freeze - Windows 7 Hangs During App Install/Upgrade/Uninstall

  • JadeMason

    I have a custom built PC that intermittently hangs when installing, uninstalling, or upgrading applications.

    Technical Specs

    • Asus P5E w/ WiFi Motherboard
    • Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 Processor
    • 4x 2GB G.Skill DDR2 800 SDRAM
    • Asus
    • EAH2900XT / Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB Video Card

    Under normal operation the machine runs reliably, even under heavy load, such as video transcoding. The temperature never gets anywhere near where I would worry about it. However, the machine regularly hangs (complete lockup, no response to keyboard or mouse, no activity on-screen) when either installing a new application, uninstalling an existing application, or applying patches to existing applications or the OS. This is extremely frustrating as this machine is primarily used as a HTPC. Several apps are configured for automatic updates, and these updates sometimes cause the machine to lockup while we are watching content on the PC.

    In previously investigating this issue, I found one likely problem could be my Logitech Webcam. The Logitech software has a bug that leaves an entry in


    Which references the Temp directory. My registry contained this error, so I uninstalled the webcam software and deleted this registry key value. Unfortunately, the machine will still intermittently hang. I've noticed that the hangs always happen when an install/upgrade/uninstall requires elevated privileges (presumably to modify the registry). I can typically get at least one install/upgrade/uninstall to complete after a reboot, but after that it is a game of Russian roulette to see if the operation will succeed or hang the machine.

    The event log is not helpful, as log messages end at the time of the hang, with no record of a warning or error. My only recourse when the machine hangs in this way is to perform a hard reset/power cycle.

  • Answers
  • Tom Wijsman

    installing a new application, uninstalling an existing application, or applying patches to existing applications or the OS

    Failing hard drive? Have you checked the S.M.A.R.T. information and did an error scan?

    and deleted this registry key.

    I hope that you didn't delete the PendingFileRenameOperations key itself.

    My only recourse when the machine hangs in this way is to perform a hard reset/power cycle.

    Can you try to see if a manually initiated crash works?

  • JadeMason

    The solution in my case was the audio driver. The audio drivers that shipped with the motherboard had a handle leak. After a week or so of continuous uptime the handle leak would consume all of the available resources of the machine. An attempt to install / upgrade software would then cause the machine to halt. I found that a new audio driver was available to address this specific issue, and after applying the patch the machine has been running fine.

  • Related Question

    installation - Windows 7 setup hangs after "Starting Windows..."-screen
  • o01

    I'm having some trouble installing Windows 7. I need to install the OS from boot in order to split my C: into two different partitions, as this is not allowed when installing from inside Vista.

    When I boot up from the install disc, I get the usual "Windows is copying files..."-screen, shortly followed by the "Starting Windows..."-screen with the animated window-logo or whatever. Then it looks as if the installation is about to begin with a blue screen and a cursor I can move around, but here it all stops. Nothing more happens, and the setup seems to hang. Not a single key on my keyboard has any effect, and all I am left to do is to abort and reboot.

    I've tried to install using two different DVDs (not clones), and the same thing happens every time. What may be causing this, and how may I fix it?

    Some of my hardware specs are as follows:

    Motherboard: Asus P5E X38
    CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E6850 3.0 Ghz
    OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit
    Keyboard: Logitech diNovo Edge

    .. need more?

    And yes, I can still move my mouse around on the blue-ish screen, but I have not waited more than 10 minutes before giving up (gonna try waiting longer).

    And no, I have not asked Microsoft.

    And I have no idea how to reset the BIOS-settings.

  • Related Answers
  • o01

    Incredibly, a post on the Windows Answers-forum said what to do. And it worked!

    All I had to do was to disable the Floppy Drive-support in BIOS, reboot and install :)

  • rzlines

    Can the mouse still move when your keyboard stops to respond? How long did you keep the computer on, while its on this screen?

    I suggest that you leave it at this screen for sometime (give it even 20 - 30 mins).

    Also what are your hardware specs?

  • 8088

    Try this fix:

    1. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories
    2. Right click on Command Prompt.
    3. Select Run as Administrator.
    4. Click Continue.
    5. In the Command Prompt type:

      sfc /scannow
  • Tom Wijsman

    If possible, try to burn the DVD from another computer and be sure to let it verify. Try booting the target computer with the least hardware possible and try to reset the BIOS settings for sure. If all else fails you you seem to have a hardware problem in one of your core components, try replacing them...

  • Yann Trevin

    Just for the record, I had the exact same problem. After having tried unsuccessfully to disable various devices from the BIOS (FDD, LAN controller, USB controller, etc.) I finally flashed the BIOS with the latest version from the vendor web site. And immediately after that operation, the installation of Windows 7 has worked like a charm.