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Why am I getting grayed-out windows in Ubuntu 12.04? I need to specify that I am talking about the windows themselves being grayed-out and the application frozen; I'm not referring to items on a drop-down menu being grayed-out.

I have plenty of memory (8 GB) and an appropriate AMD processor.

This is driving me crazy. I didn't encounter it until Ubuntu 11.xx. Lately, performance has been terrible, especially in Firefox (which crashes all the time). I feel like I'm wading in quicksand. I click on a link and have enough time to go get a cup of coffee before I get to the new window.

I would greatly appreciate it if someone could tell me what this gray stuff is and what I can do about it.

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Can you post a screenshot of what menus you're referring to? –  mfisch Dec 23 '12 at 23:21
That's the bahavior Compiz has, when an application window is not responding. Compiz is the default window manager in 12.04, but you could also try to logout, click the cog icon (next to the usename), and select Ubuntu-2d. Can you add more hardware specs to the quistion - computer make and model, CPU model, graphics model. –  mikewhatever Dec 24 '12 at 0:11
Can you post your /var/log/syslog next time its happening? Also, have you checked your RAM (memtest)? Experienced something similar a year ago and it was a ram chip. The best of luck! –  Kake Dec 24 '12 at 2:56
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