Troubleshoot Microsoft Windows – System Lockup Errors

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System Lockup Errors

A lockup error is an error condition that causes the system or an application to stop responding to user input. The system display “hangs” or “freezes” in a particular state, or sometimes the contents of a window go blank. The system might return to normal after a brief delay for other processes to execute, or it might be necessary to terminate an unresponsive process. Application lockup errors are more common than complete system lockups.

Example:

System Lockup Errors

Figure: A lockup error.

Responding to Lockup Errors

If your system or an application locks up, sometimes waiting a few minutes is sufficient for the system to recover resources and begin responding. If not, you can sometimes identify the particular offending process by running the Task Manager. On the Applications tab, look for applications with a Not Responding status. You can then use the End Task button to shut them down. On the Processes tab, look for pro- cesses that are monopolizing the CPU, and use the End Process button to shut them down. Sometimes it is necessary to restart the system.

Although applications might occasionally hang without indicating any serious problem, repeated system lockups or stop errors are a sign of trouble, and you should investigate them to see if there is an underlying hardware problem or if they could be caused by malicious software, such as a computer virus. In addition to hardware or malicious software, they could also be caused by unstable/incompatible drivers, applications conflicting with each other, resource allocation issues (multiple video-intensive applications trying to access the same resource), memory limitations (not enough memory or too many applications running at the same time), and so on.

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