Every once in a while this problem crops up. I hit the start / shutdown buttons and nothing happens. I go to task manager and hit the shutdown button and nothing happens. I hit the power button on my computer and nothing happens. Once this was going on day 2 so I just pulled the power cord out. That shut the thing down. But now I found an easier way to solve the problem. I used FreeRam XP Pro (downloadable at pcworld.com) to free up ram. It's free and it works great. I noticed the other day that it has a tools option. When I checked it out I say a system shutdown button. I clicked it and nothing happened. But then I saw it also has a FORCE SYSTEM SHUTDOWN button. I clicked that and sure enough my system shutdown. Free program - 2 uses - gotta love that.