Friday, 26 June 2020

When Ctrl, Alt & Delete don't work

Every now and again something locks up on my PC, and, despite holding down the Ctrl, Alt and Delete keys, the Task Manager window does not appear. We know it is a major problem when we can't even use Ctrl, Alt & Delete to shut down whatever has gone pear-shaped! 

What I usually do is to do a full reboot by holding down the power switch until the machine turns off. Then I restart, and if the restart appears to go normally, I then do a 'normal' shut down via the start button, then do a cold reboot (i.e.,, a full restart using the power on button) again, just in case there are any Windows glitches that need a clean restart to reset.

However, recently I had a problem with a PowerPoint file which I could see, but for some reason would not select, and therefore probably had not saved. It was like it had become wallpaper. Everything else was working normally. 

So I keyed Ctrl, Alt & Delete... and nothing happened. This time, as I had heaps of things open, I decided to look further, to see if there was something else I could do to force the Task Manager to appear.

Alongside a whole host of other checks (such as ensuring that your keyboard is working) I found a solution that sometimes works from Samson (1 August 2018):
  • Key Windows & I to open the Windows Settings dialogue box
  • Go to Time & Language 
  • If you are only using one language, add another language at Preferred Languages | ‘Add a language’ option. Do not select ‘Set as my Windows display language’
  • If you are already using multiple languages, select your primary language (should be the first listed). Click the down arrow, then the up arrow to take it back to the top of the list.
Now try keying Ctrl, Alt and Del again. Chances are it will be. Cancel whatever was hanging your PC, then shut down, and restart.

If shutdown went normally, do another cold reboot. 


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