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What Can You Do When Windows Hangs, Locks Up or Becomes Unresponsive

21 March 2009 No Comment

Everyone who has used a computer regularly has experienced it from time to time. What would you do if programs consume too much CPU or too much memory usage, or too many programs have been started and your computer has become unresponsive? The mouse cursor still moves but no programs are responding, you cannot switch to other programs or even close them. You have even tried to start the Windows Task Manager and even that won’t work because it does not get enough attention from the scheduler to respond to your mouse clicks and keyboard presses. I bet your answer would be hit the reset button to restart Windows.

Hard resetting your computer using the reset button is always the last resort because by doing that, you could be corrupting files that are currently in use or even worst, Windows fails to start up. Before doing that, here is a free tool called AntiFreeze which offers a last recourse when you find your computer in a hung state.

AntiFreeze offers a last recourse when you find your computer in a hung state. As soon as you press the hotkey combination (Alt+Ctrl+WIN+Home) of AntiFreeze, AntiFreeze will suspend most of the running programs so they stop hogging your systems resources. Then it will start a special type of task manager, very much like the standard Windows task manager except that it is designed for the particular task of letting you get the system in a responsive state again. If a program has consumed lots of CPU time it is an indication it may have been responsible for locking up your system. You can terminate the offending program by clicking the ‘End Process’ button.

Restore computer from hang

OK, AntiFreeze doesn’t work all the time as it will only work when:

  • One or more programs are doing very intensive tasks, they consume so much processor cycles that the system becomes unresponsive
  • One or more programs consume so much memory that the swapping file is heavily used, overloading the system
  • Programs are running with a scheduling priority which is so high that they consume all processor resources
  • Too many programs are running at the same time and they all have to compete for attention from the processor
  • There are times when AntiFreeze will fail to work and you’ll have to hit the reset button. AntiFreeze is most likely not to work if your computer is hanging or becomes unresponsive due to hardware problem or when you see your mouse cursor stay at the same location even if you move your mouse. AntiFreeze runs at a high priority level to suspend running processes lower than AntiFreeze but if there are any kernel software or device driver that runs higher than AntiFreeze, then AntiFreeze wouldn’t work.

    Although it’s not a perfect solution when your computer hangs or becomes unresponsive but I am willing to trade only 3MB of my computer’s memory for a chance to save my save or recover your work without hitting the reset button.

    Download AntiFreeze

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