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AntiFreeze Introduction

Note: Antifreeze has been retracted. Its functionality is replaced by WhySoSlow.

Product description

AntiFreeze offers a last recourse when you find your computer in a hung state. Because programs consume too much CPU or too much memory or too many programs have been started, your computer has become unresponsive. The mouse still moves but no programs are responding, you cannot switch to other programs or even close them. You have even tried to start the Windows Task Manager even that won’t work because it does not get enough attention from the scheduler to respond to your mouse clicks and keyboard presses. You are ready to press the reset button, instead you can press the hotkey of AntiFreeze. It will put to sleep all running programs except the most critical ones, giving you the opportunity to close down the programs which are causing problems. You may even be able to save or recover your work.

The problem

Everyone who has used a computer regularly has experienced it from time to time. You are running some very intensive tasks, running several programs simultaneously and suddenly you find that your computer does not respond to you anymore. For some reason the computer is so busy that it does not respond to your actions anymore. Your clicks and key presses are handled much later or not at all, giving you no chance to interact with the system. Your system is hanging.

Sometimes it may help waiting until the storm is over. But if after several minutes you are still waiting, and you are an experienced user you are likely to press the key combination ALT+CTRL+DELETE which allows you to fire up the task manager to see which programs are taking up all the CPU time and systems resources. At this point you may be able to recover the system and get it in a responsive state again by terminating the offending processes. If this works, then all fine. But very often the system is so busy that even the task manager will not help you. It just does not get enough processor attention to be able to handle your clicks or key presses. Then you are very likely to give up and press the reset button of your machine for a reboot.

This is where AntiFreeze offers a solution. AntiFreeze is a utility with a very small footprint, sitting in your tray, waiting for you to press the hotkey combination (ALT+CTRL+WIN+HOME by default). You should use it only in emergency situations, consider it an alternative for the reset button.

Emergency Task Manager

As soon as you press the hotkey combination of AntiFreeze, AntiFreeze will suspend most of the running programs so they stop hogging your systems resources. Then it will start a special type of task manager, very much like the standard Windows task manager except that it is designed for the particular task of letting you get the system in a responsive state again. If a program has consumed lots of CPU time it is an indication it may have been responsible for locking up your system. You can terminate the offending program by clicking the 'End Process' button.

Screen shot

This is a screen shot of the Emergency Task Manager of AntiFreeze.

The emergency task manager suspends most of the running programs and allows you to close down programs which are locking up your computer.

When will it work ?

If your computer is hanging or becomes unresponsive because

  • One or more programs are doing very intensive tasks, they consume so much processor cycles that the system becomes unresponsive

  • One or more programs consume so much memory that the swapping file is heavily used, overloading the system

  • Programs are running with a scheduling priority which is so high that they consume all processor resources

  • Too many programs are running at the same time and they all have to compete for attention from the processor

    then AntiFreeze is likely to help you get your system to respond again.

    If your computer is hanging or becomes unresponsive because of a hardware problem or the mouse cursor is not updated when you move it or some piece of kernel software or device driver is busy at an elevated priority level then AntiFreeze is not likely to offer you a solution. There are a few other situations in which AntiFreeze will not be able to help you out and you will still need to press the reset button and reboot to get your computer going again.

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