Computer Freezes – What to do When

Don Trauger – Kennett

Problems can appear at anytime when using the computer. They may appear only at startup, they may appear only
when using a program, or they may appear when shutting down the computer. One of the reasons for all this mayhem
is the lack of maintenance on your computer. Make sure you do the required, and I do mean required, maintenance
as outlined under my TechTips in Computer Performance and Maintenance Tips on our website.
Also, be sure your anti-virus program is up to date with the current updates and make sure you do either a manual
scan for viruses or check for an automatic scan scheduled by the anti-virus program. Lack of maintenance or using
the computer with a virus can lead to instability, freezes, and crashes.

Even if you do all of the preceding and keep your computer in good condition, you can still experience the annoying
problem of a freeze. This is a condition when the mouse or keyboard fails to respond to your input. The screen is
more or less normal but nothing happens when you try clicking the mouse or pressing a keyboard key. There can be
several reasons for this situation. It may be the program itself. Sometimes an update will correct freeze up problems
particularly if it occurs at the same spot during use of the program. Check the website’s support area for the
manufacturer of the program to see if there are any updates. Another possibility is a program conflict. This can occur
when two or more programs (or files) occupy the same area in the computer’s memory. Another reason could be a faulty
device driver. Device drivers are small utility programs to make the hardware in computer perform the way it should.
This area is a bit technical and upgrading device drivers should only be done if they suspected of being unstable.

Now, here’s what to try to get out of a freeze condition. First, see if you can move the mouse down to the Task bar.
This the bar that contains the clock in the right hand corner of the screen. Right click the bar in a blank area and
then left click on Task Manager. Click the Application tab, highlight the program/s displayed, and then click End Task.
In a few seconds they should be closed out. If you see a window pop up click on End Now. Now try restarting your program
again to see if it works. If it doesn’t, you will have to restart the computer. You can do this within Task Manger by
clicking on ShutDown at the top of the window then click on Restart.

If the mouse is totally frozen and can’t be moved, check to see if the keyboard is functional. The keyboard can substitute
for the mouse in many situations. To restart a computer using only the keyboard, press and hold the Ctrl key while you
press the Esc key. Next press the u key followed by the r key. This will restart the computer so you can be operational

If all of the preceding fails, press and hold the power button on the computer for at least 7 seconds or until the
computer commences to shut down. Next, restart as you normally would. Hopefully it will now run normally.

Help with computer problems and questions can be found when you attend our PC Club meetings. We meet the 2nd Tuesday of
every month at 7:00 PM in the Ardmore room of the Community Center.