When a computer completely locks up and does not allow the processing of further commands, it is said to be at a dead halt. This event is more commonly referred to as a freeze or lockup of the computer. When a dead halt occurs, the only way to recover the computer is to reboot.
What causes a computer to go into a dead halt?
A dead halt can be caused by a hardware or software error. For example, if a hardware device such as your computer memory has problems it can cause a dead halt. If a software program has a problem such as getting into an unbreakable loop, it could also cause a dead halt.
How do I know if the computer in a dead halt?
Sometimes a computer may hang while it is processing information or performing other tasks. You can quickly determine if a computer is still working by pressing the Num lock, Caps lock, or Scroll lock keys on the keyboard and see if the LED indicators change. If the LED indicators change, the computer is still responsive and may recover, if nothing changes the computer is in a dead halt and cannot recover.