Windows 7 64-bit : Frequent hangs, lock-ups and freezes

Last time I decided to install Windows 7 64-bit enterprise edition on my machine ( HP DC 7800 c, dual core, 8Gb RAM, NVIDIA 285). I managed to copy and install all setting from my previous Vista 64 bit using easy migration tool in windows. Windows 7 detected all the hardware correctly even my bluetooth device that was not detected in windows vista. I install all my office and work related apps without a hitch.

However, after a while my windows 7 machine would occasionally freeze or lock-up and the only way to restore is to do a hard reset; pushing the on/off button on my machine. Looking around for assistance I turned to the internet for possible solution.

Among the key suspects were the NVidia driver and the power saving plan. I also suspected the setting in bios which enabled the hardware assisted virtualisation. so what I did was to install latest nvidia driver… well it didn’t help. So was changing the power saving options….. I even reset the setting I did in bios… all to no avail. It was frustrating to me.

Then, I got a new workstation from a project. It’s Dell workstation T5500, Intel Xeon Quad Core, 12 GB RAM, 2 TB HD and dual NVidia FX580 with 512Mb memory. I thought all is fine. It came with windows vista 64 bit. I let it run for a 2-3 days with out problem. Then I upgraded it to Windows 7, and it was fine for a couple of days. Then I install all the software that I need. It sure seems to em that everything was OK.

Unfortunately it wasn’t so. My new PC show the same strange behavior. It would randomly lock up and I had to do a hard reset. There wasn’t any particular reason. Sometimes it just stop when I was doing Word, at other times when I was browsing. Yet it also stop dead in the water even when I was not running any apps ( except those that run in the background). I was at lost.

So I tried all find the root cause. The event viewer does not offer much help. Nor does logging. and doing performance logging. I downloaded the new Nvidia driver.. still it hangs. I reset the power saving plan.. same result. I undo any settings in the bios by resetting to default factory setting… and still same problem occurs. Thinking that the CPU was heating up, I downloaded Core Temp to monitor its temperature. All the cores are functioning within normal parameter (.. refering to Lt. Cmdr Data in ST:TNG ). So what was the problem…..

Finally I read somewhere that some anti-virus program were causing strange behaviour in 64-bit OS. SO I uninstall AVG Free version (v. 9.0)… and my PC is working fine.. it has been 30 hours of operation without any hiccup….. Go Figure.

It seems to me that somehow AVG 32 bit causes my OS to stop responding. However, I also installed a 64bit windows 7 on my old HP pc, but without the Nvidia graphics board.. just using the onboard Intel Chip, and the PC does not display any symptom of freezes or lock-up.

So I guess that 9.0 free edition + NVIDIA Graphics + 64Bit WIndows 7 = frequent lock-up expected. Hopefully this is true. I shall see for the next week if my machine would still function normally. Any input from readers will be appreciated.

added: I have to conclude that my Av program is the cause for this misery since I have had no problem with my machine now, even when the system is running continuosly for 5 days. Right now I am testing my machine with Avast! pro (trial version).
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