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Chapter 2. Kick-Starting Your Computer > Restarting Your Computer When the Darn... - Pg. 23

Kick-Starting Your Computer 23 Instead, try to warm boot the computer first. Warm booting forces the computer to reread its startup instructions without turning the power off and on. To warm boot the computer, hold down the Ctrl key and the Alt key while pressing the Del key. This key combination, Ctrl+Alt+Del, is commonly referred to as the "three-finger salute." Warm booting is preferred to cold booting because it doesn't jolt your computer with another startup surge. If you try to warm boot from Windows you get a warning screen that explains the potential risks and your options. Read the entire screen before proceeding. In most cases, your computer is busy performing some task, or one of the applications you're running is conflicting with Windows. You can probably regain control without rebooting, simply by exiting the program that caused your com- puter to lock up. If you press Ctrl+Alt+Del and you see the Close Program dialog box, Windows might display [not responding] next to the name of the program that's causing problems. Click the program's name and click End Task. Repeat the steps to close any other programs that are causing problems. Whoa! Reboot (warm or cold boot) your computer only as a last resort. If you are working on a project and you have to reboot, you might lose everything you did since the last time you saved your work. If Ctrl+Alt+Del Doesn't Work ... Sometimes, the Ctrl+Alt+Del key combination doesn't work; you press the combination and nothing happens. What next? If your computer has a Reset button, try pressing the Reset button to reboot your computer. Like Ctrl+Alt+Del, the Reset button reboots your computer without turning the power off and on. However, if you were working on a document and didn't save your work, you might lose the changes you made since the last time you saved the document. The Cold Boot Restart: The Last Resort If Ctrl+Alt+Del doesn't work and your computer doesn't have a Reset button, you will have to cold boot your computer. To cold boot your computer, start by flipping the system unit power switch to the off position. (Don't turn off the monitor or any other devices; only the system unit.) Wait 30 to 60 seconds for the system to come to a complete rest and to allow the system to clear everything from memory. Listen to your computer carefully, and you should be able to hear it power down for a few seconds. You also might hear the hard disk drive spin to a stop. This is important, because if you flip the power back on before the hard disk drive stops spinning, the needle (read/ write head) in the drive might crash down on the disk and destroy data stored on that part of the disk; this rarely happens on new PCs, but play it safe. After the sound of powering down ends, turn on the system unit.