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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

White Window of Death

You've heard of the blue screen of the death. It's the error screen you see when Windows crashes hard and then reboots.

Vista introduces a new crash type that I call the white window of death (WWD). When a program or application freezes, Vista responds by making the window inactive and whiting it out with a sheen of opaque fog (see Figure 9.32). It looks like San Francisco in July. But it's not bad weather in your computer—Vista is just trying to wrangle a misbehaving program.

Figure 9.32

Figure 9.32 The white window of death means that your application has crashed.

The sequence that follows is a variation on the following:

  1. The application freezes and whites out.
  2. You see a dialog box where Vista reports the problem to Microsoft via the Internet.
  3. Vista either offers a solution or offers to shut down the application.
  4. In the case of a Vista component like IE7, it will attempt to restart it.
  5. Sometimes, Vista will give you the option to shut it down or wait for it to respond.

What You Can Do

Sometimes a little patience and a click on the Wait for This Program to Respond option can bring the program back from the brink. Sometimes you have to suck it up, kill off the program, and restart it.

Other ways to remedy a WWD are the following:

  • Look for an update or patch for the application from the program's publisher.
  • Upgrade to a Vista version of the program.
  • Run the program in Windows compatibility mode, which I mentioned earlier in the chapter. Set compatibility mode to the version of the operating system the application was designed for.
  • Live with the occasional crash.
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