We all know what they are:

My PC is freezing and I don't know what to do? Please help me! Here's my specs:

I think it's a windows 7

It has a power supply

There's some RAM somewhere here

Oh and I watch YouTube all the time and it happens then.

Here are some examples:

This one

And this one

Yes I fell into the trap too

Here's my question, do we just allow each one, and help the Super User along as they learn? Do we try to merge them all into a general "freezing" super question and close any future questions? Or do we try to use the Super User blog and post about stuff like this and then close questions regarding this?

I'm kinda torn and I wish to continue to make this a place where Super Users experienced and noob alike can learn and grow from each other, but this just feels like the typical computer repair over the internet issue to me.

Status Update:

As per tomwij's and Jeff's suggestions I have created these general troubleshooting questions:

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Both "manually creating a dump" and "troubleshoot the actual dump itself" links point to the same question. Is it intentional? –  Martin Vobr Jan 5 '11 at 21:40
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@MartinVobr I have updated the question to reflect the correct wiki questions. –  KronoS Jan 6 '11 at 19:19
    
Check the event log for any suspicious messages. –  kinokijuf Jul 23 '12 at 11:27
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Here's my question, do we just allow each one, and help the Super User along as they learn? Do we try to merge them all into a general "freezing" super question and close any future questions? Or do we try to use the Super User blog and post about stuff like this and then close questions regarding this?

We just had a long discussion about this!

What you want is a few canonical "how to troubleshoot a frozen PC" questions. Then, you can refer all future, similar questions to these rather than having to answer the same things over and over in endless varieties, which is no fun for anyone involved.

One word of caution: creating the canonical "perfect" mega-answer is very very hard. So don't even entertain the idea that you can create a single question and answer that covers all scenarios. Plan to have a few, say as many as 3 or 5, that cover the most common scenarios in some depth, without requiring people to read a mega-FAQ or the bulleted list from hell.

You're also right that there's no value in having hundreds of these "almost exactly the same, but this time.." questions all over the site.

Another advantage -- once posts with the same tag are strongly interlinked, you get nice effects on the /tag/{tagname}/faq link, like so:

http://superuser.com/tags/google-chrome/faq

That's right, your per-tag faq builds itself as you naturally re-link to things! pretty sweet eh?

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I agree with Jeff Atwood his post, and we should only allow very specific cases that have rich detail and went through all the questions relevant to his problem.

One word of caution: creating the canonical "perfect" mega-answer is very very hard. So don't even entertain the idea that you can create a single question and answer that covers all scenarios.

While a mega-answer is very hard, it's always nice to have a nice overview or approach to follow.

A specific scenario isn't always answered with a specific answer, for a video game the video card or it's driver is more likely to be the problem but it could also be the hard drive, system memory, ...

My answer does indeed not apply to any freeze case; as it might be a part of Firefox freezing, a freeze during the boot phase, and so on. But it does apply to a lot of soft and hard freeze in a general way when you are in the desktop phase...

But as we're discussing in the chat right now, as @IvoFilpse stated it is probably handy to split of parts of those resources into their own answers and create more detailed tutorials that can be linked to.


Some resources for the FAQ question(s) and answer(s):

  • Dumping the freeze:

    • Hard Freeze: CrashOnCtrlScroll, to initiate a manual crash dump.

    • Soft Freeze: ProcDump (former ADPlus), to initiate a dump of a hanging process.

  • Troubleshooting the dumps:

  • Troubleshooting the computer:

  • Other reasons:

    • Insufficient/problematic PSU, replace it by a more powerful one.
    • Corruption or faulty system drivers beyond a level that you could fix, a reinstall is required.
    • Faulty hardware, try to replace individual components with spare parts to see if it has an effect.
    • Still have issues? You're asking too much of your system, give it a rest and upgrade... :-)
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