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My computer hangs when I stream video. Where do I begin to look?

I’m running Windows 7, SP1, Home Edition; Acer Aspire laptop. When I stream
a video, for example, the Food Network cooking video, YouTube’s videos, etc.,
it will start OK and then the video will freeze and the sound gets stuck on one
note. The computer is then locked up; I’m unable to use the mouse or the
keyboard and the only way I can power down is to remove the battery and reboot.
Can you please help me with this dilemma?

In this excerpt from
Answercast #67
, I look at a computer that freezes up when playing
videos.

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Video freezes computer

So, nine times out of ten when this happens, it is a problem with the video
driver.

So, what I would strongly recommend you do is make sure that you have the
most recent video drivers for that laptop installed.

That will typically mean heading on out to the Acer website and looking for
their support options. Make sure you know the model number of your laptop. Go
out there and see if there are updated drivers that are available for it.

Almost always, a heavy use of video in the form of streaming videos (or just
running video in general) usually indicates that there’s some kind of a hiccup,
some kind of a timing problem, some kind of a bug, in the drivers that actually
drive the hardware.

Yes, it’s possible that there’s a hardware issue, but it’s just not really
that likely. So the very first thing I would do absolutely is to have you go out
and make sure you’re running the most recent drivers.

Possible screen resolution

The other thing to try (if the drivers don’t resolve this) is potentially to
at least try a different screen resolution. You’re running Windows 7
so you can right-click on an empty area of the desktop; click on
Personalize and there you’ll see something for screen
resolution.

Change it to something else; it doesn’t really matter what – as long as it
displays on the screen. Typically, it’s something smaller than what you have
now. It may not look great, but if you determine that streaming video works in
that mode, then that’s a data point.

Unfortunately, it’s probably a data point for a technician to then take a
look at exactly what’s going on. Still, it sure feels like something to do with
the video driver and that’s where I’d have you start.

Next from
Answercast #67
I plugged in an old drive
via
USB and Windows Explorer doesn’t see it. How should I access its
contents?

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3 comments on “My computer hangs when I stream video. Where do I begin to look?”

  1. Why are you removing the battery? Usually if you hold in the power button for a few seconds when the system hangs, it will power it down. Try that. Not sure if removing the battery when the computer is running will cause a problem – even when hung, but I wouldn’t want to do it myself.

    Reply
  2. Dan, holding the power button doesn’t always work and pulling the power cord doesn’t work on a laptop. Pulling the battery is sometimes the only way. It kind of scared me a bit the first time I had to do it.

    Reply

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