Troubleshooting a computer that is randomly freezing or locking up is not an easy task. It can cause one to quickly start pulling their hair out trying. The reason why this problem is so hard to troubleshoot is because there are so many factors that could be contributing to the computer freezes.
Let’s take a look at one small piece of this troubleshooting pie and find out how a hard drive that is going bad can cause major problems and what symptoms you should be looking for to find out if this is the case or not.
Symptom – Your PC has started running extremely slow.
If a hard drive is potentially going bad on a computer or if it has bad sectors on it, it can sometimes cause a computer to run really slow. This won’t be a typical slowdown. You will notice that it will take minutes to do stuff like opening a program rather than seconds. If this happens to your computer, the quickest and most effective way to diagnose the hard drive problem is to check your System Event log and look for any recent entries that have a Source of Disk. Typically, there will be many Disk events in your logs stating that you have bad sectors on your hard drive.
You can access your Windows System Event Log by going to:
Start > Run(XP) or Search(Vista/Win7) and type eventvwr. Press the enter key.
You want to highlight the Windows System Event Log and scroll down through to look for Disk events.
Recommended Solution – Run a Check Disk
Check Disk is a powerful tool that Microsoft has built in to all of its operating systems. It can isolate bad sectors on a hard drive and a lot of the time it can stop computer freezes or fix a computer that is locking up. The overall time it takes to run a check disk can very. Most hard drives out there today are hundreds of gigabytes in size, so this has a big effect on how long a check disk will take. It’s safe to say it will be done in less than an hour on most machines.
To run a check disk on your system, follow these steps:
- Go to your Start Menu
- Select My Computer or Computer
- Right-click on your C: drive and select Properties
- Select the Tools tab
- In the Error-checking box, select Check Now
- In the little window that pops up, check both boxes
- Click Start
- You will be prompted to schedule the Check Disk on your Next reboot
- Click Schedule Check Disk or Yes
- Reboot your computer
A hard drive that is going bad or has bad sectors on it can cause major slowdowns on a computer, computer freezes or your computer may just lock up from time to time. The key is to keep yourself tuned to what your machine is doing and use the steps provided above to possibly fix you computer problems.
Learn more about Computer Freezes.
photo credit: Simbe90