Search:     Advanced search

Why does my computer seem to be frozen? The hourglass keeps spinning but nothing happens, or my mouse won't move, etc.

Article ID: 5
Last updated: 14 May, 2012

Do not turn the computer off by the power button. This can cause more serious problems. Use that only as a LAST resort.   Instead, hold down the ctrl, alt and delete keys to open the Windows Security window. Click on the Task Manager button. In the Task Manager window that opens, select the "Applications" tab. You will see a list of all the programs you currently have open. Often, the one that is giving you problems will have a status of "Not Responding" instead of "Running".

Select the program you are having difficulties with and then select the button labeled "End Task". You may get window that says "The program is not responding". If you do, select "End Now". Give the computer a minute or so to end the program. Once the program closes, you'll want to restart your computer properly.

Only after exhausting all other options should you press your computers power button as doing so can corrupt system files and create further issues with your PC.

For more information or to get assistance,  Contact the helpdesk at 518-244-4777 or by emailing


Article submitted by Jon Brennan

'; glosarry_items[11] = '

Stands for \"Video Random Access Memory\" and is pronounced \"V-RAM.\" System RAM is great for loading and running programs, but when you need graphics power, VRAM is where it\'s at. This is the memory used to store image data that the computer displays; it acts as a buffer between the CPU and the video card. When a picture is to be displayed on the screen, the image is first read by the processor and then written to the VRAM. The data is then converted by a RAM digital-to-analog converter (RAMDAC) into analog signals that are sent to the display. Of course, the whole process happens so quickly, you don\'t notice it. Unlike most system RAM, VRAM chips are dual-ported, which means that while the display is reading from VRAM to refresh the currently displayed image, the processor is writing a new image to the VRAM. This prevents the display from flickering between the redrawing of images.

There are many different types of VRAM. One popular kind is called Synchronous Graphics RAM (SGRAM). It is an inexpensive type of RAM that is clock-synchronized. This means data can be modified in a single operation rather than as a sequence of read, write, and update operations. This allows background, foreground, and image fills to be handled more efficiently. Another type of VRAM is Rambus Dynamic RAM (RDRAM). It is designed by Rambus and includes a proprietary Rambus bus that speeds up the transfer of data through it. Video editing pros like this chip since it is optimized for video streaming. A third type of VRAM is Window RAM (WRAM). This high-performance VRAM is dual-ported, has about 25% more bandwidth than standard VRAM, and typically costs less. Finally, there is Multibank Dynamic RAM (MDRAM). This is also high-performance VRAM, developed by MoSys, which divides the memory into divisions of 32 KB that can be accessed individually. This makes memory transfers more efficient and increases overall performance. Another advantage of MDRAM is that it can be manufactured with just the right amount of memory for a given resolution, so it is cheaper to manufacture than most other types of VRAM.

'; glosarry_items[12] = '

A font is a specific typeface of a certain size and style. For example, one font may be Arial 12 pt bold, while another font may be Times New Roman 14 pt italic. Most word processing programs have a Font menu that allows you to choose the typeface, size, and style of the text. In order to use a font, you must have it installed on your computer. Windows provides access to fonts using the Fonts control panel. The Mac OS stores fonts in a Fonts folder and includes a separate \"Font Book\" application for managing fonts.

'; glosarry_items[13] = '

Stands for \"Random Access Memory,\" and is pronounced like the male sheep. RAM is made up of small memory chips that are connected to the motherboard of your computer. Every time you open a program, it gets loaded from the hard drive into the RAM. This is because reading data from the RAM is much faster than reading data from the hard drive.

Running programs from the RAM of the computer allows them to function without any lag time. The more RAM your computer has, the more data can be loaded from the hard drive into the RAM, which can help speed up your computer. In fact, adding RAM can be more beneficial to your computer\'s performance than upgrading the CPU.

'; glosarry_items[14] = '

Stands for \"Wide Area Network.\" It is similar to a Local Area Network (LAN), but it\'s a lot bigger. Unlike LANs, WANs are not limited to a single location. Many wide area networks span long distances via telephone lines, fiber-optic cables, or satellite links. They can also be composed of smaller LANs that are interconnected. The Internet could be described as the biggest WAN in the world. You could even call the Internet a Super WAN BAM if you wanted to. Or maybe not.

'; glosarry_items[15] = '

Stands for \"Uniform Resource Identifier.\" A URI identifies the name and location of a file or resource in a uniform format. It includes a string of characters for the filename and may also contain the path to the directory of the file. URIs provide a standard way for resources to be accessed by other computers across a network or over the World Wide Web. They are used by software programs such as Web browsers and P2P file-sharing programs to locate and download files.

URIs are similar to URLs in that they specify the location of a file. However, a URI may refer to all or part a URL. For example, Apple\'s iMac Design URL is The URI of this resource may be defined as just \"design.html\" or \"/imac/design.html.\" These are called relative URIs since they identify the resource relative to a specific location. The complete URL would be referred to as an absolute URI.

Because URLs and URIs are similar, they are often used interchangeably. In most cases, this is acceptable since the two terms often refer to the same thing. The difference is that a URI can be used to describe a file\'s name or location, or both, while a URL specifically defines a resource\'s location.

'; glosarry_items[16] = '

Stands for \"Personal computer.\" PCs are are what most of us use on a daily basis for work or personal use. A typical PC includes a system unit, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Most PCs today also have a network or Internet connection, as well as ports for connecting peripheral devices, such as digital cameras, printers, scanners, speakers, external hard drives, and other components.

Personal computers allow us to write papers, create spreadsheets, track our finances, play games, and do many other things. If a PC is connected to the Internet, it can be used to browse the Web, check e-mail, communicate with friends via instant messaging programs, and download files. PCs have become such an integral part of our lives that it can be difficult to imagine life without them!

While PC stands for \"personal computer,\" the term can be a bit ambiguous. This is because Macintosh computers are often contrasted with PCs, even though Macs are also technically PCs. However, Apple itself has used the term \"PC\" to refer to Windows-based machines, as opposed to its own computers, which are called \"Macs.\" While the Mac/PC dilemma remains, PCs can always contrasted with other types of computers, such as mainframes and server computers, such as Web servers and network file servers. In other words, if you use a computer at home or at work, you can safely call it a PC.

Article ID: 5
Last updated: 14 May, 2012
Revision: 1
Views: 8199
Comments: 0
Posted: 28 May, 2008 by -- .
Updated: 14 May, 2012 by -- .
Also listed in
folder Sage PCs -> Hardware

Prev   Next
Software     Why does my computer restart when I attempt to turn it off?