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Use of the Term "Hook"[edit]

I'm not sure the term "hook" is used here correctly. A hook is usually something a piece of software provides to allow it to run other software that wasn't anticipated when the first bit was written. The second part is "hooked into" the first. Ctrl-Alt-Del may cause a routine in BIOS to run, but that wouldn't be a hook. In fact, the modern events that occur on Ctrl-Alt-Del is more accurately described as a hook into this original routine than the other way around. Clear? Probably not... GRAHAMUK 13:15, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Hi, I defer to you on whether hook is the correct term here. Since you seem to be well informed about such things, perhaps you create a stub on hook.
Also, the line:
This command is a hook to the BIOS of a PC running DOS;
is the qualification "running DOS" really necessary? The CAD "hook" is there in the PC, in the BIOS, no matter what OS is running. Or not? Presumably it is also there under Linux (but what Linux does with it I don't know). (FWIW, I use OS/2 where CAD still has its original function.) Cheers, -- Viajero 13:44, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I think technically, the command causes an Interrupt in the BIOS. But as Tarquin says below, this whole page might be better off merged under Three-finger salute - although I note that doesn't refer to BIOS interrupts either. I may even be wrong that that's what it does... - IMSoP 19:01, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

What do we do about this article and Three-finger salute? Merge, or keep this as a particular case of Three-finger salute? -- Tarquin 13:49, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Who the hell calls ctrl-alt-del a three fingered salute? I see it was re-added with references, but they are pretty vague, and it just looks like creative prose calling it a three-fingered combination and a "reboot salute." I'd like to give a one fingered salute to the asshole who keeps putting it back. Rockingbeat (talk) 00:41, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Table of other platforms[edit]

The table of "Ctrl-Alt-Del" for other platforms is out of place IMO. For example, the Shift+Space "break" on the ZX spectrum could only interrupt a BASIC program or a tape load, and I don't believe resulted in any interrupt. Machines are mentioned in that table where the method is to press the hard reset button on the case. These should be disqualified. IMO to qualify as a ctrl-alt-del it should be (a) an esoteric combination of keys on the keyboard (b) be intercepted at BIOS or OS level (i.e. beyond the control of regular application programs - ZX spectrum's BASIC interpreter doesn't count!) SysRq deserves a mention on this page more than ZX Spectrum Shift+Space, since SysRq also resulted in an interrupt other than the regular keyboard processing. (talk) 16:41, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Hard reboot?[edit]

I'm pretty sure that control-alternate-delete causes a soft reboot, and the page on soft reboot seems to confirm this.

TJSwoboda 23:14, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Some rather verbose justifications and apologies.[edit]

  • In an attempt to avert any conflict between myself and Uncle G, I'd just like to explain why I made some of the edits that he has "reverted" (in reality, I consider them more in the line of "corrections", and am thankful for them):
    • The distinction I was drawing attention to was between a "MS-DOS and real-mode systems" and "Windows 95 and its successors". While I couldn't quite remember, I had the feeling that Windows 3.x was sufficiently reliant on MS-DOS that it would fall in the former category; as such, I renamed the latter. Obviously, with the inclusion of Windows 3.x in the latter section, the original heading ("DOS-based Windows") makes sense, but the distinction I labelled wasn't "false", I was just labelling the distinction that previous editors had made. Now you mention it, I think I do remember blue screens in relation to ctrl-alt-del, so thanks for that.
      • Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me all rely upon DOS, too. The problematic section title is, in some ways, the first one rather than the second one. There's simply no way to explain the complexities of DOS extenders and Virtual 8086 mode in a section heading. Uncle G 19:43, 2005 Jan 17 (UTC)
    • The "32-bit" mention was, in retrospect, unnecessary, and I know it's a vaguely debatable point; I just wanted to draw a clear line between two very different generations of Windows, and that's one short-hand commonly used for that distinction.
      • "vaguely" is an understatement. I was there in the mid-1990s when these debates were in full swing. It's very debatable. There were then (and still are now — I encountered someone making the same old debunked arguments a couple of months ago.) people who blithely believed the Microsoft marketing blurb, which to those who understood operating systems was quite inaccurate. Uncle G 19:43, 2005 Jan 17 (UTC)
    • My point about "normally only the superuser" having permission was intended to convey the rather subtle point that there are all sorts of ways of programmatically granting superuser rights - as a simple example, if I type "sudo halt", I may have been granted the right to issue that one command as "root" in /etc/sudoers. If so, I can programmatically halt the machine without "being" the superuser, except in the most [almost pedantically] technical sense. Like I say, it's a subtlety, and my edit didn't really convey that.
      • That sudo is involved doesn't change the basic fact that it is a process running under the aegis of the superuser account that is performing the actual task. In contrast, one doesn't even need to be logged in, and running any processes at all, in order to use Control-Alt-Delete. Uncle G 19:43, 2005 Jan 17 (UTC)
    • I only removed that link to Microsoft Windows because it "felt like" a duplicate - I now see that that exact article hadn't been linked before, but it still feels a bit redundant with all the earlier mentions. Plus, now I look, it mentions "DOS and Windows" in a paragraph about Windows NT, so it's only really referring to "non-NT versions of Windows". I hope the new wording seems better.
      • Actually, it's referring to a rather woolly notion of "whatever Microsoft operating system the Windows NT user used before". Windows NT users will have upgraded from operating systems where Control-Alt-Delete soft rebooted the system. I know that some Windows NT users upgraded from DOS. The structure of Wikipedia currently is that Microsoft Windows is the main article and there are articles on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, and so forth. It's unfortunate that Wikipedia does not make a higher-level subdivision between "DOS-based Windows" and "Windows NT". (Which reminds me: I must correct the errors that implied a single line of development, instead of two that ran in parallel for over a decade, that I saw in DOS the other week.) Uncle G 19:43, 2005 Jan 17 (UTC)
    • Finally, the introduction: I feel it's important that we introduce what this article is actually about, and how it relates to the old use for soft reboot; hence I've reinserted the mention of "More advanced operating systems" (an ugly phrase, but I can't think of anything better) doing more complex things with it. Otherwise, there's no justification why there isn't an article discussing how different applications treat "Control-A" (OK, that's a deliberately silly example, but without the explanation the "introduction" doesn't do much "introducing" of what the article's there for).
      • It is an ugly phrase. "Operating systems that don't use the BIOS to drive the keyboard" is more correct, albeit that I am loathe to put that into an introductory section. The original point was merely that the keyboard combination comprises the keys that it does as a safety precaution because the action invoked as a consequence of it was a drastic one. Of course, that led on to the point that with the change to the keyboard, this deliberate difficulty went out of the window (which evoked comment at the time). Uncle G 19:43, 2005 Jan 17 (UTC)
  • On a slightly seperate note, a quick look around turned up some slightly odd things about system.ini - one website stated that "LocalReboot defaults to Off on Windows 95" (which seems rather bizarre); and another referred to a different setting called something like "KeybdReset", which seemed to have exactly the same purpose. I'll have to look again, and work out what's going on with that, but neither was a Microsoft reference, unlike yours, so they could just have been erroneous.
    • Microsoft KnowledgeBase articles aren't always reliable. (One of my most widely cited articles contains a harsh criticism of a Microsoft KnowledgeBase article for its inaccuracy.) However, I have little reason to suspect the accuracy in this regard of the one cited. There's a lot of other, contradictory (and self-contradictory), information circulating about those settings, which I turned up as you did, but a lot of it appears to be distorted due to the chinese whispers effect. Uncle G 19:43, 2005 Jan 17 (UTC)
  • Oh dear: you can tell when I'm tired, because I become more verbose in discussions! Sorry. :-/ - IMSoP 01:27, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC) (where UTC==localtime)

Windows XP[edit]

In Windows XP, if a user is logged in and the computer is joined to a workgroup, bringing up the Task Manager to allow the user to terminate errant processes

Not on my system, Windows XP Professional SP2, at home (in a workgroup) or in the office (on an NT domain) it doesn't. It brings up the security dialog (i.e. hitting enter locks the system from use by other users).

I have thus removed this assertion until such time as it is amended, or qualified - assuming it isn't outright false.

zoney talk 22:08, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

As far as I'm aware, the behavior varies based on some Registry values that I have yet to play with. At home, with XP Pro SP2, it will bring up Task Manager. At school, with XP Pro SP2, it will bring up the Windows Security (that's funny) dialog, where you can lock the system, or bring forward Task Manager to terminate an errant task. --DolphinCompSci 20 December 2005

It really depends on how windows is setup. You can actually use gpedit.msc to change the way windows reacts to the 3 finger salute. BY default, when windows is part of a domain, it assumes an enterprise function and goes to a security dialog. When its not part of a domain and active directory, it opens the task manager. Wiki Fanatic 05:00, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

On Windows XP, it depends on if the welcome screen is enabled or not. On a network/domain, the welcome screen is automatically disabled, and can not be turned on. If not on a domain, then the user has to select whether they use the XP welcome screen or the "classisc" login prompt, where they type their username. When the welcome screen is off, the securtiy dialogue is displayed. When it's on, you automatically get the task manager. If you go to control panel, then click "User Accounts", then "Change the way users log on and off", you can switch the welcome screen on or off. --Kormerant 16:39, 27 June 2006 (UTC)


What exactly is the point of the picture/comment? This makes no sense at all to me... CJHung 14:38, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

That picture is awesome! TitaniumDreads 16:47, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Jab at windows incorrect[edit]

David Bradley's line regarding gates making ctrl-alt-del famous was not a jab at windows or its percieved instability. It was a comment on how you log on to windows...via ctrl-alt-del.

Watch the video of David Bradley mentioning this:

Wiki Fanatic 04:55, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

The video is now available at youtube, --Wiki Fanatic | Talk 19:23, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
it's clear what the joke was referring to (it wouldn't have been _funny_ if were about logging on to windows). changed it back, but left the youtube link intact. 02:12, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
You are wrong, if you saw the video, you'll see that Bradley was trying to give partial credit for something in a serious manner. It was not intented as a joke. It was percieved as a joke, but it was not orginally a joke. I am reverting it. Please discuss further edits here.--Wiki Fanatic | Talk 02:18, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

another tut i had stored

I think the best way to learn how to use c++ code is to start off with the most basic program. For any one who has learned c++ they all started off with this code.

  1. include

int main (void) { cout << "Hello World!"; return 0; }

Now lets break the code down.

  1. include

At the very begining of EVERY C++ program you will need to put this. Basicly this tells the compiler to include the iostream.h header file. With out this you will not be going any where.

int main (void)

Int main void is the main driver in the program. You put all your code in here. Think of the int main (void) as the top of a box, and you put your code in the box.

{ This is used to create loops, and close the program. You need to always put a { after int main (void). You write your code between the { and closing }

cout << "Hello World";

Cout<< means to print out on screen. You then put " and fill in your text here then close" The ; is like a period at the end of the sentence. You always put the ; at the end of code, that is not dealing with functions.

return 0; Return 0 is the end of your program. Like the conclusion of a essay its basically ending your code. Then you finish it off with the closing }.

COMMENT LINES. If you want to write a side none in your program so you can remember what certain things are doing, you can put two // and then type what ever you want, and it will not be included in your program. The compiler doesn't do anything with it, pretty much its not there.

Now lets kick it a step up.

We will now learn how to add multiply subtract and devide things in c++. you will start off your program like any other using the header file

  1. include

int main (void){

now you can add some things that are called variables. Variables store information. Names, numbers symbols. Anything.

To declare a variable use either int, float, or char. We will start of with the basics for now.

int is a number that is not a decimal. Floats can be a number like 1.5643234 Chars are names. When using a char put ex. [20] at the end of the name so you can decide how much space you want. the 20 can be any number. Just make sure its a big enough number so you can have enough room to store your stuff.

ok now you will learn how to use variables.

  1. include

int main (void) { int x=0;

you tell what your using (int,float, or char) and then give it a name. We will use x for now. Also set it = to something or the compiler will fill the variable with junk.

If you use more than one variable you can add them like so.

  1. include

int main (void) { int x=0,y=0,total=0; cout<<"Enter the number for x"; cin>>x; cin>> is setting the variable. cout<<"enter a number for y"; cin>>y;

Now to add the numbers together. All you do is after the cin>>y; total=x+y;

Its as easy ad that. If you want to subtract put total=x-y;

To multiply we use * not x. total=x*y;

And to devide we use /. total=x/y;

to print variables out you put cout< if you want to put text then the variable put cout<<"Your x variable is"< If you want to print out all variables put cout<

I hope this tut teaches you the basics of c++. If you have any questions feel free to ask me. I will help anyone.


 Basic C++ Programming     

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Permissions of this forum: You can reply to topics in this forum You can moderate this forum :: Computer™ :: Computer™ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:19, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Mac OS X Beep[edit]

I tried using Ctrl Alt Del (Ctrl Option Del) on my iMac G5 with Mac Os X 10.4 and it doesn't beep. Please verify so we can edit. Arjunm 05:32, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

What is happening on an Intel-based Mac? Anyone can check that? Lofote 22:47, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Linux security risk?[edit]

The keystroke can pose a security risk, in that a user can place the machine into single user mode after the machine reboots. Single user mode does not require a password in some distributions and works in superuser mode, which would in effect give the user unrestricted access to the machine.

What distributions are these? This is not true for any of the following distributions: Debian, Redhat, Fedora, Slackware, Ubuntu, and Mandrake. I'll remove the statements in a few days unless somebody minds. Hypothetically, even if you found one such distribution, hard-rebooting the machine would have the same affect. ~a (usertalkcontribs) 21:23, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Control-Alt-Delete vs. Ctrl+Alt+Delete[edit]

I find it confusing that the Control-Alt-Delete article refers to the keyboard shortcut, where Ctrl+Alt+Del refers to the web comic. As the keys on the keyboard are actually "Ctrl", "Alt" and "Delete", wouldn't it make most sense to name this article "Ctrl+Alt+Delete"? It is possible that on other keyboards "Ctrl" is spelled out, making the current naming reasonable, but when I first looked for this article, it was confusing. Also, windows uses "+" signs between the words, not dashes (-). --Kormerant 02:45, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't really matter; you can argue for and against easily.
The key's name is "Control", for example, regardless of how it may be labeled on keyboards (just like Page Up is Page Up, even if it's labeled "PgUp"—on the other hand, SysRq is SysRq, even if it's really the "System Request" key). The name "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" would be inconsistent: why "Ctrl" and not "Control", but "Delete" and not "Del"?
Writing key combinations with hyphens has a long tradition; using "+" (although perhaps more logical) is actually fairly recent. But here, too, it matters little. Either would work. JRM · Talk 17:04, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

It might make more sense just to have one page that Ctrl+Alt+Del and Control-Alt-Delete and all the keywords that redirrect to either of those pages go to one page, from which you can choose "Control-Alt-Delete (Keyboard shortcut) or Ctrl+Alt+Del, the comic. --Kormerant 16:16, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I think Control-Alt-Delete and Ctrl+Alt+Del can both stay where they are (since it's just two articles and they refer to each other clearly), but a separate Control-Alt-Delete (disambiguation) to redirect all the redirects to is a good idea. JRM · Talk 17:04, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Do you know how to set up the Control-Alt-Delete (disambiguation) page? I don't. If someone could tell me how, or do so themselves, I'd appreciate it. (I don't have a ton of experience with the technical side of wikipedia) --Kormerant 18:18, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I have to cite laziness on my part here. See Wikipedia:Disambiguation. Basically, you just create that page to list the two articles. Then use "What links here" (in the toolbox to your left) on both Control-Alt-Delete and Ctrl+Alt+Del. Change every redirect so it points to the newly created page instead, and change every page that erroneously links through a redirect to point to the correct page (either Control-Alt-Delete or Ctrl+Alt+Del). When you're done, the only pages linking to the disambiguation page should be redirects.
Don't worry if you screw something up; others will help/correct you. JRM · Talk 23:50, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

OK, I made the Control-Alt-Delete (disambiguation) page and re-linked all of the redirects. However, I left all other links alone, as they are meant to refer to one article or the other. If I did anything wrong, I appologize in advance. --Kormerant 19:13, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Excellent job. I re-linked some articles that were now going to the disambig page to go directly to the article they really wanted. You just made your first disambig page, how does it feel? :-) Keep up the good work. JRM · Talk 22:23, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the help. --Kormerant 00:20, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Hi, I believe that this article should be Control-Alter-Delete, as Alt obviously refers to Alter. I don't know why everyone calls it Control, Alt, Delete. You don't call Control and Delete Ctrl (Ktrol) and Del, do you? Alt+anything is an alter key. Guest

I always thought "Alt" was for "Alternate", not "Alter". However, everyone I know says "Control, Alt, Delete. The keys are marked "Ctrl, Alt and either Del or Delete. That's why I said it should be Ctrl+Alt+Del. It doesn't really matter that much; anyone looking for the article will find it eventually. --Kormerant 18:49, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, though I do think it is inconsistant that Control and Delete are in full while Alternate is just left in its shortened form. Kind of looks silly. -- eps 06:36, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Yep. it's kind of odd, but since there's already an article Ctrl+Alt+Del, what can we do? Even Microsoft isn't consistent. The Log-In screen says "Press Control-Alt-Delete", the Computer Locked says to "press Ctrl-Alt-Del", the Control Panel asks if you want to require users to press "Ctrl+Alt+Delete"..... if they can't decide, how can we? --Tech Nerd 05:13, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I think Control-Alt-Delete is a reasonable name. "You don't call Control and Delete Ctrl (Ktrol) and Del, do you?" No, but you do call Alt "Alt." I'm pretty sure it's short for alternate, but alter seems reasonable too. Still, the key is "Alt," regardless of it's full length root. It's Alt-Tab, Alt-F4, etc, not Alternate-Tab or Alternate-F4. Would you write Capitalized Letters Lock in stead of Caps Lock? Caps definitely refers to "capitals" or "capitalized," but that's not how you write it.Alhead (talk) 15:53, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

A program that prohibits Ctrl+Alt+Del[edit]

Believe it or not, there IS a program that PROHIBITS you from using Ctrl+Alt+Del!! Technology Enhanced Student Assessment (TESA) is a testing program used by the state of Oregon (USA) Department of Education. When TESA is running and Ctrl+Alt is pressed, the computer beeps. When Ctrl+Alt+Del is pressed, nothing happens. Exiting the program is not permitted without a password (only teachers get the password). This makes me think that ctrl+alt+del is prohibbited so that a student can't use task manager to close TESA and then open a word document, etc. to look at answers saved previously or to otherwise cheat. Regardless of the reasoning, I think that a little more research could be done, and this may be worth mentioning in the article. Go to this website [1] to see what TESA looks like. You need a bunch of information that isn't available to the public to go past this page, but it gives you an idea of what it looks like. (Untill you pass the point above, you can exit without a password) This may be a verbose comment, but I think it's pretty interesting.--Kormerant 18:46, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I only see a website there no program!? Even if there is such a program, it can only work under Windows NT-based systems, if this is an adminstrator calling the program since you would have to replace GINA to disable CTRL+ALT+DEL. Lofote 22:52, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Ya know, now that I think about it, it may be that it is not TESA itself that prohibits CTRL+ALT+DEL, it's the browser that we use to open the page. I believe it's called something like Vanguard Browser, I'm not positive. Of course, as the page above can be accessed by Internet Explorer, FireFox or a similar program, you would be able to just close the window. However, if a seperate application is used to open the page, it's possible that the website itself has nothing to do with it. I have no real way to check this out untill school starts again, so I'm sorry I don't have more info. As for only on Windows NT, it does work on both our windows 2000 and Mac OSX computers. (We STILL haven't upgraded to Windows XP.)The whole thing is pretty odd, but I KNOW that you can't do CTRL+ALT+DEL when testing. --Kormerant 00:19, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, it's all obsolete now. Follow the link above, see what you get. The contractor for that testing system pretty much quit when they heard their contract wasn't going to be renewed. That page used to have a nice little story about how awful the Department of Education is. Now the page redirects to some page I've never heard of. No more TESA. Of course the program is still on all of the computers, but nobody is going to be using it any time soon. --Tech Nerd 01:39, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

I've got a good idea![edit]

I think a list of popular culture references, and video game references to Ctrl+Alt+Delete, such as in the Halo games, or the song "Perfect World" by Billy Talent. -- 20:30, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like it'd be a good addition to the article! This is Wikipedia, so you can be bold and add it if you like. --h2g2bob 19:49, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

external link on jab is broken[edit]

The external link in the line: "David Bradley is also known for his good-natured jab at Bill Gates" that links to "" shows a "Google Video Error" page.

Are you sure?[edit]

The new image of the Vista "Task Manager" looks to me like the Windows Security dialog, because you can change password, lock computer, etc. OR click to open the task manager. If it is the task manager, why do you have to click to open what's already open? I think it should be renamed. Also, can anyone get a Vista image of the real task manager?

You're right. I have edited it. As for the vista task manager image, I'll get a real one once I go home. My work laptop has XP. --Wiki Fanatic | Talk 08:19, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Windows Security image?[edit]

Can someone get a screenshot of the Windows Security Dialog, the Windows Logon Screen requiring Ctrl+Alt+Del or some other screenshot representing one aspect or another of Ctrl+Alt+Del for Windows XP? Since this is the current operating system used by most windows users, I think it would be appropriate to have a screenshot of what people use it for. I would take the shot, but I can't get one just using the print screen key, and I don't have screenshot software. Or would it be acceptable to upload one that I found on the Microsoft Website? I think this would be more appropriate than the photo of a protester with a Ctrl+Alt+Del sign. --Tech Nerd 01:56, 7 November 2006 (UTC

There's one there now, so ignore this comment.--Tech Nerd 19:21, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Invention of Ctrl-Alt-Del[edit]

I edited the Ctrl-Alt-Del page to clarify who invented it.

My name is Mel Hallerman. I was the Chief Programmer of the IBM PC project and I came up with the Ctrl-Alt-Del sequence. Dave Bradley, the Chief Engineer, is the one who implemented it in the ROM BIOS. If anyone wants to see it, I can upload the page from my IBM Engineering Notebook that shows my invention, dated and witnessed.

I spoke to Dave about this and he agreed. His discussion of how he "invented" it is merely poetic license, since he *did* put the code into the ROM Bios.

While I think that this key sequence is no big deal, I'd like to have credit where credit is due in my old age<g>.

Melhallerman 15:12, 20 December 2006 (UTC)MelHallerman

Since this is an encyclopedia, we'll need some reliable sources that state this - please see Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:Reliable sources. — Wackymacs 15:41, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth." I'll revert to the version that we had before. When you find a reliable source in the citation format, then feel free to change it back. In fact, if you want to provide a reliable source here on this page, I'll include it for you. ~a (usertalkcontribs) 15:56, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Two of the same thing...[edit]

Do we need three images of the Windows Security Dialog, one from XP, one from Server 03 and one from vista? Having one from vista and one from XP or Server 03 seems OK, but I don't think having both XP and Server 03 is necessary - they're essentially the same. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tech Nerd (talkcontribs) 06:06, 7 May 2007 (UTC).

OK, I took it out since no-one seemed to mind. Also, is it time to get rid of that protester with the sign? I don't think that's very relevant. --Tech Nerd 19:18, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Not very relevant, I agree, but it's one of the only images that isn't a screenshot of Microsoft Windows. Which is nice. ~a (usertalkcontribs) 05:53, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, but this is an article about a key combo that is used on Microsoft Windows. I dunno... what do others think?--Tech Nerd 04:06, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
It's not an article about a key combo that is used on Microsoft Windows. It was originally created before Microsoft Windows existed. It's also currently used on dozens of operating systems that aren't designed by Microsoft. Read the article. ~a (usertalkcontribs) 15:59, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
OK, agreed. How about then instead of a picture of some guy with a sign, a picture of what it does on other platforms?

Windows Security Dialog in Windows 2000 non-domained[edit]

I remember that Windows 2000 used to show that dialog even when the computer was not attached to a domain (I had a W2KProf some time ago); but as I'm not sure, I comment it here waiting for confirmation -- 12:26, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

I believe that Ctrl+Alt+Del always showed the Windows Security dialog in Win2k. Yes.
Just checked in a Virtual PC with a fresh W2K installation, so yes.

Fair use rationale for Image:Xp windows security.png[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Xp windows security.png is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 20:08, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Some points[edit]

Some points:

  1. Cmd-opt-escape to force quit applications came into Mac OS long before X, it was introduced with System 7
  2. Ctrl-alt-del also reboots Win 3.1, the manager wasn't introduced until Win 95
  3. Ctrl-alt-del in some (all?) versions of WinNT doesn't interrupt, it's the system login command

I don't know how to work these into the article though, the table's pretty crowded already. - Hephaestos 06:01, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I don't know about pre Win 2000 systems, but shouldn't Ctr-Alt-Del only login if one is at the login screen? I'll try and work in the rest for you if you like Dysprosia 06:06, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I'm a bit hazy memory-wise on Windows NT myself, but if I recall correctly ctrl-alt-del just wouldn't do anything unless one was at the login screen. - Hephaestos 06:10, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Ok, being preemptive about it :) Dysprosia 06:26, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Windows NT 4.0 uses CTRL-ALT-DEL to login, and also as an interrupt key. It has the same behavior in Windows 2000, where it will bring up the "Windows NT Security" menu where you can choose Log Out, Change Password, Task Manager, etc. I think this might also be the same behavior in Windows NT 3.51, judging from knowledge base on an unrelated matter. [2] --cprompt 08:43, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
In Win3.1, depending on some configuration options, you'll get either a full soft reset, or the option to terminate whichever application currently has control, and if you three-finger that specific screen a second time, you'll get a soft reset. -- DolphinCompSci-Friendly Neighborhood Old Software Nerd 20 December 2005


Who in sane mind thinks that Shift+Ctrl reboots a Commodore 64? Not to mention that there was no way to reboot the machine apart from switching it off (or hacking a reset button into the board). run/stop - restore made a soft reconfiguration, allright, but not a reboot either. Reboot could have been SYS 64738, but it's neither three finger salute, nor hardware. --grin 10:44, 12 Jan 2004 (UTC)


No idea how to shoehorn this into the table, so I'll write this here:

Acorn machines pre 1987 (Archimedes) used break for soft reset, with ctrl held down to do a hard reset, and shift to toggle a boot flag (which was set to *off* by default, so shift+break would actually *boot* the machine from disk)

Post 1987 computers have a seperate reset button, which had the same function as break, but break on its own wouldn't reset.

At some point after RISC OS 2 the default setting of the boot flag became "on" and holding down shift at reset would thus toggle the boot flag off, and hence suppress disk booting.

Phew, are you still with me? ;-)

I think I'm with you. :-) Tell me if I portrayed your comments accurately.
--cprompt 18:47, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Close enough. :-) Just to throw a wrench in, in RISC OS you can toggle the boot flag at will by clicking the appropriate option in the task manager menu IIRC. So shift will just do the opposite of the boot flag. But by *default* it'd be on on current day risc-os boxes. :-) Like everything to do with RISC OS, this is really natural and obvious when it's in front of you on the screen, but it takes a lot of words to describe on paper. Acorn made good interfaces :-) 00:58, 1 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Game consoles[edit]

A handful of Super Nintendo games use a "soft reset" by pressing L+R+Start+Select, such as Secret of Mana. The PlayStation also had a soft reset with L1+R1+L2+R2+Start+Select, mostly Squaresoft games such as Final Fantasy VII. It's a more game specific soft reset however. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Many NES and Super NES games and nearly all Game Boy games use A+B+Select+Start. --Damian Yerrick () 18:50, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

TI-85/86 Salute[edit]

There seems to be conflicting information online about whether the self-test for the TI-85 and TI-86 needs the [2nd] before [Mode], [Alpha], [S]. Someone with access to these calculators please confirm and update the main page as appropriate. --- Trevie 15:44, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Northgate Keyboards[edit]

Some AT (DIN5) keyboards by Northgate Computer Systems had a reset button on the rear of the keyboard near where the cable plugged in. Would this be appropriate for this page? --- Trevie 16:35, 14 July 2006 (UTC)


The iPod has a computer reboot as well.

Magic SysRq Key[edit]

The Alt + SysRq + other key command on "IBM PC under Linux" only works if the "Magic SysRq Key" option is enabled on the kernel. I'd be better to let people know that, since it means that that particular combination of keys (especially usefull since it allows you to empty the device buffers and unmount all the devices, thus saving you from potential disc corruption) may not be avaiable on every system. -- 00:11, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Drumline-taskman.JPG[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Drumline-taskman.JPG is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 21:33, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:CloseProgram.png[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:CloseProgram.png is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 21:45, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

High bit characters[edit]

Of the following three characters, only the second appears as anything sensible (the symbol on the Apple command key). The other two appear as gibberish. If this is not just on my end, it needs to be fixed.


--- Arancaytar - avá artanhé (reply) 11:47, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Effect on linux[edit]

"It forces a soft reboot, brings up the task manager (on Windows, BeOS, and KDE-based Linuxes) or a jump to ROM monitor."

Not with kde 4 at least - it brings up a log out dialogue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SmitherIsGod (talkcontribs) 23:15, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Image for Win95[edit]

It seems odd to me to present an image of the "Close Program" dialogue in Windows 95 which uses the Luna theme. It would be far more illustrative to use a plain native Windows 95 appearance. Could someone replace File:Close Program.png with something that actually looks like Windows 95 did? Thanks. Michael Bednarek (talk) 07:57, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

 Done Face-smile.svg Thank you Keithius. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 05:18, 12 March 2009 (UTC)


Why show a picture of the Windows 7 welcome screen, while all the other pictures are about the task manager / ctrl-alt-del interface? A picture of the ctrl-alt-del screen in 7 would be more informative, and more in line with the same picture of 9x and XP.

The webcomic[edit]

Where's the article about the webcomic? This is not a correct redirect.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alarico (talkcontribs) 03:28, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, B^U, but it was removed because it was insignificant. (talk) 01:56, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Please explain why it's insignificant? How is it less significant than, say xkcd or Penny Arcade? Why don't those pages, or those of all webcomics get deleted? (talk) 16:11, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
It was recreated a few days ago. I just added a link. (talk) 22:30, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

The main picture (the first picture) showing the Qwerty keyboard is inaccurate.[edit]

It highlights the buttons needed to be pressed to access "Windows Task Manager".

It doesn't highlight the ctrl + alt buttons on the right side, which you can also press to access "Windows Task Manager".

I suggest finding a new main picture which highlights both of the Ctrl + Alt buttons... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andise1 (talkcontribs) 23:49, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Michael Wise and the two-finger salute[edit]

1976 Sphere Computer Advertisement

Michael Wise was the president of an early personal computer company, Sphere Corporation of Bountiful, Utah. Their computer used the Motorola 6800 microprocessor and shipments began around November 1975. Unlike the Altair 8800, this computer had a keyboard and video display. Early home computers crashed a lot so an easy to use the reset button was a desirable feature. Michael Wise's claim to inventing the control-alt-delete concept was the Sphere keyboard has two reset switches and both had to be press at the same time. One was in the upper right of the keyboard and one was in the lower left. A reset required two hands.

The Sphere Operator and Reference Manual is on [3] but it is a 23 MB 427 page PDF file. The important sentence is from page 10-7 (PDF page 142): "The reset keys are wired in series and when pressed together cause the RESET line to be pulled low." The keyboard layout can be seen in the Sphere Schematics pages 18-22.

Michael Wise "resigned' as president in March 1976 and Sphere entered Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in April 1977. (See the Programma_Jun77.pdf in the sphere/newsletter directory on The Sphere computer was an innovative design but the company did not have the experience or the resources to succeed. -- SWTPC6800 (talk) 04:02, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Mac keyboard 'other' shortcuts?[edit]

Might just be me, but doesn't anybody else think the section on Mac is nearly irrelevant? It's a simlar topic, but why list all those shortcuts in Control-Alt-Delete? That whole section seems to just be completely off... Might be just me. Perhaps it's relevant information could be made into a nice paragraph like the rest of the entries?? Maybe I should just edit it myself :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:05, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Unsourced material[edit]

Article has been tagged for needing sourcing for almost a year. Please feel free to reincorporate below material with appropriate references. Doniago (talk) 15:47, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

I have restored both of these sections, since they are on-topic, reasonably well-written and at least at cursory look appear to be accurate (actually, they sound technically more accurate than some of the stuff discussed about Windows here).
While unsourced material can be challenged, the goal of questioning and possibly removing some stuff is not for the sake of itself, but to improve the quality of the article and Wikipedia. If there is no reasonable doubt about some info and it adds to the article and is not otherwise sub-standard or (potentially) harmful, there is no point in removing it just because it (still) lacks some sources, as doing so will not help to improve the article.
If you think some of the information is not accurate, I would like to suggest to use the {{cn}} template to flag the corresponding statements, so that other readers can specifically check those facts and possibly add sources. However, experts on a subject will likely not be encouraged to spend some hours or days of their precious time just to find sources for something unspecific that already appears to be accurate and obvious (at least to them). So, if you want them to dedicate energy on an article, be specific about what you like to be clarified or verified. Greetings.
--Matthiaspaul (talk) 22:17, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Endorse deletion. Hi. WP:V says:

All quotations, and any material whose verifiability has been challenged or is likely to be challenged, must include an inline citation that directly supports the material. Any material that needs a source but does not have one may be removed.

One year without source is more than enough a reason to delete such contentious contents. But not only these lack source, but are also original research, which are outright not allowed.
Best regards,
Codename Lisa (talk)
Agreed. If anyone feels strongly that this material should be included at this point, they should be willing to spend their precious time to find sourcing for it. If they can't find such sourcing, that rather strengthens the case that the material violates WP:V. Doniago (talk) 19:26, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Article has been tagged for needing sources long-term. Feel free to reinsert the below material with appropriate references. DonIago (talk) 13:06, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Equivalents on various platforms
Platform Key combination Function
Acorn Machines (pre-1987) Break Processor reset, although confusingly always referred to as soft reset. Hold down Ctrl as well for so-called hard reset (reinitializes various settings); hold down Shift to boot from disk (or not to, if disk is the default).
Acorn and post-Acorn RISC OS machines. Reset button Processor reset, although confusingly always referred to as soft reset. Hold down Ctrl as well for so-called hard reset (reinitializes various settings); hold down Shift to boot from disk (or not to, if disk is the default). Hold down various other keys to restore CMOS settings to safe configurations.
Ctrl+Break Perform a soft reboot.
Amiga Ctrl+Left Amiga (or Commodore)+Right Amiga Hard reset. The reset will be instant unless a specific hardware delay function has been activated.
Amstrad CPC 464 and CPC6128 Ctrl+⇧ Shift+Esc Reset (cold)
Amstrad PCW ⇧ Shift+Extra+Exit Reset (cold)
⇧ Shift+Extra+Relay Warm boot from the currently-inserted floppy disc. Is able to boot from discs in LocoScript installer format, which cannot be loaded by the normal ROM loader.
Atari ST Ctrl+Alt+Del Soft reset. Under FreeMiNT >= 1.16 it won't be instant, disk partitions are unmounted first. Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Del will perform hard reset.
Alphas running OpenVMS Ctrl+P Enter ROM Serial Console or reboot, depending on setting in SRM
Apple II series machines Ctrl+Reset Enter the monitor or ROM BASIC
Ctrl+Open Apple+Reset Reboot the machine
Ctrl+Option (Closed Apple)+Reset Enter BIOS setup, then reboot
Ctrl+Option (Closed Apple)+Open Apple+Reset Self-test, then reboot
Ctrl+Open Apple+Escape Kill application
Macintosh computers with power button on keyboard Control+⌘ Command+Power (sometimes known as a "Control Flower Power") Reboot the machine
SGI workstation Left Shift+Left Ctrl+Left Alt+Keypad Divide+F12 Restart X server (same as Ctrl + Alt + Backspace below). Nicknamed "the death-grip" due to the contorted finger positions.
Commodore 64 & Vic-20 Run/Stop+Restore Halt (soft reconfiguration) and return to READY prompt
Commodore 128 Reset Reset to power on state in current mode
Commodore+Reset Reset to C-64 mode
Run/Stop+Reset Reset to ML monitor preserving contents of BASIC memory
Olivetti M20 Ctrl+Reset Soft resets the machine
TI Explorer Lisp Machine Left-Ctrl Left-Meta Right-Ctrl Right-Meta Abort Restart the system
Mobile devices
Platform Key combination Function
BlackBerry Alt+Right shift+Delete Soft reboot


if you are connected to a Windows NT Machine over Remote Desktop CTRL+ALT+DEL on the Remote Machine is substituted with CTRL+ALT+END. Wooden Planks (talk) 22:45, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

ibm pc[edit]

C+A+D is not ibm pc specific: if you have linux running on e.g. a dec alpha, c+a+d would afaik also trigger a reboot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Flok (talkcontribs) 14:04, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Concerning "History": D. Bradley programmed the BIOS when he invented ctrl+alt+del[edit]

thus he was probably not responsible for designing the IBM keyboard layout. Someone put more into the referenced source than there actually is: Gates didn't named Bradley in his statement about ctrl+alt+del ... (talk) 19:11, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Per WP:NOR and especially WP:SYNTH, this kind of assertions are not allowed in Wikipedia. Three sources in the article directly credit him for the invention. If you have a source that states to the contrary, please introduce it. Only then, we can decide what to do next.
Best regards,
Codename Lisa (talk) 02:50, 29 September 2013 (UTC)