How to Fix an HP TouchSmart Screen That Freezes

by Andrew Aarons
computer image by blaine stiger from

The HP TouchSmart PCs are just like any other computer when it comes to troubleshooting. The touch screen functions primarily as a display and secondarily as an input device--sort of like a giant, complicated mouse. The touch screen needs software to run correctly. Most freezing issues on any PC are software issues, so troubleshooting should begin by looking at software for problems before moving on to hardware.

Step 1

Check for power lights on the system, then press the space bar or jiggle the mouse when the screen is black. This ensures that the computer hasn't just entered sleep mode, which is interrupted by any input.

Step 2

Press and hold the "Ctrl," "Alt" and "Delete" keys on your keyboard. This will bring up the Windows Task Manager. Click "Task Manager" and look for programs in the list with "Not responding" beside them. Highlight the nonresponsive program and click "Close." Write down or remember the name of the frozen program.

Step 3

Click Start and type "msconfig" (without quotes) into the search bar, then click on msconfig.exe to run the Windows Configuration Utility. Click on the "Startup" tab at the top and scroll through the list until you find the program that was crashing in Step 2. Click the check box beside that program to prevent it from loading when Windows starts up. Unchecking an item in this list does not uninstall the program; it stops the program from integrating with Windows and can prevent the system from freezing upon bootup.

Step 4

Run the HP Support Assistant if the problem persists after cleaning up your TouchSmart's start up. Most freeze issues are caused by malfunctioning programs, but in certain instances hardware problems can result in lockups. HP machines have included tools to diagnose hardware. Click Start, Help and Support and then click on "Hardware" under "Diagnostics." There are a few different categories of diagnostic tests you can run from this screen. Run a "Graphic, Video and Display" test, then a "Performance and Software" test and finally a "Power, Thermal and Mechanical" test. This will eliminate hardware as a potential source of the freezing. The tests may also recommended critical driver updates to ensure your hardware has the most recent software to control it.

Reinstall the TouchSmart software after running diagnostic tests, especially if you've recently upgraded to Windows 7 from the original operating system on your TouchSmart machine. The software is specifically designed to match the operating system, so get the newest version available, either through HP Update or by visiting the HP Support site (see Resources).


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About the Author

Living in Canada, Andrew Aarons has been writing professionally since 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Ottawa, where he served as a writer and editor for the university newspaper. Aarons is also a certified computer-support technician.

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