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[ The PC Guide | System Care Guide | Data Loss and Virus Prevention | Data Problem Prevention ]

Dealing With a "Hung" PC

Most systems will, from time to time, enter a state where they get "stuck"--programs stop running and the operating system won't respond to commands. The term commonly used to refer to this state is "hung". A system can become hung for many different reasons, but buggy software is the usual cause. The solution to a hung system is usually to reset the PC and restart it. In some cases, the "three-fingered salute" ({Ctrl}+{Alt}+{Delete}) will revive the system or at least stop the process that is currently hanging it up.

Resetting the PC is always best done by using the reset button, not the power switch. On occasion, you will notice that the PC hangs up with the hard disk activity LED lit up. A solid light on the LED for a protracted period of time usually means some sort of a system problem. One thing that is important to ensure is that you never turn off the PC when the hard disk light is flickering. This normally means that the disk is in use, and turning the system off with it running is not a great idea. If the system is hung up and you want to turn it off, first use the reset button, reboot, then power down and shut off the unit.

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