Good tool to record activity during PC freezes?

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by 4(T), Mar 8, 2010.

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  1. My trusty XP PC has a developing problem where, every hour or so, the machine freezes solid.

    During this time, everything is locked, less for the mouse cursor, and the hard disk light is on. Evidently something is accessing the disk, as the disk light eventually flickers and the machine recovers. Usually, there is a temporary recovery half way through, then the disk kicks into life and off it goes again.

    The "freeze" is getting longer - now it covers a period of up two minutes, with a temporary unfreeze in the middle.

    I thought it was Firefox locking up over Flash images, but it seems to occur during any application, and with only one application running - eg Outlook or Excel.

    I've de-fragged the registry, malware'd/virus'd/etc, defragged the disk, cleaned up, etc, etc. Can't find whats causing it. I suspect its some shite Microsoft service thats been activated after an update.

    Problem is, even Task Manager is frozen or unable to launch during the freeze. When the PC un-freezes, Task manager of course doesn't reveal whatever has just switched off or ceased using the system resources.

    Q: is there a tool of some sort that can track & record such an event? Better still, a tool that can prevent a service from jamming up the system?
  2. not a screen-recorder as such, but you could have a look at the event viewer in administrative tools. windows logs/applications might have some details
  3. First thing to do is back up your hard drive now, if you haven't done so already.
  4. msr

    msr LE

  5. What all the others have said plus:

    Try Process Monitor handy little tool that will show you what processes are hogging the CPU/Hard Disk

    It can run minimised and output everything to a log file or you can keep it up on screen and watch it in real time
  6. Thanks for the tips. I haven't yet located whatever is overwhelming the system resources. The PC is about eight years old, but had an XP re-install a couple of months ago - so is relatively "clean" of registry junk.

    From your comment, ss a matter of interest, is this sort of behaviour (something searching the drive) indicative of pending hard drive failure? I've never actually had a drive fail on me, and assumed it would always be sudden - drive working/drive stops working, etc.
  7. msr

    msr LE

    I am tempted to say bin and replace.

    Or treat yourself to a new one, depending on your point of view :)

    One of the disk utils here might be of assistance:

  8. Had two hard disk failures in the last few months. The first (my PC) caused the system to virtually grind to a halt at times. Proggies would take aeons to load or not load at all, sort of giving it up as a bad job. Phoned Dell, did the diagnostics and the disks were changed the next day.

    The second (the wife's PC) she shut down in the evening but in the morning, Windows Mail gave errors, IE8 refused due to cookies going nowhere and slowly but surely proggies failed to load. The Taskbar was also shouting at me that the volume was corrupt. Chkdsk wouldn't work either. Did the diagnostics and it showed the error. Ordered 2x disks, fitted them myself and sat there patiently (ish) while Vista installed its 120+ fcuking updates.
  9. A thermometer?