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If Your Computer Stops Responding


"Unresponsiveness" is often indicated by a spinning rainbow ball (actual name is a Wait Cursor) and/or slow response time to input (or no response at all).

If your computer stops responding, you can sometimes recover by quitting open applications. You can quit almost any application by choosing Quit from the File menu or pressing Command-Q (Apple-Q).

If you cannot quit an application in the normal way, try forcing the program to quit.


To Force Quit a Program

Quit by pushing the option-Apple-Esc(Escape) keys. In Tiger, you can simply choose Force Quit from the Apple menu. Either way, in the dialog box that appears, select the unresponsive application and click Force Quit.

Important: Unsaved changes in your open applications will be lost.

Note :The Classic environment may also be the source of unresponsiveness. To determine if the Classic environment is running, open System Preferences, and choose Classic from the View menu. Click the Start/Stop tab, and note the status of the Classic environment, which appears above the "Select a startup volume for Classic" section. To stop the Classic environment, click Stop.

Check to make sure the black triangle is no longer present, next to the application in the dock. That will indicate that the application has in fact quit. If an application is unresponsive, indicated by (not responding) in parenthesis or the black triangle remaining in the dock, you should continue as below.

Shut down the computer

As when restarting your computer, you may eliminate an issue simply by restarting your computer, which clears its memory. Before you shutdown, make sure you save any open documents. Always try shutting down your computer the proper way:

* Choose Shut Down from the Apple menu, or
* On some computers, you may press the Power button on the keyboard, then click Shut Down in the dialog box that appears. If your computer has an Apple Pro Keyboard, press Control-Eject, then click Shut Down in the dialog box that appears.

Force your computer to shut down

You should only try to force your computer to shut down if all of the previous steps have failed.
1. Press the power button on the computer for three to six seconds to shut down the computer.

Note: Do not press the power button on your display.

2. Wait 30 seconds, and then turn on the computer.

Note: This technique does not work on some earlier Mac OS X-compatible computers. On these computers, shut down the computer by pressing the reset button (see below) immediately followed by the power button.

Note: Some PowerBook computers do not have a Reset button. In that case, press the Shift-Function-Control-Power until the computer turns off. Then, wait at least 30 seconds, and then turn your PowerBook on again by pressing the Power button.

Unplug the computer

If resetting does not work and your computer is plugged in to a power strip that has an on/off switch, turn the switch off. If there is no switch, unplug your computer. Wait at least 30 seconds before turning your computer back on again. Turn your computer on again by pressing the Power button on the keyboard or on the computer. If using a Powerbook, unplug the power supply and remove the battery.

Check your amount of Memory

Singularly the most common reason for the spinning wait cursor is lack of physical memory in the computer. If you go up to the Apple in the upper left hand corner of your screen, down to "About the Mac", it will tell you the amount of memory the machine currently has. If you would like to know if this is enough, call Apple and they will tell you the maximum amount the computer will take, or simply ask me.

If this does not solve your problem or if the problem persists, contact Miss Mac 454-7253.

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