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Windows 2000 Pro: The Missing Manual by Sharon Crawford

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Escaping a Crashed Program

Windows 2000 Pro is very skilled at keeping itself alive. You can almost always recover from the failure of a program without losing data or facing a reboot.

Some symptoms of a crashed program include:

  • The display appears to freeze—you can move the mouse pointer, but clicking has no effect.

  • Some programs are working, but when you place the pointer over another, the pointer turns into an hourglass and stays that way.

  • A warning dialog box tells you that a program is going to shut down (whether you like it or not).

Sometimes it's a false alarm; if you wait 30 seconds or so, everything will come back to life. But if it doesn't, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del.

    The Windows Security dialog box appears.

  2. Click Task Manager.

    Now the Windows Task Manager appears, listing all of the programs you're running at the moment.

  3. On the Applications tab, look for a program labeled Not Responding. Highlight it and click End Task.

    When the application disappears from the list, it's safe to close Task Manager and get on with your work. You can immediately restart the crashed program and get back to work, if you like.

Here are some other hints for working with Task Manager.

  • When you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, be patient. It may take a moment for the Windows Security dialog box to open.

  • Sometimes when Task Manager opens, it shows all the programs as Running—even when you know that's not correct. Click Refresh Now on the View menu until Task Manager coughs up the truth.

  • After you click ...

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