Laptop is locking up
I have a very irritating problem, my laptop keeps randomly locking up. It happens completely random, I might be playing a game or watching or video, or something completely mundane like browsing the internet. It might happen once a day or (like just now) 4 times in 20 minutes. I've tried absolutely everything I can imagine to fix it but so far nothing has worked. I've even gone as far as completely reformatting my entire machine and using a fresh install of Windows and it still hasn't helped at all. And of course, as it locks up and I have to force it to shut down, the event logs show nothing other than an unexpected shutdown.
Rather worryingly, this leaves me thinking the only possibility is it is a hardware issue which I suspect will be relatively costly to fix if it is the case. Can anyone hazard a guess as to what could be happening? Or atleast, some tried and tested hardware diagnostic programs?
I doubt it will help with an issue this vague, but my laptop is an Acer Aspire 5739G. Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 2.1GHZ, 4GB Ram, 300GB HDD, Nvidia 130m GT
Edit: I should note that this isn't a new laptop, I've had it for a little over a year now and up until lately I have had absolutely no problems with it whatsoever. It's just been recently (shortly after the BF3 beta ended) that it has started randomly locking up.
Last edited by Creeping Death; 26-10-2011 at 02:33 AM.
Run a memory tester.
Consider gently opening it up (if out of warranty) to try to clean out dust (if there is any sign of any)
Could be overheating, so like CMaster suggests give it a clean. Might be worth running a hdd tester too.
Alright, I opened my laptop up and gave it a clean. Not that it needed much, it was surprisingly dust free. I didn't really think it was likely to be overheating anyway, considering it can happen 5 minutes or 3 hours after starting up.
Anyway, I know there is memtest for ram, can anyone recommend one for the hdd?
Is a great source for utilities of all forms when you need them.
I've used that a few times. And the built in chkdsk in windows.
Make yourself a bootable Hirens CD - see here http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd
It contains every possible memory and HDD and other hardware diagnostic that there is - it should be able to give your laptop a thorough once-over.
Overheating tends just to shut-down a laptop rather than 'freeze' it but it's worth checking temps with something like Speedfan - http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php - what you're looking for is a gradual increase from launch - it can increase more when playing a game but it MUST drop back down quickly when you stop.
Other things I'd try include removing the memory chips - if there's more than 1 put them back in 1-at-a-time (a small number of laptops require 2 chips to work but most will run with just 1) - even just removing and reinserting the chip often helps tho as they get gunk on the connectors and/or work themselves loose.
Does this happen on mains/battery or both?
End of the day, if it's not a memory chip or the HDD, the odds are your laptop is knackered (there aren't really any other replaceable parts in there) so fingers crossed.
p.s. I once had a desktop PC which would freeze randomly - sometimes 3 times a day, other times not for months. I tried a load of things, never solved it and eventually replaced it. When I was breaking it for bits I discovered one of it's SATA cables had a broken connector on the end - flapping around with loose wires inside - I replaced it and test it and it's never frozen again in - oh - 3 years as a spare PC, so check ALL your connections :)
Well done a few passes with memtest and all the tests on that Seatools program and neither turned up any errors :/
@trjp: It happens on both mains and battery. Nothing out of the ordinary happening in regards to temperatures either, obviously it heats up when playing a game but it drops down pretty rapidly again afterwards. I'll open it up again and double check all the connectors but I didn't notice anything amiss last time I checked. I'll try reconnecting my memory and give that boot cd a go and get back to you.
It's increasingly looking like my laptop is just a bit buggered. I was really hoping that wasnt the case, I dont exactly have the money to replace it