Windows 10 Randomly freezing

Bader97 1 Reputation point
2022-07-19T15:33:57.277+00:00

Hello,
I have been struggling with a Windows 10 Freezing issue on several PC's for a few months now.
We have had a lot of troubleshooting and guessing work done trying to understand the root cause of the problem and potential ways to address it. For a long time, we have been under the impression that this is caused by an Axiom Dual NIC that we had configured on all our PC's. We were using those NICs with LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol) to Team the 2 NICs as one logical network interface so that it connects to our switch stack as one PC. For context, these PC's are going to be used for Fire Dispatch operations (public safety), which makes it a very critical issue to get addressed. Since then, we have swapped out the Axion NIC's with RealTek NIC's, and have used static link aggregation on the PC to team the NICs instead of LACP. This, unfortunately, still has not addressed our issue. Now, I am starting to think that the issue may not just be network-related but may be contained within the Windows OS instead.
Here are a couple of things that I have done/noticed:

  1. On average, it takes around 2-3 days for a PC to freeze up.
  2. The freezing can happen to ANY PC at ANY time. There is absolutely no consistency.
  3. All PC's are using a Touchscreen monitor. The furniture that the PC's are setup in has a lot of fancy cable management and so, we had to purchase 25-ft HDMI and USB extender cables to provide the video and touchscreen capabilities. Could this somehow be causing this?
  4. I attempted to go through the Event viewer logs for the PC's that did freeze up. This was done after the PC was power cycled using the power button. Unfortunately, I could not find anything in there that informed ME what is happening. Maybe someone else can better read the logs, which I can provide if someone does suggest doing so (I do not how to do so, hopefully you can give a quick and easy way to do so if needed :) ).
  5. A weird thing that had occurred several times; I brought up the BIOS on one of the PC's that had frozen. I was navigating through the different settings when the PC FROZE while in the BIOS. I noticed that was kind of consistent when the touchscreen USB cable is plugged in. It did not seem to happen when that cable was unplugged. That told me it may be a graphics driver issues so I went ahead and upgraded the driver version.
  6. When the freezing occurs, the following is noticed on the PC:
    a) You CANNOT do anything with the PC until you power cycle it. The touchscreen does not respond to any input. Plugging a keyboard/mouse into the PC while in this state has no effect (keyboard doesn't even get any power over the USB connection - evident due to none of the NUM/CAPS/SCROLL lock buttons lighting up)
    b) You CAN still ping the PC in this state, which may be an even better indication that this is not network-related?
    c) I disallowed an option for Windows to suspend USB devices to save power.
    d) Just today, I was reading online about this, and I found several suggestions about running sfc /scannow to fix any corrupted files. I ran that on 2 PC's so far and BOTH of them reported
    that there were corrupt files found and they are successfully repaired. I have uploaded the CBS.log and DISM.log files from one of the PC's that had this run. Hopefully this provides some
    context as I am very unfamiliar with Windows logging and what to decipher from it. (EDIT: It looks like I cannot upload any files larger than 3.1 MB, anything specific to look for?)
    Windows 10 Pro version 21H2, build 19044.1766, experience Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.4180.0.
    This is an extremely urgent issue as it affects public safety. Any input/feedback would be immensely appreciated.
    Thank you!
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3 answers

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  1. S.Sengupta 14,436 Reputation points MVP
    2022-07-20T00:35:01.503+00:00

    When the system freezes next time, you must check the Event viewer application error log. This will help to trace the possible cause.

    You may also try How to use Performance Monitor on Windows 10


  2. S.Sengupta 14,436 Reputation points MVP
    2022-07-27T01:50:52.547+00:00

    Disable the Metadata Refresh task schedule

    To do this try the following:

    Download the PSExec tool

    Exctract the PsExec64.exe.

    Open PowerShell and run the following command: PsExec64.exe -s -i powershell.exe.

    Run the whoami command

    Disable the "Metadata Refresh" task schedule by running: Get-ScheduledTask -TaskPath "\Microsoft\Windows\Device Setup\" | Disable-ScheduledTask


  3. Bader 1 Reputation point
    2022-08-16T18:50:56.14+00:00

    Something that I am just realizing now. Not sure if this is helpful or not but I will post it anyways.
    It appears as though Windows thinks the PC actually shutdown then freezing even occurs. In review of a more recent Event Viewer log, the PC says on the day it was power-cycled The previous system shutdown at HH:MM:SS on MM/DD/YYYY was unexpected.. This tells me Windows thinks the PC was shut down at that time, even though it is still up. The power light on the PC is on, the monitor is on with an LED light indicating a signal is received (but showing all-black screen). USB devices (keyboard, mouse, touchscreen) are all unresponsive and potentially suspended.

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