What Is the Best Way to Unstick My Frozen PC?

Q. How do I get my computer going again when it freezes and doesn't respond to the keyboard?

A. Is it really frozen, or just very slow? Take a short break, and if everything's working again when you get back, clear the cobwebs by clicking Start, Turn Off Computer, Restart (be patient; it could still be slow).

If you're still stuck but your keyboard works, press <Ctrl>-<Alt>-<Del> to open the Task Manager (in Windows 2000, you'll have to click a Task Manager button; in Windows Vista, the button is Start Task Manager). Click the Applications tab, and check the Status column for any application that is 'Not Responding'. If you find one, select it and click End Task. Next, click the Processes tab and look for any process running at 100 percent CPU utilization (or 50 percent, if you have a dual-core system). If there are none, select Shut Down, Restart-or press <Alt>-U, and then R-to reboot Windows gracefully.

If your keyboard and mouse are unresponsive, press your <Caps Lock> key while looking down at your keyboard. If the indicator light doesn't change, your keyboard and your PC aren't communicating. Move your mouse around while looking at the screen. If the pointer doesn't budge-even after a few seconds' wait-your mouse is out, too. Either your PC needs a hardware reboot, or you have a keyboard and mouse problem.

If they're wired, unplug the mouse and keyboard, then plug them in again. If they're wireless, press their reset buttons, or change their batteries-or do both.

Your last resort is to try a hardware reboot. You may lose whatever work wasn't saved when the problem started, but if you have no choice, press and hold your system's power button for five seconds.

If that doesn't turn your machine off, unplug the power cord. On a notebook, you may also have to remove the battery. Your next boot-up may take longer than usual; Windows runs additional diagnostics whenever it doesn't shut down properly.

Synchronize Outlook

Q. How do I synchronize my Outlook data on two computers?

A. Yahoo's free services can sync Outlook's address book, calendar, notepad, and to-do list, but not its e-mail. They require a free Yahoo account; sign up at www.yahoo.com. Log on to this account, click Mail, and then choose the Calendar tab. Click Sync to download and install Intellisync for Yahoo, which syncs your Outlook data with Yahoo's services. To share your e-mail, you'll have to use your ISP's Web-based e-mail service, and then add the account to your Outlook inbox. To sync a work account, try SynchPST (free demo available here; see FIGURE 1). The $40 Basic version meets all of my needs, but the $70 Professional version adds mail-sync automation and password protection.

FIGURE 1

Lock cell references when you Copy an Excel Formula

When you use Microsoft Excel's Copy or Paste option (or when you -drag) to move a formula to a new location, the program maintains relative cell references. For instance, if you copy cell C5, containing =A3*B4, to cell F8, that cell will have the formula =D6*E7. Most of the time, this is what you want. But not always. To copy the exact formula to a different cell, select the cell containing the formula, press <F2> to edit the formula, enter <Shift>-<Home> to select it, and then press <Ctrl>-C to copy it. Press <Esc> to exit cell editing. Now you can paste the formula, unchanged, into any cell. You can also record a macro for the copy/paste process by selecting Tools, Macro, Record New Macro.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lincoln Spector

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?