Freezing your computer occurs when it stops operating properly and certain components (usually the CPU) shut down. Sometimes a blue screen appears, along with an error message.
When this happens to a laptop, you usually have to hold down the power button for several seconds to turn it off completely. Be aware that 'shutting down' doesn't mean turning off the laptop, it means running it until all of its components shut down.
Freezing Your Laptop: The Exception to the Rule
If you're using a Windows laptop and it freezes at least once a day (and sometimes during startup), then it's likely that you have an issue with your operating system. This is commonly caused by viruses or poor programming. If this is the case, it might be time for you to upgrade to a new Windows 8 computer as your current one isn't up-to-date anymore and lacks the necessary hardware. You can also try manually removing any malware on your system through AVG Antivirus Free.
How To Fix A Frozen Computer
1) Restarting the computer
If you're lucky, you've simply closed an application that was still running in the background. If this is the case, your computer should restart without any problems. You can either close applications by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete or through Start menu > Task Manager (Windows) / Apple Menu (Mac).
2) Removing Faulty Hardware
If you suspect a faulty piece of hardware has caused your computer to freeze, then it's time to open up your laptop and check if everything is plugged incorrectly. However, before you do so, remove all batteries from their compartments as they could be drained. Once done, remove the power supply unit and turn off your laptop for 5 minutes to give it some rest. Next, turn it on and press F2 repeatedly until you enter the BIOS menu. From there, check if all hardware is connected correctly (screen, keyboard, etc.)
If everything seems to be in order, you'll need to shut your laptop down completely; turn it over and remove the screws at the bottom of your laptop with a screwdriver. Then carefully remove any components that aren't working properly or look like they could cause problems in the future (RAM modules for example).
3) Running Hardware Troubleshooters
Every Windows computer comes standard with one or more troubleshooters that can diagnose common hardware problems. To run them simply go to Start Menu > Control Panel > System & Security > Find and Fix Problems . This should recognize any faulty components and fix them for you.
4) Cleaning Your Laptop
Depending on how often you use your laptop, dust might have built up inside, which can cause overheating problems. To clean it out, turn off your laptop completely and remove the battery along with its compartment if possible. Then start cleaning out all vents using a compressed air duster or a cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol. Once done, put everything back together and try turning on your computer again. If this doesn't work, leave it turned off for 5 minutes before trying to boot it up again.
5) Installing Updates
In some cases, hardware components can stop working properly because they lack important updates from the manufacturer. In such instances, you'll need to visit the manufacturer's website and find the latest drivers or software for your computer. Then download them onto a USB drive and install them from there.
6) Upgrading to a New Laptop
If all else fails, then you'll have to upgrade your current laptop with a new one that is running Windows 8. You can also use this time to get an SSD if it doesn't already have one. The speed difference will be noticeable even when opening up heavy applications such as Adobe Photoshop.
In Case Of Emergency...
If you've tried everything mentioned above but nothing seems to work, then turn off your laptop immediately and consider taking it directly to a professional. In most cases, this means having your motherboard replaced which requires specialized knowledge and equipment. If you try having it fixed on your own you might void any warranty left and end up with a costly repair bill.
However, if you're sure that replacing the motherboard would be enough to fix your computer, then buying a new one from eBay or Craigslist might be a cheaper option. To see what components are compatible with your existing laptop model check its Service Tag from either Windows or through Start Menu > Control Panel > System & Security > System which should show you the make and model of every working component inside your computer. This way you can simply buy a new motherboard instead of upgrading everything piece by piece.
As you can see, laptop hardware troubleshooting isn't that complicated after all. On average it should take you about 30 minutes to figure out the problem and an hour or two to find a solution for it. Of course, some issues require more than just your average tune-up, but these tend to be rare cases when something has gone wrong during manufacturing or with the software itself.