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I am a computer geek which I use all the resources of the computer, and i have many opened and non-saved documents (especially notepad files that are not saved).

Here is the situation: I use differnet computers and all vista and always get the same error . Once after a period of time, when in the waiting mode, once the screensaver shows up, i cant re-open the windows . Just the blackscreen shows up (i think it is because of the memory is like full) and the mouse cursor is on, the keyboard responses (like caps-lock led goes on and off when i press the button) but i cant turn back to windows. The computer is being opened about 3 days and i cant close or reset it due to the files that i need to recover. (if i reset, all the unsaved files will be gone) I pressed ctrl+alt+del or alt+f4 or ctrl+f4 and no response. The problem is i guess, the logon is not working and cant open it due to the lack of enough memory. I called microsofty guys and no response from their engineers rather than resetting the computer. (and i know it works, i am an electronics engineer!) I might do the hardcore work like dumpimh the ram into something but dont know how to do it without opening the ram and freezing it..

So please let me know the way to reopen the windows, (i know there might be some people getting same problem since i got the same issue with different 3 computers with different laptop models and brands) To open the windows back and save those files.


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I wish someone told me about how to dump the memory. At least i might have a way to dump the memory into a file. You can press CTRL + SCROLL LOCK + SCROLL LOCK to dump the memory. I wish knew this before i restarted the computer. – Apr 13 '11 at 19:48

I would guess that the problem is with the screensaver itself somehow blocking Windows.

You can set the screensaver to "None", and use instead the Power Options to turn off the display. This will avoid having the screensaver problem in the first place.

If even opening the Task Manager is via ctrl-alt-del doesn't work, then Windows is hosed. Something in your setup is causing abnormal behavior.

Maybe some application is losing memory or Windows handles. This can be observed while you are working in the Task Manager, Processes tab, menu entry View / Select Columns, and check either or all:

CPU Usage (gives percentage of total CPU in use)
Memory - Working Set (memory in use)
i/O Reads + I/O writes (counts total number of disk accesses done)
User objects
GDI handles

I would also make a point of rebooting Windows during the night.

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Yes I would do that AFTER I recover my unsaved items. Because of there is not enough memory, windows cant return to logon screen. I wish someone would tell me a hidden way to to do. Like openning the taskmanager and ending some applications so that there would be enough memory. – Mar 27 '11 at 19:50
Added some more info. – harrymc Mar 28 '11 at 5:38
I wish i can open the tab menu. I wish i could have a way to dump te memory or open an application. Is there a way ? I just dont want to reboot it. Still the computer is on and waiting for me to reset. – Mar 29 '11 at 7:21
If ctrl-alt-del doesn't work, I don't think there is much hope. Sometimes in such cases it may take very long for the Task Manager to come up, so don't hurry to reset. – harrymc Mar 29 '11 at 9:22

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