What to do when your computer freezes

My laptop, which is now nearly 9 years old, has been getting temperamental of late. The situation is really annoying.  Anyway, I thought that I should write this article because today, my computer froze again, and I have just spent the past several hours trying to come up with a solution. The fact that I am typing this now means that I have found the solution to the computer freezing problem, which is why I have decided to share it with those that may be facing the same problem.

What causes computers to freeze?

Unfortunately, there are many things that can cause computers to freeze, which can make any attempt to find a solution rather frustrating. The following are just a few of the things that can cause your computer to get stuck;

  • Hardware problems
  • Software problems
  • Driver problems
  • Improperly shutting down your PC
  • Malware

What has been happening in my case

This is not the first time that my laptop has gotten stuck over the past few months. In fact, at one point it got so bad that I had to reinstall Windows. The major challenge for me appears to be the WiFi card that’s on my laptop. For some reason, its drivers appear to have problems working properly on Windows 10.

Before you ask, the drivers are up to date, as that was the first thing that I did when I encountered this problem. In any case, I have been having intermittent problems as a result of the issue. Well, I suppose it’s really my fault, considering that the WiFi card costs only a few dollars on eBay.

Today, the problem was triggered by improperly shutting down my PC. I still have the original battery on there, and the thing no longer retains enough power to allow me to properly shut things down.

Symptoms of a frozen computer

Again, I should repeat that a frozen computer is going to have many causes and many effects. In my case, one of the most troubling effects was my inability to update my laptop to the latest version of Windows 10 (version 1803). This is a problem that I talk about in the article in the provided link. Somehow, the WiFi card was causing my laptop to get stuck at 86% of the update process. The solution, as I mentioned at the top, was to completely reinstall Windows 10 on my PC. Here, in any case, are the symptoms of a frozen computer;

  • Computer gets stuck. Nothing that you do solves the problem
  • Computer suddenly restarts
  • Computer becomes slow and unusable
  • Computer freezes
  • You get the dreaded blue screen of death
  • Computer gets frozen when you try to restart it. This is the problem that I have been experiencing.

Solution when your computer freezes

Enough about my woes. So, what can you do when your computer freezes? Here are the solutions to the frozen computer problem;

  1. Restart your computer: Usually, restarting your PC is all that is needed to get things working the way they should.
  2. Remove the troublesome piece of hardware: As mentioned earlier, the freezing problem on my computer was being caused by a faulty WiFi card. Removing the card actually solves the problems. However, this solution is not really workable, since I need to stay connected to the internet in order to do any work.
  3. Make sure that Windows on your computer is up to date. Windows often releases patches that are designed to solve some issues. As an example, a recent update solved the problem of being unable to change the brightness of the screen on some computers.
  4. Make sure that you have an antivirus program on your PC and that it is updated regularly.
  5. Start your computer in Safe Mode and try to identify and solve the problem.

What I did to unfreeze my computer

After spending hours trying to solve the problems of my freezing computer, what did I do to solve the issue? Well, I finally found inspiration and, in a moment of clarity, I decided to restart my computer in Safe Mode. Follow the provided link if you don’t know how to do it.

Uninstall troublesome drivers

In Safe Mode, I opened Device Manager and was able to uninstall all my WiFi and network adapters. Don’t worry about bricking your computer. The drivers remain on your computer and will be reinstalled on your next restart. After uninstalling the Ralink RT3090 802.11b/g/n WiFi Adapter driver from my PC, I was then able to restart my laptop without issue. Depending on the cause of your problem, entering safe mode and diagnosing the issue there could, therefore, be the solution that you are looking for.That, in any case, is what you do when your computer freezes.

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