Recently the director of a local non-profit reached out to RH Tech LLC and asked for help with the organization’s back office computer.  The PC was freezing regularly, forcing users to reboot and lose their work.  A crashing and freezing computer is a sick computer. Most of the time, it’s a conflict of some sort.

Our resident problem-solver drove to the office and picked up the computer, brought it back to our top secret lab and got to work examining the computer’s history using the Windows reliability monitor (Start menu —> search —-> type “reliability monitor”).  This convenient feature which comes built-in to Windows gives the user an easy way to see what programs or drivers have caused problems to the system.

windows reliability monitor

Windows reliability monitor

From here we were able to ascertain for this computer, the problems stemmed from a failed Windows Update.  Two years earlier the computer had been forced-shutdown during a Windows Update, which corrupted the update file.

Windows Update failed

Windows Update failed

For the next two years Windows Update tried, and failed, to download and perform critical updates.  In the meantime a logjam of 40+ Windows updates had accumulated and not installed.  This constant fruitless use of resources was in turn was creating resource conflicts with other programs, which would cause hangs and ‘freeze’ the computer.

RH Tech was able to resolve the issue by rolling back to an earlier restore point, essentially “un-installing” the failed update and starting over.

Windows update shows updates available

Windows update shows updates available

From there we performed each Windows update one at a time, which reduced the resource load on the computer and ensured for a successful completion.

From there we ran resource load tests on the PC to ensure it would not repeat the crash issue.

Windows Update was successful

Windows Update was successful!

Once we confirmed we could no longer replicate the symptoms, the computer was given a clean bill of health.  We followed that up with a quick scan for malware, disabled unnecessary startup items, and de-fragmented the hard drive.

Finally the computer was cleaned with compressed air and returned to the office, hooked back up, and powered on and re-tested.  All was good, customer was happy and the office was back to being productive.


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