Windows 7 laptop freezing for no apparent reason

Discussion in 'hardware' started by roger_m, May 11, 2014.

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  1. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I am having issues with freezing on a ThinkPad T60p with a clean install of Windows 7 32 bit.

    A few days ago my primary laptop died due to using a highly dodgy USB Micro SD card reader, and completely unusable. Right now I'm using an older model ThinkPad on which I did a clean install of Windows 7 as I had no success in using my old Windows install in this or another laptop. It wouldn't boot in this laptop due the CPU having no 64 bit support, and I got a BSOD on another old laptop.

    The issue I'm having which I have experienced twice now, is that suddenly for no apparent the computer will become close to not being responsive. It behaves like it is experiencing 100% CPU use, however when I am able to eventually open Task Manager, total CPU use is at around 7 to 10%. Also, there is still plenty of free RAM - I've only got 3GB installed, but due to me having very few programs, installed RAM usage is constantly staying very low.

    When my laptop became unresponsive last night, I was DJing, and while my computer appeared unresponsive for the most part, the audio kept playing through an external USB sound card, with no latency issues.

    • I have updated all of the drivers to the latest versions.
    • I have no security software installed, and also have Windows Defender disabled.
    • I have tested the RAM with Lenovo's own diagnostic software and Windows Memory Diagnostic - both of which found no errors.

    I just updated the BIOS to the current version, but according the changes listed in the change log, I doubt this will help.


    I am highly skilled at troubleshooting Windows problems, but in this case I am completely stumped as to what could be causing the problem.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  2. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    After posting, my laptop froze again. Some posts I found on Google say the freezing can be cause by a bad battery, but my battery had 74% of the original capacity. I just unplugged the power and it looks like I can get 2 1/2 hours of battery life on in High Performance mode, so the battery is still good.

    I found a post where someone had issues due to the TPM chip, so I set it to inactive in the BIOS as suggested, and will see if that makes a difference.
     
  3. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    My laptop froze yet again. It only happens when I'm using the touch pad.

    I've uninstalled the UltraNav driver, and let Windows install an older one in its place.
    Using an external mouse would no doubt fix the problem, but is not an option. I've got plenty of mice, but do not want to use a mouse with my laptop.
     
  4. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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  5. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    You didn't mention what 32bit w7 is installed? W7 32b hp has less resource usage then others.
     
  6. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    It's Win 7 Pro.

    Since, uninstalling the touchpad driver and using the older driver that Windows replaced it with, I've had no more crashes in several hours of continuous use.

    Edit: My laptop eventually froze again, so now I am running my laptop with the battery removed, as some forums suggest that the battery can be the cause of the freezes.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  7. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Sorry for your troubles. I find it weird cause I've installed w7 on dozens of T60 & T61. But I always use Lenovo drivers. That's what puts Lenovo above others, long term driver support.
     
  8. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I've never had such problems with any other ThinkPads I've owned.

    My computer is still freezing. I have put the battery back in, and have disabled TPM and the TrackPoint (since I never use it) in the BIOS to see how that goes.

    And, yes, the excellent driver support is one of the reasons why I prefer ThinkPads to other laptops.
     
  9. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I'd try a Lenovo hardware scan. Either with the Solution center or PC-Doctor.
     
  10. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I did the quick test a few days ago with Solution Center and it passed, I am runnning a comprehensive test now.
     
  11. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Are you comfortable disassembling your T60? Two things come to mind, one the touch pad ribbon could be not connected correctly, crimped or torn. Two maybe a heat issue, dust in the exhaust or fan. Just remember with the fan don't let it spin while using compressed air. The palmrest is the trickiest part of basic reassembly.
     
  12. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    The second diagonstic test completed with no errors.

    The ribbon cable seems to be fine and connected properly.

    Heat was not an issue until the memory test was using 100% CPU for a long time. However, I did clean the fan out anyway.
     
  13. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    What OS was running on the T60 before? Vista, XP or something else? I might reinstall that older OS to see if the freeze is 7 specific.
     
  14. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    It came with XP. I might have tp try using XP again. I have not had the laptop for long, and have only briefly used XP on it.
     
  15. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Have you checked Event Viewer?
    • Open Event Viewer by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Security, clicking Administrative Tools, and then double-clicking Event Viewer.‌ If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
     
  16. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Yes, I've already done that and found nothing to indicatate why the freezes are occuring.

    Maybe it is just a hardware fault which can't easily be fixed considering there are a number of posts to be found on Google from others who have expereinced the same problem.
     
  17. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I'm no closer to finding a solution. I just posted about my problem at thinkpads.com in the hope that someone there can help me.

    Thanks for all your help zapjb :)
     
  18. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I had a sound problem today on a T60. Tried a bunch of things, thought I was SOL.
    I went to the Lenovo site & downloaded systemupdate506-04-24-2014.exe.
    Afaik it's the latest official system updater for T60 & others Windows 7.
    This fixed my problem & I had sound. Believe me I tried official drivers & no go.
    But this worked. The T60 is a strange beast lol.
    I'd install it if I was you. GL.
     
  19. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    Have you done a ram test or checked the HD for failures? Random freezes is a common issue in a failing HD.
     
  20. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Yes, I've done both, and they both passed.
     
  21. Veeshush

    Veeshush Registered Member

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    The only ram test I'd trust to be sure is memtest: http://www.memtest.org/

    Run that. It's picked up both faulty BIOS Settings and bad ram for me across multiple systems I've ran it on over the years. I swear by it.

    edit

    Oh, another trick I've learned over the years: disable any power saving features that downclock your stuff. This includes BIOS settings like "Cool&Quiet" and Power Options under Windows. I know it being a laptop these features would normally help battery life. But if its freezing with them on, it can't be helped. So try disabling any power saving features. I've had machines before myself that'd freeze up when such stuff was on- some stuff just doesn't like to "shift gears".
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  22. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I'm using a USB mouse now. I just had another feeze so I have disabled the touchpad in the BIOS now.
     
  23. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    It is not a RAM issue as far as I can tell, it is a touchpad issue.

    I am not using any power saving features.
     
  24. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    It was suggeested at thinkpads.com that I disconnect the touchpad cable, but that did not fix the issue.
     
  25. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Do you have the latest compatible Lenovo power management software installed? Just read about a non power related problem being fixed this way. Also it is suggested that random problems disappear when ALL the Think Vantage software applicable to your model are installed. Picked this up piece meal. Also not that you don't already know this but enable Windows Update to search for driver updates, don't think it's default. Then between installing all these, numerous reboots checking there is no additional software available for download through Think Vantage, System Updater & WU. It's weird sometimes how 5 or 10 minutes later one of these offers me new updates. GOOD LUCK, I am rooting for you.

    Oh btw do you have an OEM IBM Lenovo battery? Non OEM batteries can cause all sorts of weird problems.
     
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