Many of us have had the pleasure of working with the Windows Operating System, more specifically, Windows 7. From time-to-time there is a problem and something stops working. When this does happen, our normal response is to hit CTRL-ALT-DELETE; restart the computer, losing what we were working on, and try to start from where we left off.
It can be extremely frustrating when you are working on an important document, Windows 7 stops working and you’re forced to reboot. Before you restart your computer, here are three useful things to try.
Using the Resource Manager If your computer starts to act sluggish or slow, and is taking a long time to open a program or respond, it may be because it’s taking up a large amount of processing power, forcing other programs you have open or running to use less - this is commonly known as a “bottleneck”. To figure out where the bottlenecks are when your computer is slow is relatively easy:
- Click Start and type: RESMON and select RESMON.exe. A window with all running programs and processes, graphs and tabs will pop up. This is called the Resource Manager.
- Under the Overview tab, you will see a list of programs. Click Status and the programs will be ordered by their status, an easy way to quickly figure out what is working and what isn’t.
- Once you have identified the bottlenecks, you can look for solutions using the Internet or contact the people responsible for your IT. It will make their job easier if you can tell them exactly what’s wrong.
If you have a program that has completely stopped working:
- Open the Resource Monitor; click start and type RESMON.
- Click the CPU tab, and the program should be highlighted in red.
- Right-click and press Analyze Wait Chain.
- If there are more than two processes, the lowest one on the bottom is the process that isn’t working.
- Click the box beside it and select End process. The program should re-open.
Open Program in New Process If you are working on an important project and would prefer not to have it crash when another program does, you could start the program in a new process. This essentially creates another window in the same environment. If one crashes, it won’t affect the other. To open in another process, hold down Shift and right click on the program, and select Open in a new window. The downside to this is that it will consume more system resources, so your computer will run slower.
Record Your Steps One neat and underutilized feature is the Problem Steps Recorder. When activated it will record mouse movements and clicks, key presses, folders opened and even take screenshots. When the problem is solved, it will put them all the recordings into a file and email them to you. This is extremely useful if a problem keeps happening, and you have your IT team come in to help. To turn on the recorder:
- Press Start and type in PSR, select PSR.exe
- Press record.