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Solutions: Monitor processes to find cause of glitch

I have fully updated XP, McAfee and Verizon DSL on a 30-month-old Dell desktop with only a quarter of hard disc capacity in use. My ISP is AOL. There are frequent interruptions when the computer is unresponsive, during which, only occasionally, it will still respond to the "Start" button. These lapses usually last less than 30 seconds until normal operation returns. Rarely, I have had to turn the computer off and restart when all was again fine.

You need to find out what is running at those times. Right click the bottom task bar and select Start Task Manager to open the Windows Task Manager. Click the Processes tab, click the Show processes from All Users button (if shown on the bottom), and then click the CPU column heading twice to make the display sort from top down. Size the Task Manager window so you can still see the top CPU consumers and move it to the side. Its default property is to "stay on top," meaning it's always visible.

The next time you get the interruption, glance at the Task manager to see which image name (first column) is on top using the CPU. Use this name to search the Internet for more information on what may be causing this issue. With all that said, one of the easiest things to overlook in any performance-related issue is that your PC/laptop's fan has air flowing freely and is not clogged with dust. I've seen this on many occasions and is accompanied by sustained fan activity. It's always good to have a can of compressed air (from any office supply store) and every few months give a few blasts to the fan area.

I have had Windows Vista for a number of years and enjoy playing the pre-installed games such as Solitaire. Recently the games have stopped working; the files are there but will not open. I have tried downloading new drivers and restoring, with no success.

Here's how to reinstall your Windows games (you may need your Vista install CD if prompted): Click Start, Control Panel, Programs and Features. Click the Turn Windows Features On or Off on the left side of the window. Click Continue if prompted for permission. Look for the Games check box. It is probably already checked. Uncheck it to uninstall your nonworking games. When complete, repeat the process, except put a check in the Game box, which will initiate the reinstallation.

Solutions: Monitor processes to find cause of glitch 10/17/10 [Last modified: Sunday, October 17, 2010 5:30am]

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