CAMP 563 (11/02/09)
Startup and Shutdown Problems, part 5
all very well getting your PC to boot into a useable state in a minute or so,
but what can you do about a Windows computer that takes an age to shut down or
just stubbornly refuses to switch off?
problems are nowhere near as annoying as a slow start up so they tend to be
ignored or tolerated but the good news is that they're usually fairly easy to
fix, and Windows Vista and W7 tend to suffer much less than XP.
the time it's due to a programs or background services hanging and this can
sometimes happen if you exit a program when the computer is really busy, or you
have a lot of other programs running. The easy way to avoid it happening it to
limit the number of programs you have running at any one time. When you close a
program glance at the hard disc activity light and if it's on continuously wait
a few moments for it to stop blinking, before exiting the program.
your computer dawdles or hangs every time that you shut it down there is a
simple way to find out what's gumming up the works. Open Task Manager and on
both XP and Vista all you have to do is press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and select
the Applications tab (in Vista you have to select Task Manager first). The list
should be empty but if a program is still running, and it's the same one every
time then that's almost certainly the root cause of your shutdown problem. You
might find a solution on the Support page of the program manufacturer's
website. Otherwise try googling the program's name and the word shutdown to see
if anyone else has had the same problem. Failing that try removing and
reinstalling the program.
Applications list is clear the problem may be due to a frozen or running
Process or Service. In Task Manager click the Performance tab; with nothing
running the CPU Usage graph should be idling at between 2 and 5 percent, with
occasional spikes of between 10 and 20 percent. If it is any higher then something
is still chugging away behind the scenes. Click the Processes tab, check the
'Show processes from all users' box and watch the numbers in the CPU column to
see what's responsible. You may be able to determine the guilty part from the
name of the process, otherwise ask Google.
Vista has an extra tab in Task Manager called Services and this is worth
investigating if you can't find anything untoward on the Processes tab. This
time we're interested in the Status column; click the column header to list all
Running Services at the top. The trick is stop each Service in turn by right
clicking on it, and try a shutdown. Once again, if you find one that's causing
trouble google the name to find out what it does and take the appropriate
action to remove it or find a remedy.
finish off with a few tweaks that can help reduce the shutdown time - see also
this week's Top Tip. Two of them involve editing the Windows XP Registry, so
please, only attempt them if you know what you are doing, and always set a
System Restore point before you start tinkering.
first one is easy; switch off the Windows shutdown jingle, which delays
shutdown for a good five or six seconds - especially in XP. Go to Start >
Control Panel > Sounds and select the Sounds tab. Scroll down the list,
highlight Exit Windows and in the Sounds drop down menu select (None) - it
should be at the top of the list. Click Apply and close the dialogue boxes.
next two tips are for Windows XP only and involve editing Registry commands
that decide how long Windows waits for programs and processes to close, before
they are automatically terminated. The default value is quite conservative, up
to 20 seconds and reducing the time can make quite a difference. By the way, if
you use these tip make sure you close down all running programs before you exit
Windows, if you don't programs may be forced to close before they have the
chance to warn you to save your data.
Run or Search on the Start menu and type 'regedit'. Navigate your way to HKEY
CURRENT USER\Control Panel\Desktop. In the right-hand panel scroll down the
list and right click on 'HungAppTimeout', select Modify and change the Value
Data to 1000. Further down the list you will find
Once again select Modify and this time change the Value Data to 2000.
last change is to the Registry key: HKEY LOCAL
MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control. This time you are looking for
'WaitToKillServiceTimeout' and the new Value is 2000. Close Regedit and reboot
and the change will take effect the next time you close down the machine.
Week - Introducing Windows 7
Processor Unit - the main microprocessor chip in a PC
Editor - utility supplied with Windows for opening and editing Registry system
utility that provides information about running applications and general
a quick and simple to use way to shut down any XP or Vista computer with a single
click. Right-click on an empty part of the desktop and select New >
Shortcut. In the 'Type the location' box enter the following commands: shutdown
-s -f -t 03. Click Next, give the shortcut a name, or use the default and click
Finish. It's now ready to use, so give it a try.
you are wondering what it all means, 'shutdown -s' launches the Windows
shutdown.exe program, this is followed by two 'switches'. The first one, -f
means force shutdown and closes any running applications without warning and -t
03 is a time delay of 3 seconds, feel free to change it but 3 seconds is about
right for most users.
forget, there's a full archive of previous Boot Camp Top Tips at
Maybury 2009, 2101
Part 1 2 3 4