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Thursday, April 19, 2012

1221. Shutting down a stuck computer

Sometimes an application will bring my computer to a halt. I need to completely shut down, but the computer is unresponsive, and nothing I do will allow me to shut down. And this happens with both my PC and my Mac.  What's the solution?

One solution, of course, is to toss your computer out the window. Believe me, I've contemplated this many times. Next thing to do is ask it politely "what the heck is wrong with you?". Not exactly the wording I use at such times...

Of course this really shouldn't be possible, and in a perfect world it wouldn't happen. But in the worst of situations your PC or your Mac will become so unresponsive that it doesn't respond to any keystrokes. What do you do?

On a PC you can try pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del and hold the combination for 10 to 15 seconds. That might free things up.

On the other hand, on both computers, should things get so bad that you can't enter any keystrokes, pressing and holding the power button for 5 seconds or longer will sooner or later shut down the computer. No questions asked, no files saved, everything you were working on will be lost, but the computer will shut down. (Of course, if you're using a desktop computer, you can also simply pull the plug to get the same effect.)

Don't blame us if you lose some data because this happens.  (This shouldn't affect anything you have saved, but if you were working on a document at the time this happened, it's likely you'll lose at least a little work.) We can't help you in that situation, but you can get control back by pressing and holding the power button for 5 seconds or more.

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