Computer Help forum


How do I get the cursor back when it disappears?

by basketballl23 / August 9, 2013 11:19 AM PDT

I have a Windows XP computer that I bought in 2006. Sometimes when I'm playing a game on my computer, the game will crash. It'll still be on but the screen will turn black. I'll then hit ctrl alt del, and the task manager says the game is not responding. The problem is that at this point it won't let me click! The cursor is completely gone and at this point I cannot get out of the game or the task manager window. So I have no choice but to hit the power button of the computer to turn it off and then I'll turn it back on. My questions are:
Is there any way to get out of the task manager and the crashed program without having to hit the power button to turn the computer off?
Are there any keyboard shortcuts I could hit? I tried ctrl w but nothing happened. I tried alt f4 but nothing happened.
How can I get the cursor back?
Thank you for any help!

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All Answers

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Is your game supported with XP?
by wpgwpg / August 9, 2013 11:38 AM PDT

It sounds like your game might not be supported in the XP environment. This will become more and more common as XP becomes more and more out of date. It's 12 years old and in the world of computers that's an eternity. What little support it still has will be entirely withdrawn by Microsoft next year.

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You are right
by basketballl23 / August 9, 2013 12:12 PM PDT

The game is from 1998 and I had to use program compatibility wizard to get it to work on this computer. But is there still a way to get the cursor back and not have to turn the whole computer off?

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It's not likely gone
by Jimmy Greystone / August 9, 2013 12:40 PM PDT

It's not likely gone, it's just you won't see it unless you get the cursor actually somewhere inside the task manager window. So just keep moving the mouse around and eventually you should luck into it crossing the task manager window. Otherwise, keyboard commands are your friend. The tab key will move around between different parts of the window and the space bar will function the same as a left mouse click on any buttons. Up and down arrows should let you move around the process list once you get to that tab.

You can also try simply doing an Alt-Tab to get to the desktop, or at least some other program. It probably won't work given what you describe, but what does it cost you to try? A couple seconds and the effort of pressing two buttons?

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to Jimmy Greystone
by itsdigger / August 9, 2013 1:06 PM PDT
In reply to: It's not likely gone

I don't have anything to do with this thread but, I have to thank you anyway for the way you take us newbies and explain in detail what we're looking at and what we need to understand to correct things. You have a real knack for making the insurmountable explainable for us . Thanks....Digger

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