Why does my computer freeze and make a buzzing noise Windows 7?

There are a few potential reasons why your Windows 7 computer might freeze and make a buzzing noise:

Overheating CPU or GPU

One of the most common causes of computer freezing and buzzing noises is overheating of the CPU (processor) or GPU (graphics card). As these components heat up from prolonged use, they can begin to malfunction or throttle down, leading to freezing and audio artifacts like buzzing.

Here are some tips to prevent overheating:

  • Make sure your computer case and CPU/GPU fans are dust-free and spinning properly. Buildup of dust acts as an insulator and prevents effective cooling.
  • Consider upgrading to a larger CPU fan/heatsink, or adding more case fans if temperatures are high.
  • Reposition your computer tower to improve airflow if it is in an enclosed space.
  • Lower CPU/GPU usage by closing unneeded programs and browser tabs.
  • Undervolt your CPU/GPU which reduces heat output.

Faulty RAM Module

Another possibility is a failing or malfunctioning RAM (memory) module. RAM stores volatile data for running programs and processes, so corruption or errors in RAM can lead to freezing and other system instabilities.

Try the following RAM troubleshooting steps:

  • Use Windows Memory Diagnostic or a tool like MemTest86 to scan your RAM for errors. Let the tests run for several passes.
  • If errors show up, identify which RAM stick is failing by removing and testing one at a time.
  • Once you’ve identified the bad module, replace it with a new one.
  • Also reseat all RAM sticks to ensure proper connection. Misaligned RAM can cause issues.
  • Verify your RAM configuration matches your motherboard’s supported speed/specs. Overclocking RAM incorrectly can induce errors.

Faulty Power Supply Unit

The power supply unit (PSU) provides regulated power to all of your PC’s components. A failing PSU can exhibit freezing, rebooting, blue screens, and odd noises as voltages become unstable.

PSU issues can be diagnosed by:

  • Testing PSU voltages with a multimeter to see if they deviate from spec under load.
  • Trying a known-good replacement PSU to see if problems persist.
  • Visually inspecting for bulging/leaking capacitors on the PSU.
  • Checking for overheating of the PSU due to blocked fan vents or age-related wear.

If your PSU voltages, ripple, or load regulation fall outside of specifications, the PSU will likely need replacement.

Malware, Viruses, or Corrupt Software

Malware infections like viruses, worms, and trojans can sometimes be responsible for computer lockups and glitches. Malware works by modifying system files, registry settings, and running harmful processes in the background.

If you suspect malware, try these steps:

  • Boot into Safe Mode and run a full system antivirus scan.
  • Use malware scanners like Malwarebytes to scan for threats.
  • Check for unusual background processes in Task Manager.
  • Inspect your browser extensions and remove any unknown/suspicious ones.
  • Restore Windows from a restore point prior to the freezing issues.
  • Backup data and do a fresh Windows reinstall if all else fails.

Driver Issues

Device driver issues can also manifest as computer lockups and buzzing noises from components like audio cards and GPUs. Drivers act as the low-level software interfaces between Windows and hardware.

To troubleshoot driver issues:

  • Use the Device Manager to check for devices flagged with warning/error codes.
  • Update suspect drivers to newer versions from manufacturer websites.
  • Roll back recently updated drivers using System Restore.
  • Uninstall unused or redundant legacy drivers.
  • Disable problematic drivers to test if this resolves the freezing.

Hard Drive Failure

If your hard drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD) is damaged or failing, this can introduce freezing as the operating system hangs trying to read inaccessible sectors. This is most noticeable during disk-intensive operations like booting up or loading new programs.

Warning signs of a failing drive include:

  • Loud clicking or grinding noises from the drive.
  • Freezing during bootup or file operations.
  • Corrupted data and disk errors.
  • Very slow disk performance.

SMART drive utilities like CrystalDiskInfo can be used to read drive health metrics like reallocated sectors count, current pending sector count, etc. High counts of reallocated or pending sectors indicate the drive is failing.

To resolve, replace the faulty HDD/SSD with a new unit and reinstall Windows and programs.

Overloaded CPU

An overloaded CPU that is running at or near 100% utilization for extended periods can sometimes induce temporary freezing and buzzing.

To alleviate:

  • Close any applications hogging CPU in the background based on Task Manager.
  • Upgrade to a modern multicore CPU which can better handle heavy multitasking.
  • Add more RAM which reduces how often the system needs to access the hard drive.
  • Do a clean Windows reinstall to clear any OS cruft hogging resources.
  • Make sure Windows and drivers are updated, as updates fix CPU usage bugs.

Upgrading from an older single or dual core CPU to a modern quad or hexa core model can significantly improve performance and responsiveness under heavy load.

Faulty Motherboard Components

In rare cases, components on the motherboard itself can fail and cause freezing/lockups. This includes the integrated I/O controllers, voltage regulators, capacitors, and BIOS firmware.

Motherboard issues tend to exhibit other symptoms as well such as:

  • Keyboard/mouse not responding.
  • PS/2 and USB ports not working.
  • Error codes on startup.
  • Inability to enter BIOS setup.

It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact faulty component without swapping in known good parts. If you suspect a motherboard fault, replacing the board may be required if issues persist after trying the other troubleshooting steps listed.

Electromagnetic Interference

External electromagnetic interference (EMI) from other devices can sometimes induce freezing or buzzing noises through audio/video components.

Potential EMI sources include:

  • Nearby fluorescent lights, motors, PC speakers (coil whine).
  • Defective internal components like GPU coil whine.
  • Strong radio frequency fields from devices like cell phones.
  • Bad power cable/cord grounding.
  • Bad electrical outlet grounding.

Solutions include:

  • Identify and remove or reposition EMI sources if possible.
  • Use shielded audio/video cables and grounded power cables.
  • Plug devices into different outlets to isolate grounding issues.
  • Use ferrite choke cores on suspect cables.

For internal coil whine, replace the faulty component like GPU or power supply if the noise is disruptive.

Loose Connections and Faulty Wiring

Loose or damaged cables and connectors can intermittently drop signals which may cause temporary freezing and abnormal noises.

Inspect the following connections:

  • Inside of computer case for any obviously loose cables.
  • Video cable connections to monitor and PC.
  • SATA data and power cables to hard drives and SSDs.
  • Motherboard power header cables.
  • RAM sticks are properly seated in slots.

Reconnect any loose cables and replace any damaged ones. Loose solder joints inside components can also cause signal issues in some cases.

Thermal Cycling Components

In rare instances, components that undergo repeated hot/cold thermal cycling can become physically damaged over time. This includes sockets, solder joints, capacitors, etc. As damage accumulates, increased electrical resistance can manifest as random freezes and artifacts.

This thermal cycling damage is most often seen in gaming PCs and overclocked systems which generate more heat. Improving cooling and reducing thermal cycles can help prolong component lifespan.

Electrical Noise on Power Lines

Noisy power lines providing current to your PC can also be a source of buzzing or humming noises. This “dirty” power can be caused by:

  • Faulty wiring in your home or office building.
  • Overloaded electrical circuits shared by many devices.
  • Grounding issues with outlets.
  • Failing power supply in your computer.
  • Nearby equipment causing electromagnetic interference.

Options to remedy electrical noise include:

  • Trying different outlets, preferably on different circuits.
  • Using a power line conditioner or UPS (battery backup) for cleaner power.
  • Replacing the computer power supply if it is deteriorating.
  • Running audio/video cables away from power cables.

If the issue only occurs in one building, you may need an electrician to inspect for wiring problems.

Weak CPU Overclock

Overclocking your CPU can provide added performance, but too much overclocking can lead to system instability and freezing. This is especially true with marginal overclocks that are near the limits of voltage and thermal headroom.

If freezing only happens under heavy CPU load, try either:

  • Reducing the CPU clock multiplier slightly.
  • Increasing CPU core voltage very slightly (watch thermals).
  • Stress testing overnight to confirm stability.

Also double check that CPU input voltage, VCCSA, VCCIO, and System Agent voltage are aligned with your overclock target speed.

Windows Update Issues

In some cases, freezing issues and buzzing noises can arise after a bad Windows update. Updates can sometimes contain buggy code or device drivers that destabilize the system.

If problems appeared after an update:

  • Use System Restore to roll back to before the problem update.
  • Boot into Safe Mode and uninstall bad updates in Control Panel.
  • Check Windows Update history for any error codes.
  • Disable auto driver updates in Windows Update settings.

Updating Windows and drivers is still recommended for security and bug fixes. But roll back individual updates causing measurable problems.


In summary, common causes for computer freezing and buzzing noises on Windows 7 include overheating, failing hardware components like RAM or hard drives, malware, driver issues, electromagnetic interference, and problems with Windows updates or overclocks.

A systematic approach to troubleshooting is recommended, testing and eliminating potential issues one by one. Test in Safe Mode, check temperatures, update drivers, scan for malware, inspect connections, replace failing parts, and make sure overclocks are stable. This should help identify and resolve the specific problem causing your freezing and buzzing issues.