Disabled computing: Task Manager for a chap with only one hand

By john clinton
Oct 3, 2012
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  1. I was wondering if one of you clever chaps could come up with something to help a chap who only has the use of only one hand after his stroke - moi.

    there are times when I want to use the task manager and can't because contrl al delete calls for two hands which I don't have. there are times when I want to shut down the computer using task manager such as when it won't load any icons including the start button. I don't often have a carer to do it for me as I live alone.

    it can't be anything complicated because I understand zilch about how computers work.

    I've heard of things called hot keys and F keys; can they be told to invoke task manager?I'm running windows xp and using a logitech wireless keyboard which is on a moveable table for when I need to get into my wheelchair.

    it would be a real boon if I could just push one or two keys with my right hand to get task manager, might that be possible or am I stuck?
    I's told that just switching the pc off can harm the hard drive. I don't want to to that because I could not afford a new computer.
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,424   +281

    Easiest way is to right click on the task bar and select task manager.
  3. john clinton

    john clinton Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to get back to me on this.

    The trouble is that when I really need it the task bar start buttons and icons take forever to load , about 40minutes.

    might I ask what could be causing that?
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,424   +281

    Afraid we'd need more details for that to be solved. We have a dedicated section for malware, which can cause stuff like this, but they have a very specific procedure(s) that you need to follow. So I'll send you that way if necessary, but for now I have a couple thoughts.

    1. Run Seatools and at the very least do a short DST. A long DST is much better, but if you are having hanging problems like that the problem should show up on a short DST.

    2. Open IE and go to http://www.eset.com/us/online-scanner/ . I know everyone discourages IE usage, but in this particular case it runs the scanner really well. Opera won't run it and FF uses a 'workaround', I prefer to run it as eset intended. Initially you might want to do a full scan but do not remove, otherwise if there is a false positive eset will go ahead and delete, so thats no good.

    3. Open up the admin tools control panel and check Event Viewer for system and application errors, there may be something in there that is useful. Warnings are typically OK, the red exclamation marks though are not, so those are worth reporting here.
  5. john clinton

    john clinton Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Thank you very much;what is a DST? I'm afraid it is a term with which I am wholly unfamiliar.I undestand very little about computers
    did I say I was running windows xp? I forget. it has a funny habit of not loading and of the usuals, icons etc for about 40m mins unless I shut it down and restart it, hence the need for a one-handed task manager. maybe I should learn to be more patient as it loads everything in the end. us cripples have to learn patience anyway. betimes I go for a spin in my electric wheelchair which tends to pas the time.
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,424   +281

    Drive Self Test, Seatools (free download) will do that for you.

    Excessive wait times for 'simple' stuff is not normal, so regardless of your disability, you shouldn't have to wait.
  7. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,043   +84 Staff Member

    It's worth noting that control+shift+escape opens the Task Manager directly. It's a little awkward but doable with one hand. If there's a specific key combination you're interested in, you can probably pull it off with AutoHotkey. In fact, I imagine AHK would be extremely useful for accessibility issues.
  8. john clinton

    john clinton Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Gosh, thanks, control+shift+escape works a treat with only my right hand,THAT'S BRILLIANT. I never knew hat; you have made my life a whole lot easier. I wonder of there is a site for one-handed people so I could spread the good news around
  9. john clinton

    john clinton Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Oddly enough a bog standard windows disk check cured the icons start button and toolbar not loading problem I'm glad to say.
    is there a command that does a very quick disk check?-I think someone told me of it once but I've forgotten how it goes. he regular one takes all night so I run it before I go to bed.
  10. john clinton

    john clinton Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    No, iIspoke to soon a disk check did not completely fix the problem. I have malwarebytes so it should not be malware and MSE has not picked up or detected any virus.
    is avast any good or better than MSE? which is the best anti-virus thing?
    failing buying a new computer, which I cannot afford I will just have to put up with the delay I guess.
  11. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,133   +172

    On my keyboard, I can hit ctrl-alt-del with the right ctrl & alt keys with my right hand. Thumb on alt, index finger on ctrl and middle finger on delete.
     
  12. john clinton

    john clinton Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

  13. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,133   +172

    Hmmm that's a bit of a pain then.

    Side note - switching off a modern machine shouldn't cause much trouble because NTFS is much more robust to power failures than FAT32 was. Still I wouldn't recommend it as a first course of action.

    Also there are a few keyboards around that have macro keys. You could buy one of those and then have important functions such as this bound to single keypresses. Keyboards such as those from Razer or the Logitech G11/G15 and so on.
  14. john clinton

    john clinton Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Thanks but now I know ctrl shift esc it's sorted; I can't afford another keyboard

    is there a command to load icons and the start thing etc?
  15. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,133   +172

    Not sure what you mean?
  16. john clinton

    john clinton Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Some thing that goes in the run box that tells windows to load all the desktop iconsso I don't have to wait 20mins for them to appear
  17. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 1,704   +158

    Sounds like your computer needs a good cleaning out of temp files. The icons should not take twenty mins to load. Have you tried using Disk cleanup. Then defraging the computer, This may fixes this issue for you. But as far as a command to start Icons up. I don't know of one. You may have to many things in the start up which will cause this problem to.
  18. john clinton

    john clinton Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    I use ccleaner daily at startup. I've just taken everything out of startup and deleted all my desktop icons but it makes no difference.
  19. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 1,704   +158

    Have you tried a defrag on it? CCleaner will not clean the build up temp files, You need to run disk cleanup
  20. john clinton

    john clinton Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

  21. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 1,704   +158

    Ok , Have you tried deleting all the restore points but one. You can do this by going into disk cleanup and when the window pops up. Click on the more option tab ,Then scrolling down to the cleanup tab and click on it. This will delete all system restores but one.
  22. john clinton

    john clinton Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Is disk cleanup part of cccleaner or what?
  23. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 1,704   +158

    Disk cleanup is part of windows tools to clean up temp files
  24. john clinton

    john clinton Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Where does it live?
  25. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TechSpot Maniac Posts: 1,704   +158

    Read post 21 in this thread it will tell you how to get to disk cleanup


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