How to Fix Not Responding Errors

Windows generally makes use of a spinning hourglass or wheel to show that it is busy with a task. When it is already finished, the spinning icon vanishes. After that, you are able to utilize your computer again.


What really does happen when the task is not finished? It means there will be an error that Windows is not responding. In the early versions of Windows, the not responding errors means a system reboot is needed. Luckily, the latest versions are less prone to complete system crashes. For Windows Vista, when the software is not responding, a choice is displayed notifying you to wait for the software to shut down or respond to the software that is not responding. Shutting down the software that is not responding will allow you to go back to other tasks without needing to reboot your computer. You might have lost the data in the offending software but the pieces of data in the other running software are not affected.


For both Windows XP and Windows Vista, you can shut down the software that is not responding manually. You can do this by going to the Task Manager. To perform this, right mouse click on a blank portion of the desktop and select the Task Manager. Or better yet, you can press the control, alt and delete keys at the same time and select "Start Task Manager."


The moment you have launched it, click on the "Performance" tab. A graphical view about how your resources are being utilized will be displayed on the screen. Since you are getting an error message that the program is not responding, it is possible that the memory or the CPU usage is nearly full. After that, click on the "Applications" tab. A display of the list of all running applications and a status will appear on the screen. Choose the not responding application using the mouse and click on "End Task."


If you would like to know how much the memory and CPU a given application is utilizing, click on the "Process" tab, look for the application that is associated with the .exe file in the list. For instance, if you wish to know how many resources Excel is utilizing as it runs, search for excel.exe and look at the numbers. As you are browsing this list, you will view a lot of applications and procedures that are consuming big portions of processing memory and power. If you have too many applications taking up the resources, then it is possibly contributing to your original non-responsive errors. The more available resources that your computer has, the less possible it is to stop responding.


Follow these steps to limit the startup items with the System Configuration tool:

  1. Place the cursor on the Start menu and then click on Run
  2. In the open box, type in msconfig
  3. Hit the enter key on the keyboard
  4. Click on the "Startup" tab
  5. Delete all of the not necessary applications from the list

Because spyware and viruses are also resource hogs, be sure to keep your computer safe and launch daily malware scans. By clearing up your resources, you should notice enhanced performance and fewer errors.


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