorts and freezes. Let the laptop warm to room temperature before turning it on.

Missing or Corrupt Drivers

Corrupt and missing drives can cause a computer to behave oddly. Laptop screen freezes are common. A common occurrence is when the laptop screen freezes when adding a printer. If you have a problem with laptop screen freezes when adding a printer, you can generally rectify the situation by preinstalling the newest driver version. For other driver problems, especially corrupt drives, consider using the System Restore feature in Windows to roll back prior to the problem. For precise driver issues, uninstall the offending driver, and then reinstall the newest version.

A Video Card Could Be The Source Of Laptop Screen Freezes

If ‘my laptop screen freezes’ occur due to a video problem, it is generally the video card or the cable that connects the video card to the screen rather than the LCD screen itself. The first thing you should do is install the newest video drivers. If you’re using Windows XP or an older OS, then you’ll want to use a driver removal tool first in order to avoid the possibility of all conflicts.

If that does not cure the problem, then you’ll need to open the laptop in order to access the video card. The first thing we want to do is clear the fan, much as we did with the central cooling fan. In fact, you may be able to perform both operations at the same time. Next, check the ribbon cable that runs between the video card and the LCD screen. Ensure that it is firmly seated at both ends and that it is not crimped.

At this point, it may be best to put it into the hands of a professional because it involves trial and error and hardware that the casual user probably does not have. If the problem is the ribbon cable that connects the video card to the LCD screen, this is a rather inexpensive repair. However, if it something else, the expense is generally not worth it unless it is a particularly high-end computer.

Hard Drives

Hard drives can be major culprits of poor performance, and this is especially true on laptops where users are dealing with smaller drives. The key to optimal hard drive performance is free disk space. In fact, you should maintain at least 20% on both mechanical hard drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs). Mechanical drives, however, can achieve even greater performance by having even more free space. Many power users use 50% capacity as a cue to upgrade, although upgrading a laptop isn’t simple.

In order to preserve as much space as possible, stay on top of what’s on there. Most people don’t pay attention, but if you uninstall programs and delete files you no longer use, you’ll likely have plenty of space to have a peak performance drive. The other tools you should use are S.M.A.R.T (for both HDDs and SDDs), and CHKDSK and a disk defragmenter (for HDDs).

S.M.A.R.T. is a diagnostics tool built into all modern hard drives that allows them to report to the BIOS. By checking in on a monthly basis, you can normally see problems coming before they strike. CHKDSK is a tool that finds, repairs and, if necessary, hides bad sectors on the disk surface. Disk defragmentation is a process of keeping files physically and logically centrally located so that the disk can perform as fast and efficiently as possible.

Bad Memory

Especially on new laptops, spontaneous screen freezes can happen because of memory errors due to bad physical memory. This is not, however, the type of problem that occurs over time. Also, most laptop manufacturers stress test the configuration before shipping, so this is a rare issue. You can determine if memory is the issue by using memory-testing software. However, if you have a new laptop that is prone to spontaneous freezes, you are best off returning it to the dealer or manufacturer immediately.

Viruses, Spyware and Other Software Issues

Viruses and spyware can make computer systems highly unstable because they often cause them to operate with their resources maxed at all times. With resources maxed, there is little room for error, and then Windows and other operating systems become prone to crashes that can freeze the computer. For Windows users, Microsoft provides software for the prevention and removal of viruses and spyware. If these do not work, you may want to use a restore disk, restore point or reinstallation of Windows.

Laptop Keeps Freezing

So you’ve had your laptop for a little while and everything was great but recently your laptop keeps freezing. The battery lasted for hours, you got your work done, and it was reliable. It was one of the best investments you ever made- that is, until your laptop keeps freezing up on you. Overnight your laptop goes from streamlined and smooth to frustrating and unreliable. What happened? Well, it could be a couple of things, honestly, and the only way to find out is to do a little work and find out yourself.

The first, and easiest, thing to check is if your laptop’s overheating. Try running your laptop and opening the system setup at boot time- usually by hitting F2 at the prompt. Just let it run for a little while. If your laptop keeps freezing and not responding here, chances are high it’s an overheating problem.

Overheating can be caused by something as little as having the air vents clogged by dust or lint, or a stopped up fan. You can clean the exhaust ports and fans with a vacuum cleaner, Q-Tips, or a cotton swab. Please don’t forget to unplug your computer and ground yourself before sticking objects inside the case- attempting to do anything more detailed than wiping a dry rag could result in you electrocuting yourself. In the future, try to keep your laptop on a hard, flat, clean surface. This ensures a good airflow through the vents on the bottom of your laptop and helps prevent more junk from getting to your laptop’s innards causing your laptop to keep freezing.

If your laptop keeps freezing up and you’ve already cleaned it, it could very well be that you have insufficient memory for what you’re trying to accomplish. Most laptops, in order to extend battery life and reduce cost and weight, have limited memory. Try closing your most demanding programs and reducing the amount of programs you have running at once. You might have to open Task Manager with Ctrl+Alt+Delete and close some of them manually- but be careful! Closing necessary system tasks can cause your computer to crash or restart.

If it’s not the memory and it’s not overheating, it could be a problem with your drivers. Video card drivers are notoriously picky with laptops, and a misconfigured driver can cause a lot of performance problems. Check with your laptop manufacturer’s website or use a third party “Driver Scanner” tool to make sure you’re using the drivers your manufacturer recommends. If your laptop keeps freezing Vista, this could very well be the problem.

If Your Laptop Keeps Freezing – It’s Registry Might Need Cleaned

Another relatively common problem is of a cluttered or damaged registry. Let’s say that you’ve found some cool little program that you really can’t live without, so you install it. A little bit later you realize that you didn’t need it as bad as all that, so you click the uninstaller and go about your merry way… right? Well, not exactly. More than likely, there are still multiple registry entries pointing to the program you uninstalled, things that the uninstaller just won’t get at. It’s not necessarily malicious- some programs save settings in case you reinstall them, and some are just a little lazy.

Regardless of why your registry is cluttered, though, your laptop will keep hanging up and not responding unless you can get a good, free registry cleaner from a trusted download source like Cnet.com. I wouldn’t recommend editing the registry files yourself, even if you’re familiar with other advanced computer topics. It’s easy to accidentally change the wrong value in a series, and have possibly damaging effects on the entire system. Your computer’s registry is the one place where you can’t afford to learn by trial and error.

The most dire reason why your laptop keeps hanging up is the possibility of a virus, spyware, or other malware. Viruses are increasingly complex and intelligent, with multiple tricky ways to get themselves onto your system and cause problems. Various free and paid solutions exist to scan and disinfect your system, but make sure to download it from a trusted source and use a known virus scanner. Some malware comes masquerading as legitimate software, and once installed it can be extremely difficult to remove. Make sure that in the future to have scheduled virus scanning on your computer and to ensure that your firewall is up and working to try and minimize your personal risk of infection.

Corrupt Operating System Files Could Be Why Your Laptop Keeps Freezing

Lastly, if your laptop keeps freezing, your operating system files themselves could be corrupted. Usually caused by a virus, or other malicious software, this generally requires you to perform a system repair or even to reinstall your operating system! Try Windows Repair first and see what happens. If it doesn’t help and you’ve tried all the other steps, you’ll have no choice but to reinstall your operating system. Take note that this will delete every bit of data on your computer, so back up what you can onto an external hard drive or another computer, pop in the disks you got when you bought the laptop (you did save those, right?), and wipe the whole system. It’ll take time for your operating system to reinstall but if it really is the corrupted system files, you’ll have your laptop back to practically new in no time at all.

So remember, the same symptom can be caused by many problems. It could be something as simple as clogged air vents, or something as time-consuming as reinstalling your operating system. The only real way to tell is through testing and fixing every possible problem, unless you know exactly what the problem is. Hopefully this article helped you have more trial and less error, and you’ll be able to solve your problem without too much stress!
Laptop Screen Freezes Laptop Screen Freezes Reviewed by Rajesh Kumar on 8:54 PM Rating: 5

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