Ever get this message: “This program is not responding. It may be busy, waiting for a response from you, or it may have stopped running.”
Or sometimes, you don’t get that message and your computer or a particular program just seems to stop running.
These occur in all computers from time to time and they are due to memory of software conflicts. Your CPU (central processing unit – the brain of your computer) gets an instruction and it doesn’t know how to carry it out, so it just stops – it doesn’t process anymore.
The first thing you want to know is how to get the computer running again. The first thing you want to do is to close the program that seems to be hanging up. You can do this by holding down the CTRL and ALT key s and tapping the DELETE key. That will open up the Task Manager.
You will see 5 tabs at the top (below the menu bar). Click on the Applications Tab. You will see all the programs that are open. If there is a program that is frozen, you will see the words “Not Responding.” Click on that program and press the End Task button. Wait for a few moments (or minutes) and if you are in a soft lockup, the program will close. You can then proceed using your computer.
If the frozen program does not close, then you are in a hard lockup. That means, you may have to shut off the computer and restart. To restart after a hard lockup, hold down the power button until the computer turns off. It could take 7 or more seconds. Then release it and press it again to turn the computer back on.
In Windows XP, hard lockups are rare because problem programs usually can be closed through the Task Manager.
Why do these lockups happen? Here are the most common reasons that programs stop responding. Hints and tips to solve these problems are below.
Here are some common ways to cut down on freeze ups or solve lockups.
One last thing, do not assume that if a program seems to be frozen that it needs to be closed. It may, in fact, be waiting for you to respond to a dialog box before it can proceed. When I use Acrobat Reader 7.0, I frequently get a dialogue box which is asking me if I want to check for updated versions. The problem occurs when the dialog box is under the other open windows and I can’t see it. Before the program proceeds to opening the file I requested, I need to close that dialog box. So it actually appears the program has frozen, but it hasn’t. When I minimize the other windows, I finally see the dialog box and I can close it and proceed with my computing.
Happy freeze-less computing.
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