failure to display secruity and shutdown options

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Failure to display shutdown and security optionsJust incase you thought eveything in the Cupboard was running smoothly, here is error of the day “Failure to display security and shutdown options”. This is how the story unfolded

Zap the unresponsive browser

I was getting impatient waiting for Firefox to decide to ‘respond’. Respond sounds like something a patient does to treatment. It’s probably an appropriate analogy for a wendy treating a computer. It feels like dealing with the dead when you’ve got an unresponsive program. I pressed CTRL+ALT+DELETE:

  • Control the computer – kick Firefox
  • find an Alternative way to do what I want to do
  • Delete the unresponsive program which the ‘task manager’ seems to call a ‘task’, loosing the medical analogy and shifting to what looks like Taylorism

I just wanted to stop Firefox and use another browser, not a computer based task and workflow analysis.

Wait for the darkness

There is always a ‘black flash’ before Windows 7 shows me it’s fancy blue screen with a list of ‘security’ options. The black flash is similar to the one I get before it shows me a dialog asking me to give some program permission to do something like install updates. Blackness arrived, but it wasn’t a flash. Layered over the top of the blackness was and XP Classic (i.e. Win2K) style error message which accurately recognised that I had just pressed CTRL+ALT+DELETE.

Boggle my brain-cells

The error message gives me three suggested actions

  • press ESC (Escape from what? the error message, Firefox, the computer, Reading town?)
  • restart the cupboard using the power switch
  • click the “OK” button

Hmmmmm. Which one should I try first? The

  • First suggestion (press ESC)?
  • Least dramatic suggestion (Click the OK button?)
  • The well-known troubleshooting strategy of switch everything off then turn it on again – and go off to make myself a cup of tea and ponder the meaning of life?

Being of an impatient disposition, when it comes to computers, I clicked OK which removed the black screen and returned me to the computer desktop and unresponsive Firefox. But what now? Should I now press ESC? Pah, I want the task manager, so I tried CTRL+ALT+DELETE again, and “Hey Presto!”  this time I got the black flash followed by the Security and Shutdown options

I wonder whether the task manager is a security or a shutdown option? Certianly I use it to shut things down, so it’s probably a shutdown option….

 

failure to display secruity and shutdown options
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9 bits of lovely banter on “failure to display secruity and shutdown options”

  1. Jenny writes:

    Comments upon comments, but you’re right, I didn’t notice your posts on Cairo and so thanks for the link. Great! loved them!
    When I was a kid I used to turn round and round and round like that dervish, beats me why I didn’t fall over but actually it put me into a kind of almost meditative state, which I suppose is what they feel like too.

    As for computers, don’t talk to me about them. I have had great difficulty leaving a comment on this site but I really think that it must be my computer interacting in a weird way with Blogger. It doesn’t like Blogger and I don’t blame it.

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    wendy writes

    Jenny, replying to the comments on your blog looks like a full time job in itself! Then finding time to read and comment on other peoples blogs too? You are superhuman! I wonder how you manage it.

    It’s possible that your problems commenting on my Blogger blog are beause I don’t have a blogger-blog. I prefer the freedom and philosophy of the WordPress community. An awesome community and service. Any criticisms of WordPress risk being in violation of the Wendy House ‘how to play nicely Rule 2. Definitely not recommended. 😉

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  2. ExpatEgghead writes:

    I want to marry you. You make more sense than anyone else I know in computing.

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    wendy writes

    ExpatEgghead, my legal adviser says that I can do a short term contract for a percentage of the increased sales or substantial pre-arranged fixed sum. Sounds like a modern marriage.

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  3. ExpatEgghead writes:

    All I want is to worship you from afar, just outside your comfort zone and provide for all your needs and desires. If acceptable, I’m sure our legal teams can work out the details.

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    wendy writes

    ExpatEgghead, I’ll put my people in contact with your people – they can arrange cutting and exchange of secure attention keys

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  4. James Sutherland writes:

    Ctrl-alt-del – the Secure Attention Key in kernel speak – triggers a switch between desktops (the flash you’ve noticed, as your system replaces the whole screen of your existing desktop with the alternative one with the options). It seems this desktop wasn’t fully initialised in time – the system was probably busy with heavy paging activity or other low resource situation? By the time of your second attempt, things – in particular, the Themes service which exists to replace the ‘XP classic’ window decoration with something more elaborate – had finally initialised properly.

    You used to get a similar set of symptoms under the previous generation of 32 bit Windows systems: in very low resource situations, Windows 95-Me would fall back on either the Windows 3.1-era “blue screen” message (with the graphics card in text mode, since by that time the whole Windows graphics subsystem is off ill) or a very simple clone of a dialogue box (a white rectangle and an OK button) to tell you things were badly messed up, please reboot soon.

    Something had gone fairly badly wrong, certainly: probably something going into a loop making a program eat all the available RAM until the whole machine ground to a halt. Not a nice thing for it to do!

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    wendy writes

    James, you know stuff! Kernel speak? Nutty speak! How true! It tickles me that Raymond wrote part of the Linux core Kernel, sounds like he mixed Charlie Brown’s friend with a nut in a fruit.

    Secure Attention Key – sounds romantic, as if it’s something that should be exchanged during a wedding-type ceremony ‘I give you this secure attention key to my heart, head, house car and bank account…’

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  5. Will writes:

    Wow, I was at once enthralled and informed on this very web page! That happens so rarely these days. Thank you all for saving some part of a day I had rued.

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