Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

When frozen isn’t really frozen

There seems to be a major outbreak of rebellious computers out there — computers that are just ignoring user commands, and acting “frozen”. I am making this assessment from an unusually high number of recent calls to my Tech Support business that all say basically the same thing:
“I double-clicked CoolProgram 6.0* to launch it, and nothing’s happening.”

When I first started getting these “nothing’s happening” calls, (I was unaware of the emerging pattern) my reaction was to take them as quite serious issues, as this could be indincative of some nasty types of computer trouble.

Fortunately, in every instance, this was not the case. In fact, it turned out that CoolProgram* was simply waiting for a user response before continuing to load (usually some form of permission), and once “Yes”, “Allow”, or “OK” was clicked, CoolProgram opened and worked just as it should. In other words: a non-issue issue.
[note: CoolProgram 6.0 is a ficticious, generic, and imaginary application I use as a catch-all.]

Tip of the day: Be more observant of your Taskbar. Though the program that is asking for permission-to-continue may vary — it could be Vista, your firewall, or the “active” shield of your anti-malware program — the common denominator of these requests for my help has been that the dialogue window that opens is being hidden behind already open windows and simply isn’t being seen: the user doesn’t know they’re being prompted for a response.

Part of the problem is new Vista users who aren’t used to UAC; and usually, and normally, these permission windows open on top of any other window, and we can’t help but notice them.. but now they’re opening underneath.
(For more on UAC, and overcoming “permission denied”, click here.)

You have seen these permission dialogues (and Vista users will become quite familiar with them!) before.

And if you have a security suite or 3rd-party firewall, you will have seen a small window open saying, “CoolProgram 6.0 is trying to access the Internet. Do you wish to: Allow | Deny.”
We must give some kind of answer or the program will not load– and we’ll be sitting and looking at “nothing’s happening”.

If this happens to you, and you don’t see any permission window, you can “minimize” all your open windows until you uncover the dialogue, or you can click on the tab in your Taskbar that has turned orange
In this screenshot, the tab for my open program, Bomgar Representative, has turned orange. This means the program is “waiting for a response”.  You should also look for a new tab; that is (typically) your security suite or firewall, and if it’s there click on it to see the Allow | Deny window.

Once you’ve found the dialogue, and granted permission, things will work as you expect them to.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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January 8, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, PC, Taskbar, tech, Vista, Windows, XP | Leave a comment