Problems shutting down Windows XP
February 27, 2007 4:58 PM   Subscribe

I'm running Windows XP on a two-year old Dell Dimension 4600. For the last couple of months, I've been having trouble simply TURNING OFF Windows. I hit the Turn Off button from the START menu, and it often take 5 or more minutes to shut down--if it shuts down at all. Any suggestions?

AOL (version 9.0) seems to be the biggest problem--I'll get a window indicating it's shutting down and then it will just stop. ONly if I hit the END NOW button while it tries to shut down will it successfully end. Oftentimes other program windows that I didn't even know I had open (such as Adobe Acrobat) will pop up and then also not be able to end. More often than not, the only way I can shut down is to just shut the power off. I've tried seeing if there are any new programs in MSCONFIG, but nothing new other than the 4 or so basic start up programs are clicked on. I've run Virus Scans and spyware and that doesn't help either.
posted by quintno to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try the User Profile Hive Cleanup Service
posted by sanko at 6:45 PM on February 27, 2007 [2 favorites]

Darn it, that's what I was going to say.
posted by tiamat at 7:27 PM on February 27, 2007

I've had that happen to me in the past, and it was because of a strange USB driver. The Windows shutdown cannot terminate a job which is in system mode, so if it's stuck in a driver, Windows shutdown will wait patiently until it leaves system mode -- only in my case it never did.

One time when that happened, I eventually figured out that it was because of the DVD player program I was using at the time. It came with a remote control and a USB IR receiver module, which I didn't use. The installation also created a permanent background program which was supposed to monitor that USB IR receiver module -- which wasn't there -- so it spent all its time polling the USB tree looking for the damned thing, and as a result it could not be terminated by Windows shutdown.

Once I figured it out and deleted that stupid background program, shutdown started working like a champ.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:09 PM on February 27, 2007

If you're comfortable clicking around in your registry, there's a setting you can change (from 0 to 1). It was the only thing that solved this problem for me.
posted by CMichaelCook at 11:04 AM on February 28, 2007

That's a good one, but it won't kill a job which is hung in system state.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:27 PM on February 28, 2007

Response by poster: Unfortunately, I tried USER PROFILE HIVE CLEANUP SERVICE and it still doesn't solve my problem with AOL, which simply won't shut down if I haven't used the program for several hours. I'd like to try CMichaelCook's suggestion of registry changing, but unfortunately I don't know how to backup the registry (which is something that needs to be done in order to do this change setting).
posted by quintno at 2:36 AM on March 2, 2007

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