Fixing Windows 10 random lockups

The computer my sons use sometimes became unreliable a few weeks ago. It would work normally for a while, but rarely could make it through a full day without locking up hard. Here’s how I fixed the Windows 10 random lockups.

Windows 10 random lockups
If you overclocked your CPU or unlocked disabled cores, it’s still possible for the CPU to lose stability over time and cause Windows 10 random lockups.

In my case, the random lockups started right around the time I scanned the machine, noticed it was missing some security updates, and I updated them. So I rolled back the video driver, hoping that might fix the lockups. It didn’t. The other updates were Microsoft Office updates, and the problems happened whether Office was running or not. Then my oldest son told me he’d seen it lock up before I did any of the updates.

So it probably wasn’t the updates.

Sometimes it’s a hardware problem

This particular system is an AMD Phenom II system I built sometime around 2011. I bought an Asus motherboard because Asus boards have given me less trouble than any other brand. I bought a two-core CPU because I couldn’t afford a four-core CPU at the time. It just so happens that board had the ability to unlock the disabled cores in AMD’s dual-core CPUs. I unlocked the cores, ran some stress tests, and it passed all of them perfectly, so I left it that way. The system was fine like that for years.

And then one day it wasn’t. I got seven years out of two cores that made AMD uncomfortable enough to want to forego the extra revenue from selling that chip as a four-core CPU. Now I could buy a 4-core Phenom II for less than the price difference was in 2011, so that’s OK.

So if you have problems with Windows 10 random lockups and you’ve unlocked manufacturer-disabled cores, or you’ve overclocked, it may very well be that the CPU can’t handle those settings anymore and it’s time to back off a bit. After I disabled the core unlocking, the system was stable again.

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