How to troubleshoot Windows-based computer freeze issues

Applies to: Windows 10, version 1809Windows Server 2019, all versionsWindows Server 2016 More

Summary


This article describes how to troubleshoot freeze issues on Windows-based computers and servers. It also provides methods for collecting data that will help administrators or software developers diagnose, identify, and fix these issues.

Identify the problem


  • Which computer is freezing? (Example: The impacted computer is a physical server, virtual server, and so on.)
  • What operation was being performed when the freezes occurred? (Example: This issue occurs when you shut down GUI, perform one or more operations, and so on.)
  • How often do the errors occur? (Example: This issue occurs every night at 7 o'clock, every day around 7pm, and so on.)
  • On how many computers does this occur? (Example: All computers, only one computer, or 10computers, and so on.)

Troubleshoot the freeze issues


To troubleshoot the freeze issues, check the following table, and use one or more of the suggested troubleshooting methods.
Computer statesTroubleshooting methods
A computer that's running in a frozen stateFor a physical server or a virtual machine, see the methods here.
A computer that has run out of a frozen stateFor a physical computer, see the methods here.

For a virtual machine, see the methods here.

For the computer that has run out of a frozen state

If the physical computer or virtual machine froze but is now running in a good state, use one or more of the following methods for troubleshooting.


More Information


Collect data for the freeze issues

To collect data for a server freeze, check the following table, and use one or more of the suggested methods.
Computer type and stateData collection method
A physical computer that's running in a frozen stateUse a memory dump file to collect data. Or use method 2, 3, or 4. These methods are listed later in this section.
A physical computer that has run out of a frozen stateUse method 1, 2, 3, or 4. These methods are listed later in this section. And use Pool Monitor to collect data.
A virtual machine that's running in a frozen stateHyper-V or VMware:
Use a memory dump file to collect data for the virtual machine that's running in a frozen state.

XenServer:
Use method 1, 2, 3, or 4. These methods are listed later in this section.
A virtual machine that has run out of a frozen stateUse method 1, 2, 3, or 4. These methods are listed later in this section.

Additional methods to collect data


Space limitations on the system drive on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

On Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008, you may not have enough free disk space to generate a complete memory dump file on the system volume. There's a hotfix that allows for the data collection even though there isn't sufficient space on the system drive to store the memory dump file.

Additionally, on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack (SP2), there's a second option if the system drive doesn't have sufficient space. Namely, you can use the DedicatedDumpFile registry entry. To learn how to use the registry entry, see New behavior in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

For more information, see How to use the DedicatedDumpFile registry value to overcome space limitations on the system drive.