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Chapter 4. Using the Windows XP Interface > Troubleshooting - Pg. 102

Using the Windows XP Interface 102 Dealing with a Crashed Application or Operating System Even though Windows XP is fairly immune to crashing, the applications that run on it are not nec- essarily so robust. Not to be cynical, but many IS professionals don't consider any version of Win- dows worth their trouble until version 2 or a couple of service packs hit the streets, because they know bugs tend to be prevalent in first-release software. With an operating system as complex as Windows XP, we bet there are a few gotchas lurking. If your system is really still stuck but you can get the Task Manager up, see "Forcing Your Computer to Shut Down " in the " Troubleshooting " section at the end of this chapter. If your laptop computer won't shut down no matter what you do, see "Ctrl+Alt+Delete Doesn't Work " in the " Troubleshooting " section at the end of this chapter. My point here is that you're going to bump into some unstable behavior from time to time. If you notice that a program is not responding, you might have a crash on your hands. To gracefully survive a crash, possibly even without losing any of your data, try the following steps: 1. Try pressing Esc. Some a program gets stuck in the middle of a process and Esc gets it back on track. For example, if you accidentally pressed Alt, this activates the menus. A press of Esc gets you out of that loop. If you've opened a menu, two presses of Esc or a click within the application's window might be required to return to normal operation. Windows XP has greatly improved application-management facilities. In most cases, even after an application has crashed, you should still be able to minimize, maximize, move, resize, and close its window. Can you switch to the app to bring its window up front? First try clicking any portion of the window. If that doesn't work, click its button in the taskbar. Still no luck? Try using successive presses of Alt+Tab. If you get the window open and responding, try to save any unfinished work in the app and then try to close it by clicking the close button or selecting the File, Exit. If that doesn't work, try right-clicking the program's button in the taskbar and choosing Close from the pop-up menu. If that doesn't work, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to launch the Task Manager. Notice the list of running applications. Does the one in question display Not Responding next to it? If so, click it, and then click End Task. If Task Manager reports that you don't have sufficient access to terminate the task, you must reboot the system. First, attempt a graceful shutdown using the Turn Off Computer command. However, if that fails (for example, it hangs on the hung application or it never seems to com- plete the shutdown process), you need to resort to power cycling (shutting off your PC with the power button on the case). After the system reboots you should be back to normal. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Troubleshooting Shortcut Doesn't Work I click a shortcut key somewhere in my Start menus and nothing happens or I get an error message.