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Exception Solutions
     
 

Program has stopped working

Exception: Hang

 
  Description  
 
       
hang  
 

The program is no longer responding. Windows detects this when the program take a too long starting up or is no longer responsive. It's possible the program is off doing some time-consuming internal action or waiting for some external event. Usually the program in question has a bug and is in some kind of endless loop waiting for something that will never occur.

Windows gives you the option to close the application, in which case any data not saved will be lost. If there is important work you want to save, you might return to the application and wait a long as 5-10 minutes in the rare hope it will recover, however unlikely.

 
 
 
   
  Key Facts  
     
 
         
OS
  Windows

occurance meter
 
Type
  Hang 

   
Vendor
  Unknown

   
 
   
  Solutions and Fixes  
     
 
  Date votes Ratings
Wait for Task Completion
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You may have the option to continue waiting to see if the application will complete some pending action. If you know the application is performing a large task, we suggest waiting before closing the application down.

 
   
 
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  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 8-Jan-2009
 
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Close the Application
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Rather obvious, but from the dialog indicating the application has stopped working, select Close. You will loose any unsaved work.

It's been our experience that in about 20% of the cases, the application will still fail to close. In this case, press Ctrl-Alt-Del to bring up the options menu. Select Task Manager.  On the Processes tab, locate the offending program and highlight the file and press Del.  At the prompt, select End Process. The application should finally close down and its Windows should be removed from the desktop.

If you contnue to have problems with this application, you should check with the vendor to see if a newer version is availalbe that might correct the problem.

 
   
 
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  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 8-Jan-2009
 
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Disable or Remove a CPU Hog
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A program may be taking so much of the processors available time that other applications are failing, acting erratic or hanging. Anti-virus programs are a common CPU hog, and if poorly written can cause all sort of odd behavior. Even some of the big names have problems with taking too much CPU bandwidth, especially if a deep scan is underway.

If you know the offending program,  turn it off via the program's own controls.

You can also see program hogs using the Task Manager.  To bring up Task Manager, press Ctrl-Alt-Esc.  There are several alternative ways to bring up Task Manager, such as pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del and selecting "Start Task Manager" (7/Vista) or pressing the "Task Manager" button (XP).

Select the Process tab to see all the items running on your PC. The CPU column shows items that are consuming processor time. Anything over 40 is a heavy CPU user, except for the System Idle Process. 

You can sort the list by clicking on any heading, such as the CPU heading. The first click will sort from lowest activity to highest, so you'll need to click the CPU heading a second time if you want to view the heaviest users at the top.

If you identify a process to kill, select the item and press the End Process button.

Avoid ending any process you are unsure of what it is, including Windows system processes, or you may kill Windows itself!

 
   
 
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  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 15-Jan-2009
 
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Check for Hidden Dialog
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Although rare, it's possible the application is waiting for you to answer a dialog that is hidden behind other dialogs or even behind the application itself!

Click on each item on the taskbar to see if one of these hidden dialog appears. You can also minimize each window to see if a dialog you're not aware of appears. If the dialog appears, take an action and the application should continue to run normally.

 
   
 
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  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 8-Jan-2009
 
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Reported Exceptions

You may find more information for this issue in our specific exception reports.

View exception reports for hangs.
 
   
  Technical Details  
     
 
  technical details

Some of the common programming errors that will cause an application to hang include:

  • an endless loop construct
  • a loop construct where the index variable is unintentionally re-used within the loop for something else
  • waiting for some external event without some kind of time limit or retry limit
  • unvalidated input that gets invalid values
  • buffer overflow caused by input that is larger than expected
  • corrupted stack or heap memory
 
   
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  Notes  
     
  Although less informative than our notes here, you can view the Microsoft MSDN source document for a list of the NTSTATUS codes used when Microsoft encounter a problem with an application.  
     
  While we believe this information up to date and accurate, FAQware is not responsible for any inaccuracies. If you find something that is out of date or inaccurate, please let us know at so we can correct it.