An administrator calls the help desk with the following situation. “An application on my computer is not responding and it is slowing down other applications. What should I do?” What advice should the help desk agent give to the caller?

  • Use Task Manager to release system resources from the unresponsive application.
  • Check the permissions for this file.
  • Create a virtual machine with an OS that supports the application.
  • Set the file permissions to read and execute.
Explanation & Hint:

For an administrator experiencing an issue where an application on their computer is not responding and slowing down other applications, the help desk agent should provide advice to directly address and resolve the application’s unresponsiveness. Here’s an evaluation of the provided suggestions:

  1. Use Task Manager to release system resources from the unresponsive application: This is the most relevant and effective suggestion. The administrator should open the Task Manager, which can be done by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc, or Ctrl + Alt + Del and selecting Task Manager. Within Task Manager, they can find the unresponsive application, right-click on it, and select “End Task” to forcibly close it. This action should release any system resources that the application is using and potentially improve the performance of other applications.
  2. Check the permissions for this file: This suggestion is not directly relevant to the issue of an application being unresponsive. File permissions typically affect the ability to access or modify a file and are not related to application performance or responsiveness.
  3. Create a virtual machine with an OS that supports the application: This is a more complex and less immediate solution that might not be necessary. Creating a virtual machine could be considered if there are ongoing compatibility issues with the application, but it doesn’t directly address the immediate problem of the application being unresponsive.
  4. Set the file permissions to read and execute: Again, this suggestion does not directly address the issue at hand. Setting file permissions impacts access to files but is not related to resolving an unresponsive application.

In addition to using Task Manager to end the unresponsive application, the help desk agent might also advise the administrator to:

  • Check for Software Updates: Ensure that the unresponsive application, as well as the operating system, are up to date. Sometimes, performance issues can be resolved with the latest updates.
  • Restart the Computer: If the application remains unresponsive and Task Manager is unable to close it, a system restart might be necessary.
  • Check System Resource Usage: Use Task Manager to observe if the system’s resources (CPU, memory, disk usage) are being overly taxed, which could be a reason for the slowdown.
  • Run a Virus Scan: Occasionally, malware or a virus can cause applications to become unresponsive. Running a virus scan can help rule out this possibility.
  • Seek Application-Specific Troubleshooting: If the problem persists, look for troubleshooting steps specific to the problematic application, which might include reinstalling the application or seeking support from the software vendor.

These steps should help the administrator resolve the immediate issue and potentially diagnose any underlying problems causing the application’s unresponsiveness.

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