Why is Windows XP freezing and refusing to shut down?
December 12, 2009 5:20 PM Subscribe
Windows XP freezes, audio has disappeared and returned, system hangs on shutdown...my PC has suddenly taken a turn for the worse, and nothing I've tried seems to be helping. So...help?
posted by ZsigE to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm running XP Home on a self-built PC (Asus M2A-VM HDMI motherboard, AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000 dual core processor, ATI Radeon HD 3600 graphics), which has been running happily for just over a year. Today it started behaving oddly - Firefox hung while I was opening a new tab, followed by the entire PC freezing so completely that I had to hold down the power button to switch it off. On reboot, my sound had disappeared - subsequent reboots showed that all my audio devices had vanished.
Shutdowns no longer work (I get to the "Windows is shutting down" screen and then it sits there apparently indefinitely). The PC dual-boots Ubuntu, so I tried that - the sound was fine, so it's not a hardware problem, and I can shut down from there with no problems. When I went back into Windows, my audio devices had mysteriously returned, but shutdowns were still broken, and it still hung intermittently.
I dug out the motherboard install CD and reinstalled the chipset, audio and LAN drivers. I then went to Asus's website to look for updated versions - found reasonably new audio drivers, which then crashed halfway through installation. So none of that seems to be helping.
Subsequent hangs seem to have come on gradually - Firefox stops responding, followed by whatever I click on. In one case, I saw Firefox die, then the Start menu, then the whole taskbar, then Google Desktop, then Launchy, then the keyboard (Num Lock stopped switching its LED on and off). Ctrl-Alt-Del added the usual icon to the system tray, but the window didn't appear.
Basically, I'm stumped. I've seen fewer crashes in Firefox since disabling all its extensions, but I doubt that was the initial cause. Any ideas as to which avenues I could try next?