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Computer Stops Responding or Runs Slowly in Windows 7

Question:
My computer stops responding or runs very slowly in Windows 7. What should I do?
Answer:

For Windows 8, see Computer Stops Responding or Runs Slowly in Windows 8.

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Run Windows Update, and install all critical updates and service packs. For instructions, refer to Manually Running Windows Update in Windows.
  3. To determine if you have corrected the problem, restart your computer.
  4. Check your computer for viruses.
    1. Install Symantec Endpoint Protection. For instructions, see Downloading and Installing Symantec Endpoint Protection for Windows and Windows Server. Symantec Endpoint Protection is available at no charge for current Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff, and retirees.
    2. Update your antivirus software's definitions. If you are using Symantec Endpoint Protection, refer to Manually Updating Symantec Endpoint Protection with LiveUpdate in Windows.
    3. Scan your computer for viruses. If you are using Symantec Endpoint Protection, refer to Manually Scanning Your Computer with Symantec Endpoint Protection for Windows.
    4. To determine if you have corrected the problem, restart your computer.
  5. Scan your computer for spyware. For more information, refer to Spyware Prevention, Detection, and Removal.
  6. To determine if you have corrected the problem, restart your computer.
  7. If you have recently uninstalled software from your computer, one or more programs may not have been completely removed. This is especially true if you dragged program components to the Recycle Bin. To fix this problem, refer to Deleted Files Causing Windows to Stop Responding.
  8. To determine if you have corrected the problem, restart your computer.
  9. Determine if a specific program is not responding.
    1. Click the Start button.
    2. Type: task
    3. As you type, results will appear and change. Select View running processes with Task Manager.
    4. Select the Applications tab.
    5. For each program that the Status column shows Not Responding:
      1. Select the program.
      2. Click the End Task button.
      3. Click the End Now button.
      4. Decide whether to uninstall the program completely, or to stop it from automatically starting.
      5. To determine if you have corrected the problem, restart your computer.
  10. Determine if a program that starts automatically at startup is causing the problem.
    1. Click the Start button.
    2. Select All Programs.
    3. Right-click the Startup folder.
    4. From the drop-down list, select Explore.
    5. For each icon shown, drag each icon from the Startup folder window to your desktop.
    6. Until you determine which program is causing the problem:
      1. Drag one program icon back to the Startup folder.
      2. Restart your computer.
    7. If you find the program that is causing the problem, disable it from starting automatically. For instructions, refer to Preventing a Program from Starting when Windows 7 Starts.
    8. To determine if you have corrected the problem, restart your computer.
  11. If your computer still stops responding or runs slowly, contact your computer's manufacturer.
Mon, 07/29/2013 - 9:34am 10133 Views Article ID: 45