Monday, October 21, 2013

Windows 8.1 post upgrade system lockups

Since I upgraded my home PC from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 I've experienced a number of random lock-ups during general use.

I've not had any clues as to the cause, there is no single application usage that triggers it. It's happened while using Skype, browsing in Chrome and IE and few other applications.

When the lock-up occurs the mouse is still usable and certain button on the explorer taskbar (in Desktop mode) accept mouse click but don't response further.

It's rather annoying when an 8 thread AMD FX-8150 processor PC with 8 GB ram is locking up in such a manner. Such things shouldn't happen in a multi-core environment where one thread hold the processor to ransom... but it does.

I've upgraded and check my AV.
I've re-installed the Graphics Drivers (NVidia) twice.

However, I think I may have solved it, since installing the AMD chipset drivers, it seems to have stabilise and I've not had a lock-up since. But a word of caution, so it's been less that 24 hours and I've not spent much time on the machine so we'll have to give a few more days to see it's really a solution or just a bit of luck.

Edit: Update, a false dawn, false hope. Complete lock-up again this morning. Only application that was open was Chrome. System hung as I went to close it. I was able to minimise it with about a 30 second lag. The explorer task bar seemed to respond intermittently too. I was able to open the volume control without a problem. I had to do a hard reset.

This is no good.

Edit 2: Well, it's been some time, a week or more maybe. Mixed results some days no lock-ups, other days they are incessant. Control of the PC returns after 5-10 mins if left alone.

I think I may have narrowed down the suspect though... Skype Desktop. If I stop Skype from running I get no lock-ups. Not a single one.

So I've resorted to un-installing it and re-installing it. Oddly,despite me trying in application updates checks, they re-installed version appears to have a higher version number. Just to be sure I've also removed and re-installed webcam drivers and software to make sure that wasn't the issue.

There seems to be an theme building since the 'upgrade' to 8.1 from Windows 8.0 - most applications and drivers didn't handle the move very well. So far applications like stream games and NVidia drivers have needed to be re-installed to solve issues.

On another interesting side note. I had some time on my hands so I thought I'd do a system refresh to get around the above issue, bite the bullet and just re-install all my apps/drivers clean. Alas Microsoft have fucked that up too. I get a wonderful error saying files are missing so I can't perform this process. of course it's in the metro full screen mode shit so trying to note the exact error or screenshot it is more hassle than it's worth.

This 'iteration' of Windows 8.1 is a steaming pile of Beta software. A massive thumbs down from me so far.

edit: Update 24 November 2013

The culprit is most definitely the Desktop version of Skype. If Skype is closed the PC does not lockup at all. If Skype is left open and running in the background the lock-ups happen on a regular basis. A un-install and re-install of Skype and upgrade to the latest version has failed to the stop the issue, so for now Skype is disabled at start-up and only opened when needed.

Quite amazing how often MS software doesn't work on MS OS.

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