The old Ctrl-Alt-Del-and-Task-Manager process is usually enough to terminate a locked-up process, but you can lose whatever you were working on. Free Process Freezer from Polaris Software can help save your stuff when a program quits on you. It suspends or "freezes" running processes and resumes them on command, so that you can extricate your system before it crashes, take care of any problems like conflicts or low resources, and resume your work when things are running more smoothly.
At just under 274KB, Free Process Freezer is old-school small, yet it has a full Windows installer. The interface is equally old school and pared down to the essentials, just a panel displaying all processes and another displaying the information for a selected process. There are just two buttons, one to refresh the process list and another to suspend or resume the selected process, and a link to the developer's Web site. Though Free Process Freezer does what it claims, you do have to manually select the application from the list, which doesn't offer any of the additional information found in the Task Manager. There's no Help file or any other documentation to guide you if something goes wrong, such as if your system lacks Microsoft .Net Framework, which the program requires. But it does what the Task Manager can't do in special circumstances, which is to back you out of a crash without losing your work.
It's a huge pain to lose anything you've been working on to a system crash, but a handy little tool like Free Process Freezer that can save your data from an unexpected freeze-up is a good thing to have in your toolkit, and all the more so that it's free.