The question is, what process are available to try to recover from total system instability before pulling the plug when we can do nothing but programs or batches in the path from the run dialog (windows + r key), and performance is so dead that taskMGR / procEXP / other programs with visual guis are not usable?
I am not a windows expert, but ideally someone out there has written a program that does more or less stuff like this:
Immediately set (or perhaps I can set from the run prompt) its priority to extremely high, evaluate performance bottlenecks. E.g. is CPU 100%? If so identify offending program(s) or problems. Attempt / log fixes, then provide crude feedback asking the user if his performance has stabilized enough to abort, wait a few seconds, if no feedback continue, etc. etc. Eventually try to do any "system cleanup" if the program decides it cannot recover and perhaps finally provide a series of beeps to the user, or what have you, to say "OK, I give up, time to pull the plug". Ideally create a log, when able.
These kinds of horrible hangs are a situation where surely trying something, anything, is better than nothing -- as long as that something is intelligent -- when the alternative is ripping out the power coord.
Again, I am not a windows expert, so perhaps there is a much more elegant "hands on" approach I am not aware of.