Are there any ways to save documents when the monitor stops responding in WinXP Pro?
July 27, 2006 9:50 PM   Subscribe

Computer responding but monitor blank. Any WinXP keyboard commands to save all documents (before shutting down/rebooting)? Please hope me!

OS: WinXP Pro
Motherboard: MSI 915GM Speedster-FA4
CPU: Pentium M 760 (2GHz)
Memory: 2GB
Graphics: Onboard Graphics Chip (915GM)

Monitor went blank (light blue - NOT blue screen of death)
NumLock key responding, computer not frozen but cannot get an image)

Things I have tried:
This particular motherboard has an issue with the onboard graphics chip. If you boot the computer without a monitor attached, you will lose the image when WinXP boots (get a black screen). Manufacturer website suggests Ctrl-Alt-F1 to send image to monitor. I tried this and the light blue screen became a black screen. Nothing else has changed.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Many documents were open and unsaved so we would like to save them and reboot.

Is there any way to do this either with keyboard commands or other non-visual means in Windows XP Pro?
posted by stringbean to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: In many but by no means all apps, Ctrl-S saves the current file. If the file is as yet named, it brings up a file dialog. Presumably you could very carefully type a filename, then hit enter.

Alt-F4 closes many apps, which will switch focus to the next app.

Repeatedly saving files and closing apps may work.

Some caveats: an app may have more than one file open, closing an app may not also focus the next app, depending on your settings. Some apps will auto-save after a period of time, and can recover "unsaved" files that have been auto-saved. Waiting for auto-save may be abetter bet, depending on the apps you're running.

Of course, if you had a VNC server running on the faulty machine, or Windows Remote Desktop, or an rsh/ssh server, you could just get into your faulty machine remotely.
posted by orthogonality at 10:17 PM on July 27, 2006

Best answer: Hookup speakers and press the Windows key on the keyboard and press U.

If it starts talking, hit enter (once).

posted by SirStan at 10:35 PM on July 27, 2006

Ah! I'd not of thought of this except when I followed SirStan's advice, I accidently brought up the logout dialog. (It appears windows-U brings up the Narrator as SirStan says, but Windows followed by by U brings up the logoff screen.)

You could do Windows, then U, then Shift-H to Hibernate. Though I'm not sure to what extent Hibernate saves all settings and open files.
posted by orthogonality at 11:12 PM on July 27, 2006

Response by poster: Thank you for your quick answers orthogonality and SirStan!

I ended up pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del, hitting 's' to Shutdown and pressing Enter several times (first to shutdown and then to Save when all the Save File? prompts came up) and hoped for the best.

Eventually, the PC didn't reboot so I shut it down by pressing the power button for 3 seconds.

Fortunately, all the files were saved and no work was lost.

Of course, if you had a VNC server running on the faulty machine, or Windows Remote Desktop, or an rsh/ssh server, you could just get into your faulty machine remotely.

Thank you for your suggestion. I disabled Windows Remote Desktop for security reasons but I will give VNC servers a look.

Again, thank you for your quick answers.

And thank you SirStan for teaching me a new keyboard command!
posted by stringbean at 11:20 PM on July 27, 2006

I run an openssh service on an WinXP machine. You can SSH in and log into your XP account at the command line, where you have a host of options via command-line tools. I have SSH tunneled through my firewall and Remote Desktop is blocked.But I can tunnel over SSH and open a Remote Desktop connection, which gives SSH encryption protection to Remote Desktop. It can get a little choppy accessing this remotely but it works fine in a pinch.
posted by Songdog at 5:41 AM on July 28, 2006

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