Shutdown on Windows XP is not working

Microsoft Windows
When I select shutdown on my Windows XP workstation, my computer freezes and sometimes after a couple of minutes I will received the ShutDown dialog box and sometimes I don't. Where do I start troubleshooting?

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Problems at shutdown divide at three places. 1 – Are you on a network and how many mapped drives do you have? 2 – Is it XP Home, XP Pro, SP1, SP2 And what peripherals are directly attached? 3 – Is this a new problem, if so what programs have you installed that caused the problem?

In reverse order – the number one cause of bad behavior (slow startup, slow shutdown, slow execution) is malware. Viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, adware all are using your computer without regard for you. If you are on a highspeed connection it will feel sluggish. If you are on dial-up it will be painfully slow as the malware phones home. Freezing/delaying shutdown is classic for this condition. 2nd is Patches/updates that confuse HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer). APM/ACPI functions interface motherboard to ‘Windows’. Changes to BIOS or peripherals can hang up shutdown very easily. 3rd is the classic ‘networked XP’ hangup. In Windows explorer ensure that the ‘find network shares and printers’ box is NOT checked. [Windows Explorer – Tools – Folder Options – View]
Good luck.


There might be a problem with the amoutn of RAM and Processor used by your computer system. It is obviously a delayed processing problem, there might be a virus issue with your system. So, the best thing to do is to make sure that your computer system is smoothly running.

Discuss This Question: 3  Replies

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  • DougMann
    Agree with first response. It is usually a malware task that is hanging in your task list. Several solutions include running anti-virus with latest update, a spy-ware or ad-adaware type, or directly working to find the offending task in your task list. Determining what that process is and removing it.
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  • Darthzakkie
    agreed with previous.. and actually, any type of app that runs in the background can cause this issue with any WINdows OS.. suggest that you run the minimum amount of memory resident apps in the background.. and remember this, malware, addware, spyware removal services do not always remove.. sometimes, they actually ADD these kinds of annoyances.. so be carefull. i would 'PURCHASE' from a PC store, rather than 'DOWNLOAD' from a free site.
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  • NetminderEE
    Exactly where does it hang? What is failing to shut down? For example, I've seen situations where an older version of McAfee will prevent shutdown -- so knowing what's stopping it will help diagnose the specific problem.
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