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My Mac's UI has locked up.

Is there any way to unfreeze the system short of cycling the power?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

If you have SSH enabled on it, you might be able to ssh in from another computer and at least give it a graceful restart with, e.g., sudo shutdown -r now

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success! I was able to get in over ssh and reboot. – Jeff Leonard Jul 18 '09 at 20:24

Depends on what exactly has occurred. With Mac OS X would be unusual to see the entire system frozen. Much more likely a crashed app.

Have you tried a 'Force Quit' via command-option-escape?

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UI is locked up, including keyboard command-option-escape no joy :-( – Jeff Leonard Jul 18 '09 at 20:23

I'd like more to find the reason for lock-ups and not just workarounds for symptoms.

UI freezing sounds very much like overheating video chips --- a common problem with many Macs, especially now during the summer in northern hemisphere.

I suggest you use e.g. smcFanControl2 and tweak up the minimum fan speeds to keep your Mac running cooler.

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