How to Fix a Freezing HP Laptop

By Amanda Kondolojy

A standard laptop computer
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When a computer "freezes," all activity ceases on the computer's monitor, and all currently running programs lock. It may seem like a particularly dire situation, especially if it happens frequently. Fortunately, if your laptop computer is having a constant freezing problem, there are several things you can do to fix it.

Step 1

Restart your computer. When a computer freezes you must restart it in order to diagnose the problem. Because the freezing problem renders all programs and utilities inoperable, restarting your computer is the only way to fix and diagnose the problem.

Step 2

Install a free anti-virus program. The most common problem that causes computers to freeze up periodically is the presence of a computer virus. Download a free anti-virus program like Avast! or AVG to scan your computer for viruses and get rid of the threat. See the Resource section for information and download links.

Step 3

Defragment your hard drive. This process manages your files and takes files that may have been displaced and puts them back where they are supposed to be. Go to the System Tools section of your computer under the "accessories" tab and then select the defragmentation tool. When it launches, simply click "defragment" to begin the process. Defragmentation can take several hours if your computer has not been defragmented in awhile.

Step 4

Run a disk cleanup. This process gets rid of all your temporary and cache files. It can also free up virtual memory, which if clogged, can be a source of frequent freezing issues. Find the disk cleanup application in the "System Tools" section of your computer. Run it by selecting your hard drive and then waiting for it to analyze files that it will delete. Then press the "cleanup" button. This process can take anywhere from half an hour to several hours depending on how much there is to cleanup on your hard drive.

Step 5

Re-format your hard drive. This step should only be taken in extreme situations. If the computer is still freezing after all of the above steps have been taken, you may have persistent malware on your computer, which can only be removed by formatting your hard drive. This process will effectively erase all your files, including documents, multimedia and programs.