Unfreezing the "frozen" computer
At some point in time, every computer user had their computer "freeze" - that is, the computer stops responding to keypresses or mouse movements. It's an awfully frustrating event.
The problem is, it's often hard to ascertain whether the computer is actually locked up or simply really busy "thinking" for a moment.
If the hard drive light (usually a green or amber colored LED on the front of the computer) is blinking intermittenly, chances are it's just busy.
If the lock up is only restricted to one program (other computer menus or features work fine), chances are that closing the faulty application will restore the computer to regular operation.
But probably the most definitive test to determining if the computer is actually frozen or not is whether the keyboard responds. When the caps lock is pressed, does the caps light on the keyboard go on or off? Does pressing the num lock make the num lock light go on or off? If there's no visible change, then chances are you're locked up.
As most new computers have "soft" power switches, most computer users can simply press and hold the power button on the front of their computer for more than 10 seconds and the PC should suddenly shut off. Let it sit idle for a minute or two and simply power it back on.
Have comments about this article or suggestions for a future Tech Tips article? Send an e-mail to email@example.com.