Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Keyboard freezeup requires hot reboot problem

  1. Jan 6, 2006 #1

    I have a toshiba laptop, xp, and have a problem with the keyboard freezing up. When this happens there seems to be no response to any keyboard or mouse command. The only fix I have found is to shut the computer off and then reboot, after which everything seems fine until the next time the problem happens.

    This same problem has happened to me in the past on my previous computers, including a compac laptop and a generic desktop. I replaced those computers after recieving the advice that it must be a motherboard problem. My current model is still fairly new, and I am not satisfied that a new computer is the answer, since this has happened now on three different models.

    Any ideas or information on what causes this problem and, hopefully, how I might solve it now or avoid it in the future?


  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    If, as you say, this has happened to you on two other computers then you ought to consider the possibility that it is a software problem or even malware. It sounds to me like the computer is deadlocking, in which case it's not that the mouse/keyboard aren't working but that the system calls they generate never get to be processed, and your system doesn't update.
    Can you think of any software that might be causing this?
  4. Jan 6, 2006 #3
    Hi -Job- and thanks

    I don't know what software would cause this. I suppose it could be something unpleasent contracted during internet surfing. I have not transferred any datafiles or programs from the old computers to this new one.

    It has happened while offline on occasion, but the most annoying occurance for me is when it happens online, while posting here and elsewhere. It does not seem to happen in mid-sentance, but seems to occur when I have paused for a moment to think of what I am saying. Of course I lose the post I am working on.

    I have wondered if I have any hope of recovering the unsaved post from my temp files or somewhere else in my hard drive. I do know that my computer stores all kinds of things, like graphics, which I can access later from my photography program. For example, there are thumbnails in there of pushbuttons, headers, etc. from this site, as well as from other places I visit. I don't know how or why or where they are kept, but sometimes when accessing photoimages in email I find that I can scroll up and down and find all kinds of forgotten things. Usually there are hundreds of images hidden in there. It can be quite entertaining to scroll through them. When I call up another email photo, I get a whole new set of them, sometimes from sites I have not visited in months. Many of them are math formulas, but also there are many photographs and as I said, headers and push buttons and other icons.

    Well, maybe someone will be able to clue me in from something in the above.


  5. Jan 6, 2006 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    There are some known issues with laptops and lockups, often related to their hibernate/sleep states. Go to Microsoft's website and use their KDB to search for matches for your laptop and OS. Often a service pack or something can fix it. Also lengthening the amount of time before hibernating, etc. can help to keep it from happening as often
  6. Jan 6, 2006 #5
    thanks I will try that
  7. Jan 14, 2006 #6

    This seems to have worked. The hibernation time was already set on "never," but after downloading upgrades from Microsoft the problem has not recurred.

  8. Feb 16, 2006 #7

    More of the same and worse. Keyboard freezeup, reboots without warning, shuts down without warning, curser will not enter some windows for example the reply box in my email. I will try the KDB again, since it worked once. Any more advice?
  9. Feb 16, 2006 #8


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You may have contracted some malware that corrupted a critical file. System hang-ups often involve corrupted drivers, so you might want to try to find updated drivers for video card, disks, etc.

    Now for a more basic fix: are you using your laptop on your lap or on some other soft surface that can deform and block the vents through which the cooling fan discharges? Excess heat will initiate a protective shutdown.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2006
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook