Windows 10: Windows 10 freezes randomly
Have you updated Windows? Sequence of events should be clean install -> driver install -> Windows updates -> Base Image/Install Software.
Most likely, one of the drivers you installed is causing the issue, especially if it didn't freeze until afterwards. I'd bet money it's the Broadcom drivers, as Broadcom drivers have steadily caused issues since Broadcom's first Windows 10 drivers were released in July. If the Broadcom drivers are for a wifi card, it's worth the $30 to just buy the Intel 7260ac.
- This is compounded by the fact most OEMs have contracts with Broadcom to supply most wifi cards in OEM built laptops, whether under the Broadcom branding, or under the OEM's branding, for example, Dell Wireless.
Also, for what it's worth, I don't recommend using third party backup utilities as they're pointless and a massive inconvenience, even more so when everything they do is supported natively in Windows via DISM.
- To capture an image:
- DISM /Capture-Image /ImageFile:Z:\Base.wim /CaptureDir: C:\ /Name:"Windows 10 Base Image" /Compress:Max /NoRpFix /CheckIntegrity /Verify
- To apply an image:
- DISM /Apply-Image /ImageFile:Z:\Base.wim /ApplyDir: C:\ /Index:1 /Verify
Just as in Acronis, in order to capture or apply an image to the system partition, the system must first be booted into WinRE or WinPE, with WinRE being accessible via Settings' Advanced Startup Options and WinPE is contained within any Windows Setup ISO, as it's what's booted to in order to install Windows. You can capture an image of any folder or partition, provided it's not the system partition, while booted into Windows by opening an admin Command/PowerShell terminal.
- Utilizing DISM, one can also combine multiple WIMs into a single WIM, with each individual WIM being assigned an Index #. Let's say you have 4 WIMs, you can combine all 4 via the export command, massively reducing the file allocation space since if 2 or more WIMs contain the same files, the file is only copied once into the exported WIM. When you wish to restore one of the exported images, you simply specify the /Index # in the /Apply-Image command.
- You can obtain information about an individual or exported WIM via the DISM /Get-WimInfo command
File History can be turned on in Windows, which is the same as the real time continuous backup that used to be in Acronis, but was removed three years ago. The reason why third party backup software is an inconvenience is because they use proprietary file formats which cannot be opened by Windows. This means you must always have an Acronis boot media available, otherwise you can't restore, versus any Windows install failing to boot two times in a row will automatically boot into WinRE, or you can pop in a Windows Setup DVD/USB drive.
Last edited by JW0914; 27 Feb 2016 at 13:35.
Do you by chance have task manager open while the freezings are occurring? When I knew the hard drives were failing in the systems I tested "Back at XP it was resource monitor I used" and even though the HDD light wasn't lit, the Resource monitor said the HDD was at full 100%, and would lock up.
I have a WD Green 500 GB drive laying around here because it wouldn't work right as an OS hard disk. If I ran all Microsoft drivers, it was fine, but if I tried to install the South bridge AHCI driver for Windows 10 with that drive, the computer would lock up, and say it couldn't find the Operating System. I've tried this drive on multiple computers and installing the Chipset AHCI drivers, and that hard disk doesn't work. Even if installed as a storage drive, that HDD won't work
I have a suggestion for you. I've seen some people have system instability issues with RST on Windows 10. Was the system freezing before you installed the RST and Intel AHCI drivers?
I sometimes wonder if that could be the issue.
Plus, JW0914 brings up a good point with the wifi drivers, as they are know to cause issues as well
This may or may not apply, however normally there's an interface option in the BIOS that stipulates AHCI, RAID, and sometimes a third option. If the BIOS is set to RAID (Intel RST) and you install Windows, you cannot change it to AHCI without first reinstalling Windows. Many PCs and motherboards have made RAID the de facto setting, as having it enabled doesn't force you to use RAID, but offers you the ability in the future should you choose to do so. Much the same, if it's set to AHCI, and you install Windows, you cannot change it to RAID without reinstalling Windows.
It's unlikely the drive itself is the issue, as WD Greens can be utilized at the main boot disk... though it's not recommended. WD Green drives are not really meant to be used as primary drives, especially not a boot drive (due to their horrendously slow i/o and small cache). WD Greens are also known to fail prematurely.
Other issues affecting Windows failing to boot after an HDD replacement is being formatted with the wrong partition table, i.e. BIOS PCs must use MBR, and while UEFI PCs can use MBR, it's highly recommended they use GPT. Whether Secure Boot is enabled and set to UEFI/Legacy can also prevent Windows from booting.
If you restored Windows to WD Green from an image (i.e. you did not clean install on the drive), most likely all that needed to be done was for bootrec to be ran from within WinPE/WinRE in the following order:
- bootrec /fixmbr
- bootrec /fixboot
- bootrec /rebuildbcd
Believe me, none of these are Windows restores. These are all clean installs I've done on this Hard Disk, plus, I've also wiped the drive clean, doing 3 passes with a program called copy-wipe, making sure all of the data is off that hard disk, even the Boot sector.
I also do a format of the drive, "Full format, not quick format" which the formatting takes about 45 minutes to complete on a 500 GB hard drive. Attempting to do a full format, sometimes the format is successful, sometimes not. I honestly think the drive is bad, that's why it's never used anymore. I've got many other hard drives and don't have that problem. I don't like WD Green drives, I only like blues and higher.
That WD drive was given to me as a friend of mine upgraded, but I got a new 1tb WD blue drive that runs wonderful.
It probably is the drive then, as that's not normal. For future reference, and you may already know this, unless your intent to is to destroy all data on the drive, it's not necessary to do a full format. I understand you were trying to rule out all possible issues. You may also know this is as well, but when data is "deleted" from a drive, it isn't actually "removed" from the MFT, and the blocks holding the data are marked as unallocated even though the data is still there until those blocks are re-written (of which may or may not occur for months or years, depending on the size and use of the HDD). A full format simply writes everything over with 0's or 1's, unless a secure wipe is performed, which, depending on the specific wipe you choose, would overwrite the blocks with random data 1 - 7 times,
Ok, and what do you suggest is a good program to use to wiping off all the data on a hard disk, including the MBR? I've went to college for 4 years, and had 3 different internships for me to be able to graduate college, and when at college and during my internships, my instructors and bosses have all used Active kill disk and copy-wipe software "in a bootable DOS program" and I would do at least 3 to 5 passes to wipe the drives, and was told that wiped the "whole drive" including the MBR, and these are programs I've used for years as those are what I was taught in my classes. I didn't go out and spend thousands of dollars for me not to expect to get a good education. And, with all do respect, if you know something that is better than what I have learned, I'm more than willing to hear new ideas and programs to go along with my degree and after doing this for 10 years, I know what works, and what doesn't work, and I've worked with enough systems to know what problems could be why some systems have issues.
However, as my experience is not in the "newest" hardware that is out in the world today, I appreciate the others are able to throw out problem solutions to newer hardware that I haven't sealed with. I only try to help to the level of expertise that I can offer. You may have more information and more experience, and know more stuff that I don't know, and I do respect and appreciate that you can provide a level of expertise that I cannot.
I just hope that we can try to help these people be able to fix their issues with Windows 10 and the hardware it's being ran on, so they may have a good experience with the Operating System. Your instructions helped me and I hope it helps others.
Yes in terms of the hard drive, I was trying to rule out every possible cause. I just tried installing it and my BIOS isn't seeing it, so the drive is bad.
JW0914, if it is Broadcom, then it is the one embedded in the Windows 10 image downloaded from microsoft site, as it gets freezed before I install any Broadcom driver. Could it be the case?
As I wrote before, having updated Windows7 to Win10 (with several problems) I formatted system and system recovery partitions and performed a clean install. No other drivers than previously listed were installed, nor was WiFi or LAN connected.
It seems like either the Intel driver or one of the embedded drivers was causing the problem, then. Is there any way to identify the problematic driver? I do not pretty like the idea of gradual parts replacement. I could replace the WiFi card, if it does't help, replace the modem, replace bluetooth... and then what? Not a very effective method...
Maybe there is any nice piece of software extending Windows logging capabilities the way I could track back the reason of those freezes? To be honest, I am loosing the hope here. I am not any IT professional, but I have performed countless number of installations so far, all types of Windows starting with Win95/NT4.0, and never ever have I encountered problems like these...
I wasn't trying to imply you didn't know what you were doing, nor was I trying to imply you did something wrong, and I apologize if it came across in such a manner. What I said obviously came across far differently than I had intended, and I am sorry that occurred.
I accept your apology. Sorry if I came out like that.
Hoping we can help people find solutions to their problems is all
When you mentioned Broadcom earlier, I took that to mean you had installed a Broadcom driver... Do you know the manufacturer of your WiFi card? If you do and it's Broadcom, we need to completely disable it via Device Manager to rule it out. If you don't know who the manufacturer is, we can also get that information from Device Manager.
- Right click on the start menu button and select Device Manager. Open the arrow next to Network Adapters.
- If your WiFi card is Broadcom, right click on it, select Disable, and select Yes from the next prompt. Once done, reboot and monitor for freezing.
Once rebooted, it would probably be a good idea to check out Event Viewer.
- WinKey+R, then type eventvwr.msc and hit OK
- Navigate to Windows Logs - Applications and Windows Logs - System
- Left click twice on Date & Time to show the time in an ascending manner
- You'll need to wait for the view to reload prior to clicking a second time. You'll know it's showing ascending because a small arrow above Date & Time will be pointing downwards.
- Scroll through the approximate time of the last freeze and see if there's any events recorded for errors or warnings.
- When you highlight a time, details will appear in the bottom half of the screen (ensure you're under the General tab, not the Details tab)
I don't remember if you mentioned the model of you PC before, however if it's older than a year and a half, it could be it falls into the small minority of PCs that require a BIOS update to be released for it to function ok with Windows 10. Another thing I would check is if the HDD manufacturer has a firmware update available for the drive, especially if it's an SSD.
Also does your PC have UEFI firmware?
Last edited by JW0914; 27 Feb 2016 at 17:08.
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