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XP Pro SP3 temporary freezing

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  • XP Pro SP3 temporary freezing

    I'm sorry this will be a fairly vague problem, I as many of you will probably think, yeah that could be anything. And trust me I've looked at a lot of stuff so far.

    Anyway my company's CEO has a Dell D630 laptop, fairly standard configuration.

    XP SP3 installed with pretty much all the various patches
    Office 2007 SBE
    Adobe Acrobat 8 Std
    Live Messenger
    The latest version of Activesync
    AVG AV Network Edition
    A few specialty pieces of software we have at the office with regards to marketing and probably a couple things I'm missing as well.

    The machine itself is a D630 like I said, 2.6Ghz Core 2 Duo, solid state hard drive and 4 gigs of ram (showing as 3.5 of course).

    What seems to happen just at various times (I have been unable to consistently reproduce this) the machine will freeze for a good 15 seconds or as long as 30 seconds, possibly longer than I haven't seen.

    I have checked task manager during this time to see if there is any sort of CPU spike etc... Nothing. The mouse is still movable, nothing is clickable and you just wait for the length of the freeze.

    This machine did originally have windows defender on it which I uninstalled because of various issues I've read with regards to that slowing down the machine fairly significantly as well.

    I've done several things already, but am running out of ideas. I've even gone as far as to set no page file since the machine has 3.5 gigs of available ram, in case it was just paging.

    I can't verify that this the case, but the enduser states that it seems to revolve around Microsoft software like Office. However I cannot confirm or deny that claim. I have witnessed the temporary lock up and I've even had it happen to me while trying fix the issue.

    I know this is vague, but really it's the best I can do, so I'm kind of fishing in the hopes that I can at least get a few more ideas since I am about out. Even if they are ones I've tried.


    Edit:
    I forgot to mention that this is part of a small domain. The user is a local admin of the machine. There aren't many group policies enforced. And we do run Exchange.
    Last edited by Julez; 1st October 2008, 17:30. Reason: Additional information

  • #2
    Re: XP Pro SP3 temporary freezing

    Do Dell say anything? Bios updates etc?
    Is it the same without SP3?
    cheers
    Andy

    Please read this before you post:


    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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    • #3
      Re: XP Pro SP3 temporary freezing

      I did have a similar problem and it appeared that the explorer process had stopped working. As a temporary workaround I killed the process and started it again and it was working fine for another couple of days. Could not find out what caused it but ultimately a Bios upgrade did sort it.
      Not quite sure if this will be relevant to your situation.

      Ta
      Caesar's cipher - 3

      ZKHQ BRX HYHQWXDOOB GHFLSKHU WKLV BRX ZLOO UHDOLVH LW ZDV D ZDVWH RI WLPH!

      SFX JNRS FC U6 MNGR

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      • #4
        Re: XP Pro SP3 temporary freezing

        Have you also tried disabling the anti-virus?
        A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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        • #5
          Re: XP Pro SP3 temporary freezing

          If the laptop is fairly new then starting at Dell support would be the best bet but they will get you to update drivers, BIOS etc before they start being helpful so its best to get that out the way before you call.

          Dell laptops tend to come with built in diagnostic tools, either a boot menu option if you havn't rebuilt the laptop or the diagnostics CD it came with. The exhaustive tests are good for picking out any minor hardware faults.

          Blood mentions AntiVirus and I've had similar issues with AVG a long time ago so perhaps removing it completely and retest, I don't advise attaching it to any network with no antivirus though :-/

          If all else fails there's the fun laptop rebuild option :-/

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          • #6
            Re: XP Pro SP3 temporary freezing

            I'm presuming you've done the basics???

            Virus Scan, Cleared temp files, defragged drive???

            What exactly happens when the system freezes???

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            • #7
              Re: XP Pro SP3 temporary freezing

              Hello.
              I had a similar issue a long time ago and I used process explorer to help find the offending process.
              It turned out that automatic updates was causing the issue as a child process of svchost, so i disabled automatic updates and the problem went away.

              Here is a link to process explorer. Happy hunting.

              http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb896653.aspx
              Please remember to award reputation points if you have received good advice.
              I do tend to think 'outside the box' so others may not always share the same views.

              MCITP -W7,
              MCSA+Messaging, CCENT, ICND2 slowly getting around to.

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              • #8
                Re: XP Pro SP3 temporary freezing

                First I'd like to thank everyone for all your responses. You've given me a few ideas along the way that I might give a shot. I'll respond to a few questions in line here.

                Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
                I'm presuming you've done the basics???

                Virus Scan, Cleared temp files, defragged drive???

                What exactly happens when the system freezes???
                Yeah Virus Scan, cleared everything, scheduled defrags happen every week anyway (checked to verify and disk did not need defragged).

                As far as what happens, basically the way it sounds, responsive mouse, everything else is not responsive, start menu, icons, applications, etc... as much as 10 to 30 seconds of nonresponsiveness. I mean we could live with you know the 3-5 seconds of loading time maybe a program would have, but it's much longer than this.

                Originally posted by blood

                Have you also tried disabling the anti-virus?
                Unfortunately that's not an option in this case as AV is required. Although we have done uninstalls and reinstalls of AVG on this laptop to see if that is the problem. I'm fairly confident that this SHOULDN'T be the case since we have other laptops of the same model and various workstations that do not experience this sort of slowdown.


                Originally posted by mouse

                If the laptop is fairly new then starting at Dell support would be the best bet but they will get you to update drivers, BIOS etc before they start being helpful so its best to get that out the way before you call.

                Dell laptops tend to come with built in diagnostic tools, either a boot menu option if you havn't rebuilt the laptop or the diagnostics CD it came with. The exhaustive tests are good for picking out any minor hardware faults.

                Blood mentions AntiVirus and I've had similar issues with AVG a long time ago so perhaps removing it completely and retest, I don't advise attaching it to any network with no antivirus though :-/

                If all else fails there's the fun laptop rebuild option :-/
                It's been a little while but I believe I've attempted Dell support in the past for this issue (one of those deals where I've slept since then) and of course they could not find anything wrong with the laptop. Not been overly thrilled with Dell support lately, my experience with our 124T LTO4 tape library and Gold support with LSI_SAS errors errors in our Event Log and them telling me it's our backup software was irritating, but that's another issue and I won't go into that fiasco here.

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                • #9
                  Re: XP Pro SP3 temporary freezing

                  I would be inclined to run the Dell Diagnostics on the machine to check the hardware now.

                  I would also check the manufacturers website for the hard disk and run theirs.

                  I would also download Memtest and run memory diagnostics on your memory.

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