How to Kill a Windows XP Box

I’ve just discovered a bug in Windows XP. So far I’ve been able to reproduce it on three Windows XP computers with SP2 installed. If you want to have some fun, you can try, too, but keep in mind that this will crash your computer - and it could be that it’ll also damage your hard drive because it starts to make some rather strange loading sounds - so be sure that you save all your work and make backups of all your important data before doing this.

DISCLAIMER: You do this at your own risk! I’m not prepared to meet you in court because you fucked up everything when trying the following:

  1. Open Task Manager (right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager from the pop-up menu, or press CTRL+ALT+DEL).
  2. Once it’s open, hit F1 and ESC at exactly the same time. Actually, you might want to try to press F1 a nanosecond second before you press ESC.
  3. If you manage to get Task Manager to load the Help screen when it’s closing, your hard drive will start to work intensely and Task Manager will take 100% of your CPU, bringing your computer to a very effective halt. It can be brought back to life by restarting the box, or, if you’re lucky, you might be able to open a new Task Manager and close the old one from there.

I discovered this because I spend most of the day hitting random key combinations on my keyboard.

And remember - you heard it first here at


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