Why is my laptop suddenly freezing when I play any game?

Ethan Xavier Alexander Allen May 12, 2013
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I always play games on my laptop with no problems. It used to freeze or shut down a while back when I tried playing certain games, but stopped once I updated my graphics card, the problem seemed to go away….

This month, out of NOWHERE, it’s doing something it’s never done before: it’s freezing completely when I play ANY GAME…even the games that don’t require much, like the Sims. It’s just freezing. Sound and everything are just gone. But the strange thing is that the buttons on the laptop keyboard seem to work, even though there’s no movement, and my cooling pad, which normally shuts off when I shutdown my computer, is still running.

I’m using a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. I’ve never had an issue like this before. I tried updating my graphics card and every other driver I have…everything is to date. I even tried rolling back my graphics card to an earlier version…same issue…

I seriously don’t want to reset my laptop again. I have way too many things on it this time around. There has to be a reason why it’s freezing whenever I play games and working perfectly fine otherwise.

I can’t say it’s overheating either, because it acts the same way all the time and works flawlessly BEFORE this started about a week or two ago. So that can’t be the problem either….

I don’t have money to get it fixed…but resetting it this time is an extreme solution…so can somebody please help….

Thanx in advance…

  1. Waymond Scullark
    May 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Okay, apparently I have no idea what this Windows Search thing is....I thought that was the feature when you bring up a folder and you type a word in the search bar, you get results of folders and files that match that word...but I disabled it, and typed in a word and it still does it....so apparently I was wrong with what I THOUGHT it was

    But so far the problem seems to be fixed....just not gonna get too happy just yet

    • DalSan M
      May 18, 2013 at 6:31 am

      As long as you didn't delete the index log file, then the files that were already indexed will still be easily searchable. New files will not be found easily, but you already have a third party search application for that. It is disabled, so it won't run in the background and index new files and folders. If you recently downloaded or created a file after disabling Windows Search, try searching for it and I'm sure it will not be found very quickly without using advanced search.

  2. Waymond Scullark
    May 17, 2013 at 7:15 pm


    My laptop seems to be playing games perfectly fine now!!

    I did everything you suggested....but, I STILL HAVE NOT UPDATED MY VIDEO CARD!! It's still rolled back to an earlier driver. I don't think that has anything to do with the solution or not because it DID freeze after I rolled it back initially. But I did a lot of deleting and the next thing I know, it started working like normal when playing all of my games. I'm not gonna jump to any conclusions just yet and say that it's TOTALLY FIXED, because I have a ton of other games I want to install and I have no idea if it's gonna start freezing again. If it does, you can expect to see me again.

    All in all, I really have no idea what happened to make it stop freezing, but I'm not gonna do anymore poking and prodding. I'm gonna just take it as it is until it starts up again...if at all. But I just wanna thank all of you for the help and suggestions.

    One last thing....I did what was suggested about finding that Superfetch thing...but Index.exe never showed up on the list. I have a 3rd party program to search for things on my computer....but I don't know how to shut down that indexing thing I was told about since it's not on that list with Superfetch. Is it still a good idea for me to shut it down? Please let me know...

    And again....thanx for the help!

    • DalSan M
      May 17, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      Sorry, it is Windows Search that uses the indexing service. If you don't use Windows Search, then it can be disabled through services.msc and disabling Windows Search. It is entirely your choice, but I would disable it just to improve performance. Superfetch should not be disabled (some may gain performance by disabling this, but most will not). It can be disabled temporarily through Advanced System Care Turbo Boost just for when you are gaming, then disable Turbo Boost after you finished playing games. This suggestion was only to help gaming performance, not really as a solution to your issue. Sometimes (not often) the Windows Search indexing service running in the background can cause games to freeze or stutter.

  3. Waymond Scullark
    May 15, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Okay, for starters, that FixIt thing doesn't work for me. I tried installing it and got some sort of error after it made it halfway through the installation. Nothing I tried helped that issue, so I left that as a lost cause.

    I tried updating the drivers to my bluetooth mouse and keyboard, but like I said before, I haven't tried any of my more "powerful" games yet. Tiger Woods '08 works fine. Gonna try Sleeping Dogs (always freezes my laptop) tonight then post another update.

    And also as I stated before, I rolled back my NVIDIA card driver to an earlier version, just in case the newest one I installed is actually screwing things up. If I test it on a game or two tonight and it freezes again, I'll do what was suggested and completely uninstall the driver, reboot, then use the CD that came with my computer and try to install it from scratch again.

    Now as far as IOBit goes...I haven't tried that Turbo Boost feature yet. Never knew what it does.

    I have no idea what Superfetch is, and I don't know anything about indexing or how to turn it off. I recently installed a 3rd party program for searching files and folders on my computer, but I don't know what indexing is, unfortunately.

    Once I get the time, I'll test the games again and give you guys another update...

    But I just wanna say thanx for all the help and suggestions. I must admit, I was expecting you guys to be pricks and say crap about me being a "noob" and all that other BS...I really do appreciate all the help. Seriously.

    Thanx again

    • DalSan M
      May 16, 2013 at 2:51 am

      We are not here to scorn, only to help. If we made it hard for people to ask for help, then there wouldn't be any point to having the Ask Tech Help section. We know that most of the world is made up of basic users, not power users or computer geeks. We are here because we like helping others to "Make (better) Use Of" any device or equipment possible, not to bash or make fun of "noobs."

      You were right to try rolling back the graphics drivers because new drivers don't always work properly for some users. Hopefully this works out your issues and a newer update will fix the problems that caused your computer to freeze. As far as Superfetch, it tries to keep a list of commonly used applications so it can try to load the programs you use most often quicker. Sometimes it can cause lag issues or other problems with games. I wouldn't permanently disable this feature as it can actually cause your computer to run slower during normal use, but can be disabled temporarily for gaming through using the Turbo Boost feature. Indexing tries to build a catalog of all files and folders on your hard drive(s) and other storage devices, but it can cause your hard drive to be running heavily, even when nothing is going on, just to gather a list of the files on your drive. This will cause performance issues, especially during games. Since you have installed a third party search application, there is no need for the indexing service to be running at all. To turn this feature off, click the Start Button, type in services.msc in the search box and hit Enter. When the Services window opens, scroll down the list until you see index.exe. Right-click on it and change the startup type to disabled. Doing this may not help your issue, but it will help gaming performance.

  4. DalSan M
    May 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Since you have IOBit (Advanced System Care) 6 Pro, have you tried using the Turbo Boost feature and set it to Game Mode? It will disable unused and unnecessary background services (make sure to go through and unselect services you need to use like Bluetooth) to see if it helps. The main service that plagues gamers is the indexing service, and sometimes Superfetch. This is because it will drive up the memory and hard drive usage, causing lag and other issues. I would not permanently disable Superfetch because it can slow down the program load times if it isn't running, but I would disable Indexing if you do not use the search option. Even if you do, keep it disabled and use a third party search application since they will be faster and more effective in searching things than Windows Search. The third party search application also doesn't run in the background when not used, so performance should not drop at any time.

  5. Waymond Scullark
    May 15, 2013 at 12:16 am

    I apologize for the delayed response....been really weighed down lately...and I had this whole thing typed out already, but closed the browser by mistake....so here it is again...

    My laptop is a Dell XPS L701X

    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU Q 840 @ 1.87GHz

    Display Adapter: NVIDIA GeForce GT 445M With something called Turbo Boost

    Rating: 5.9

    Installed memory (RAM): 8.00 GB - DDR3 Memory type

    System type: 64-bit Operating System

    I have iOBit Pro 6...I use it everyday. I'm ASSUMING it's doing what it says it's doing, but I have no real way of knowing.

    I'm using Smart Defrag 2....I also have CCleaner, Malwarebytes, SpyBot, Avast Virus Scan, and I tried that Video Stress Test thing and all of the tests came back with zero errors.

    I deleted a few things and uninstalled a few things to try and narrow down the problem. Including my RealPlayer stuff...not sure what that stuff is for anyway.

    Now, just to be transparent, I tried playing my Tiger Woods game last night and it
    worked perfectly....I haven't tried my other games yet....and my video card is still rolled back to an earlier version.

    I'm gonna try what you suggested and uninstall my NVIDIA driver completely and reinstall it via the CD that came with the computer, if it's on there. But first I wanna try to play another game to see what happens. If it doesn't freeze, I'm gonna leave things the way they are...if it does, I'm gonna follow what you guys told me to do.

    By the way....when the game freezes, my bluetooth mouse and keyboards freeze right along with it. It's as if the whole system shuts down completely...BUT when I press a button on my laptop itself, the lights come on as if I'm using it...only nothing works...it's still frozen. Not sure how helpful this is, but that's all I have...I'll give an update after I get out from under this pile of stuff and try another game...

    Thanx again

    May 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Hello, as I am sure you know, unless you have a gaming laptop, most laptops are not good for gaming. The specs for your laptop would help a bit. Does your laptop have a incorporated video card or is it discreet? If it does have an intel or such video card, that might be your problem there. If it is an nvidia or ati video card, updating drivers might help.

    Have you tried closing the game? If you have, is the system still frozen? If you get a screen completely black, that means there is something to do with your video.

    Even if you have a cooling pad, have you tried and clean the fan inside?

  7. yudics
    May 14, 2013 at 5:05 am

    Hi Ethan or Waymond?, try to uninstall your graphics driver, and then doing the fresh install with old driver which are come with your laptop, but you better to restart the laptop before installing the new driver..

  8. Waymond Scullark
    May 12, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Thanx for the responses...I'm gonna look for my system specs and include them in a full response back to you....just give me a little bit to get everything together...

    Thanx again...

  9. DalSan M
    May 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    If you would give us the laptop model and specifications, it might help us a little more in figuring out a solution. You may not be the only one with this issue with the same laptop, so finding a that worked for others may work for you as well. It could be as simple as uninstalling the video drivers and reinstalling them, or as bad as the video chip going bad (but if it works fine aside from games, then I don't think it is so much the chips.

  10. Jim Chambers
    May 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Maybe your video memory chips are failing. Try the video memory test from this site: http://www.technibble.com/repair-tool-of-the-week-video-memory-stress-test/

  11. ha14
    May 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

    try this microsoft solution

    Optimize Your System To Run At Its Best With CCleaner

    IObit Advanced SystemCare 6 Pro free for 400 points
    it has Turbo Boost feature with Game Mode Profile

    try to clean the ram from dust, ynplug and replug, also try to reset CMOS battery

    if you go to event viewer you can get more info on the cause.

    Ashampoo WinOptimizer 10 free for 400 points

    Glary Utilities PRO you can get it free for 500 points

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