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Troubleshooting Shutdown Problems

Friday, August 25th, 2006 by | Filed Under: System Tune-Up Help

Troubleshooting Shutdown Problems

There is a widespread shutdown bug with many Windows versions and today I have some comprehensive troubleshooting steps that you can use to try and overcome this issue. This article will be especially useful in troubleshooting the possible causes.

Here is a list of measures that can be performed in your Windows version to resolve the issue:

  • Disable fast shutdown.
  • Shutdown Troubleshooting Wizard.
  • Damaged exit sound file .
  • Clogged temporary file folders .
  • Virtual device driver / SYSTEM.INI .
  • WIN.INI command lines Internet Explorer scenarios.
  • Advanced power management.
  • Other solutions.

We will review each of those one by one with appropriate procedures to perform.

Disable Fast Shutdown (For Windows 98 Only)

Step 1: Close all programs so that you have nothing open and get to your desktop.

Step 2: Click on the Start button, then click Run.

Step 3: In the Run field, type msconfig as shown in the image below.

Step 4: Press the OK button and the System Configuration Utility will start up.

You will then see a screen similar to the image below. Click Advanced and place a checkmark in the box next to ““Disable fast shutdown.”

Step 5: Press OK and OK again. Test Windows shutdown by restarting the computer. (For proper troubleshooting, click Start, Shut Down, Restart, OK).

Shutdown Troubleshooting Wizard

A shutdown troubleshooter is built right into Windows 98 and Windows ME. It will take you through many, but not all of the steps recommended. You may prefer this kind of “walk through, on-screen” troubleshooter. To access it, click Start, Help. In the window, type “troubleshooting.” Click on the Troubleshooting entry in the menu. Scroll down the list provided and click on “Shutdown and Startup Troubleshooter” (Win98) or “Startup and Shutdown Troubleshooter” (Win ME).

Damaged Exit Sound File

In the Control Panel, double click Sounds (or Sounds and Multimedia). In the Events box, click Exit Windows. In the Name box, click None. Click OK.

Next, test the Windows shutdown again by restarting your computer. If Windows does not hang, the problem may be a corrupt sound file. Restore the file from your Windows disk or from wherever you obtained it, then test the Windows shutdown again.

Clogged Temporary File Folders

Manually deleting the contents of various temporary file folders may solve the shutdown problem. Though these files can be relocated on any given system, their default locations are usually on the C: drive. Folders you might want to manually clean include: TEMP, Temporary Internet Files and MSDOWNLD.TMP.



FOR WINDOWS ME: Launch msconfig, click Selective Startup and uncheck the box labeled“Load Environment Variables.” After doing one of these procedures, test the Windows shutdown.

Virtual Device Driver / SYSTEM.INI

Launch SYSEDIT from the Run window. Click on the SYSTEM.INI window. Examine the [386Enh] section. Place a semicolon ( ; ) at the beginning of each line that begins with DEVICE= and ends with .386. Save the changes and exit SYSEDIT.

NOTE: In Win98 and ME, you can use msconfig and merely uncheck such lines in the [386Enh] section.

Reboot, then test the Windows shutdown. If Windows hangs, restore the SYSTEM.INI file to its original configuration. If Windows does not hang during shutdown, a virtual device driver may be causing the problem. Contact the driver’s manufacturer for assistance.

WIN.INI Command Lines Internet Explorer Scenarios

Launch SYSEDIT from the RUN window. Click on the WIN.INI window and look for any lines beginning with LOAD= or RUN=. Place a semicolon ( ; ) at the beginning of these lines if they have entries following the equal (=) sign. Save the changes to the WIN.INI file and exit SYSEDIT.

NOTE: In Win98 and ME, you can use MSCONFIG and merely uncheck such lines on the WIN.INI tab.

Reboot and then test the Windows shutdown.

Advanced Power Management

Right click on the My Computer icon, select Properties and click the Device Manager tab. Double click the System Devices branch to expand it. Double click Advanced Power Management Support in the device list. Click the Settings tab. Click the Enable Power Management checkbox to clear it. Click OK until you return to Control Panel.

WIN98 SE NOTE: This box does not exist in Win98 SE. Disable APM from Control Panel, Power.

Reboot, then test the Windows shutdown. If Windows shuts down properly, the problem may be caused by APM, so contact the computer’s manufacturer for assistance.

Other Solutions

Antivirus Software Problems

If your antivirus software is set to scan your floppy drives on shutdown, this can result in various symptoms, including the computer hanging on shutdown. Often (but not always) a clue will be that the floppy drive light comes on during shutdown. The solution is to disable this particular feature in the antivirus program.

Hope this article was of some use in resolving shutdown issues in various Windows versions!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami

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