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Question of the Month – April

Question: What Should I do When a Computer Freezes or Locks Up?

Answer: A number of issues can cause your computer to freeze up and stop responding. If you find yourself staring at an unresponsive screen, try taking the following steps:

Wait
Sometimes, it may just be the case that the computer is busy completing a complex task. Having a little patience and giving it a couple of minutes to get back on track can often be all it takes.

Check if the computer is deadlocked
Hit the Caps Lock key on the keyboard and verify if the Caps Lock LED lights up. If it does, you know that Windows is still working; however, a program may not be responding. Hit Ctrl+Alt+Del to open the Windows Task Manager, choose the program that is frozen, and select End Task. Your computer should now be fully responsive. If hitting Caps Lock does not turn the LED light on and off, the computer is deadlocked, and you’ll need to restart it.

Reboot the computer
If none of the steps outlined above work, you’ll need to reboot the computer. Press the power button and hold it down until the device turns off. Wait a few moments before you turn the computer back on. During startup, you may be asked if you want to restart the computer in Safe Mode or normally. Select Start Windows Normally; hopefully, the computer will start up without any issues.

Address any hardware issues
If you’ve tried all the steps listed above and your computer is still frozen, it’s likely that you have a hardware or device driver issue. If it is a hardware-related problem, you will need to replace the hardware as soon as possible to limit further damage. If a device driver is the culprit, download the latest driver.