If Your System Won’t Shut Down Properly

One of the most common XP topic concerns shut-down or power-down issues. The solution can be as simple as going into Power Options in Control Panel and changing the “When I Press The Power Button” setting to: “shut down” or so complex that it simply can’t be identified. Sometimes it’s a third party product causing a reboot at Shutdown (ie, Roxio CD 5.0 - and there is a fix).

Unquestionably, one of the best sites for coverage of this topic is at AUMHA.ORG. I have taken the liberty of pasting the comprehensive information they provide below. Please take the time to locate your specific problem and read their suggested fix. If you still have questions, then by all means post them in the General Questions Forum. If you’d like to see the Aumha page as it was intended, follow this link:



February 1, 2002

Shutdown problems in Windows XP can be caused by many factors, just like earlier versions of Windows. These included: a damaged exit sound file; incorrectly configured, damaged, or incompatible hardware; conflicting programs, or an incompatible, damaged, or conflicting device driver.

Windows XP shutdown issues mostly center around a very few issues, especially device driver version and other legacy hardware and software compatibility issues.

Roxio’s release of patches for Easy CD 5 wiped out over half of all XP shutdown issues. In turn, this uncovered and highlighted the next greatest problem: specific hardware incompatibilities. These are detailed below where known. Driver and software issues should further resolve over time as manufacturers release updated versions.

Most Win XP shutdown problems reported thus far have been that it reboots when shutdown is attempted. This may be a global symptom emerging from several distinct causes, because, by default, XP executes an automatic restart in the event of a system failure. Therefore, more or less anything compromising the operating system during the shutdown process could force this reboot.

Disabling the “restart on system failure” feature may permit the exact cause to be isolated: Right-click on My Computer, click Properties, click the Advanced tab. Under “Startup & Recovery,” click Settings. Under “System Failure,” uncheck the box in front of “System reboot.”

Here are some things that have produced this reboot-instead-of-shutdown symptom:

By now, the Roxio/Adeptec Easy CD / Direct CD software is well documented as being the major cause of this undesirable shutdown behavior. SOLUTION: Roxio has released new drivers (here) to solve this problem in both the Platinum and Basic editions of Easy CD Creator 5. As expected, at least half of the Win XP shutdown problems went away with the release of these patches.

One warning about this patch comes from correspondent Bert Smith: Be sure to read the directions! “Roxio Easy CD Creator Platinum 5.0 can be a real hassle to get working under Win XP,” Bert wrote, “and there is the risk of your computer not booting if you blindly go ahead and install it without first consulting the Roxio Web site.” Bert also mentioned that Roxio’s “Take Two” backup program (normally part of Easy CD Creator 5 Platinum) is uninstalled when the Roxio patch is applied.

Direct CD. Many Easy CD users (but not all) found that installing Easy CD 5.0 does not cause the shutdown problem, provided they do not install the Direct CD component.

UDFRINST. Several people solved this reboot-on-shutdown problem by deleting the UDFRINST file. This file is part of the Roxio CD-RW software for systems not using Direct CD.

CDRALW2K.SYS. Correspondent Larry Blumette identified the CDRALW2K.SYS file (version as the Roxio file causing his shutdown problems and error conditions. When he deleted or renamed this one file, his problems went away. (Of course, you lose your CD functionality that way, too.)

Whether or not APM is enabled makes a difference — but the effect could go two ways. Some users report that XP reboots on shutdown if APM is enabled, but shuts Windows down just fine if APM is disabled. Other users report exactly the opposite behavior. According to Jack Dunne, this is similar to a known Windows 2000 problem. The issue seems related to the computer’s specific hardware or BIOS — so, as with all NT operating systems, stick to the Hardware Compatibility List where possible.

Y-SB3 Logitech Internet Keyboard can also cause this problem. If you use it as a simple generic keyboard, there’s no problem; but, if you install the Key Commander software that drives the special Internet functions, Win XP will restart instead of shut down. Unfortunately, Logitech has decided that they will not be updating this driver for this keyboard. (Tip from Jan K. Haak.)

Logitech MouseWare 8.6. Windows reboots when shutdown is attempted. The software caused a BSOD with KBDCLASS.SYS. Removing the software solved the BSOD the problem. (Tip from Pablo Cheng.)

During shutdown or reboot, Win XP may hang (stop responding) at the “saving your settings” screen. During such a hang, there is no response to Ctrl+Alt+Del; the mouse may or may not work. The problem may be intermittent.

This is a known bug in Windows XP, for which Microsoft has a supported fix. Because this patch is scheduled for further quality assurance testing in the future, Microsoft only recommends that you install it if you have a serious problem; otherwise, they recommend waiting for Service Pack 1, which will include the more permanent version of the fix. To learn how to get this patch, see MSKB Q307274.

NOTE: The article says the patch may only be obtained by contacting Microsoft. However, it is now available on the Windows Update site under “Recommended Updates” for Win XP Professional, titled “Restarting Windows XP.”

As a workaround, newsgroup correspondent “lou” resolved this problem by dismantling the Windows XP logon Welcome screen. In the Control Panel, click User Accounts, then click “Change the way users log on or off.” Uncheck the box that says “Use the Welcome screen.” This removes the initial logon screen with individual icons for each user and, instead, pops up the classic logon prompt that requires each user to type a user name and password.

In the early days of Win ME, one of the biggest culprits for shutdown issue was the Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live. History repeated itself in the Beta phase of Win XP. SOLUTION: The SBLive drivers in the released version of Win XP solved the shutdown problem for most (but not all) SBLive users.

Here’s the commonly reported problem scenario people encountered: On attempting shutdown, nothing at all appears to happen for a prolonged period of time. Eventually, an “End Task” window appears, wanting to terminate DEVLDR32.EXE. No matter what one does, one ultimately is locked out of shutting down other than by a power switch shutoff. (NOTE: This problem exists with the SBLive in Windows 2000 also.)

You may have to do a couple of extra steps to get rid of old files so that the new drivers will install correctly (especially if you installed the final version of Win XP on top of one of the Beta versions), or to remove troublesome support software. Correspondent Sean Caldwell summarized his steps: Shutdown Windows. Remove the Creative card. Reboot in Safe Mode. In the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 folder, delete the DEVLDR file. Fully shutdown the computer before rebooting.

Some users report that the DEVLDR problem continues to plague them even with the new drivers. If installing the new drivers doesn’t solve your shutdown problem, try these solutions that people used prior to the release of the new drivers:

Newsgroup correspondent “James (beast)” wrote that he solved the well-documented SBLive / DEVLDR32 problem by downloading and installing the LiveService software. (James cautions that one should disable all antivirus software while executing this program. Since I know nothing of the person operating this site, I do recommend that you at least virus-check anything you download first.)

Correspondent Martin Sladek provided another solution: “I’ve ran into the very same problem with SBLive Value drivers. The problem was so severe I ran without the software all together. Since then, SBLive 5.1 came out, and I had installed the 5.1 version of the software in Windows 2000 Pro. I’ve not had a single problem since. Would you be able to add this upgrade solution to your page?” Happily, Martin.

In addition to hardware issues mentioned under other specialized topics on this page, many users have written identifying specific hardware as at the root of the Windows XP shutdown issue. Here’s what they have reported:

MODEMS: Intel Ambient HaM Modem. Causes Win XP to hang at shutdown. Previously, this was only resolved by disabling the modem. SOLUTION: Intel now has issued updated drivers that resolve this issue. They can be downloaded here. (Tip from Mark Gillespie.)

MODEMS: Billion BIPAC PCI Passive ISDN-card. Reboot instead of shutdown issue conjoined with BSOD error message STOP 0×000000D1: DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL in file SERIAL.SYS. Previously, this was only resolved by disabling the Billion ISDN card. SOLUTION: Billion has now released a new driver 3.24 that solves this problem, available here. (Tip from Leo Foederer.)

MOTHERBOARDS: Asus P2B-F. Causes a shutdown problem because Win XP Setup doesn’t enable ACPI by default. SOLUTION: Manually enable ACPI during a Win XP install or reinstall. Correspondent Bill Anderson (based on a solution by “Willy”) gave a lengthy description of how to do this (edited a little bit for space reasons):

Boot the computer from the Win XP CD-ROM.
Win XP Setup says it’s checking hardware. Soon after, at the bottom of the screen, it offers the opportunity to press F6. Do this at once, and cross your fingers! When successful, you’ll see a two-paragraph instruction that begins, “To specify additional SCSI or other mass storage devices.” Press to brings up a small window that appears to contain only two options, but, in fact, contains more (use the arrow keys to scroll up). If this windows doesn’t appear at this point, you need to start over and do more pressing of F6 and F5!
When the small window does appear, use the up-arrow to choose “Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI).” (It’s the third from the top of the list.)
Next, you may see that two-paragraph SCSI/mass storage instruction again. If so, press . Many drivers will load, then you should see the Win XP installation screen. If you are running this after Win XP is already installed, choose the Repair option.

VIDEO CARDS: Hercules 3D Prophet 4500 and all other video cards based on the Kyro II video chip. Causes restart and shutdown issues (or, in some cases, only restart issues) until the video adapter is removed. SOLUTION: New XP-specific drivers are now available from Hercules. At present, they remain uncertified (PowerVR, who makes the Kyro II chip, is working on that), but they reportedly work just fine. Download the Kyro II drivers here. (Tip from MS-MVP Don Lebow.)

USB: Keyboard or Mouse + Selective Suspend. Some USB input devices (such as a USB keyboard or mouse) do not support the Selective Suspend power management feature. When these devices are used with Selective Suspend turned on, the computer may hang during shutdown, or otherwise not shutdown correctly. WORK-AROUND: Disable power management for your USB hub: Open Device Manager (click Start, click Run, type DEVMGMT.MSC, click OK). Double-click to expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers. Double-click USB Root Hub. Click Power Management. Uncheck the box “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.” OK your way out. NOTE: Doing this may significantly reduce laptop battery life. (Reference & more information: MSKB Q315664.)

USB: Lexar Media Combo Digital Film Reader (USB). There is a problem with the SAUSB.SYS file, apparently part of the Win98 SE driver set for this device, retained during an upgrade to Win XP. Deleting the file solved the problem. The newer version 4.3 SAUSB.SYS driver from Lexar’s Web site works perfectly, and does not cause a shutdown problem. (Tip from correspondent Eric Brown.) Though one correspondent reported that the even newer version 4.5 driver (SAUSBI.SYS) also can be used in Win XP , Lexar says this driver doesn’t work on XP. One correspondent has confirmed that this matches his experience in trying (unsuccessfully) to use 4.5 on both Widows 2000 and XP.

Some users, when attempting either to shutdown or restart Win XP, get an error message similar to the following: STOP 0×0000009F: DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE

Stop Messages literally means that Windows has stopped. (Which isn’t the same as saying it has shutdown!) See Knowledge Base Links: STOP MESSAGES for much more information that the brief remarks below. Most Stop Messages indicate hardware issues; some are caused by troublesome software or a system service problem. The links page just mentioned provides a 10-step approach to troubleshooting STOP Messages in general, then itemized analysis on the most common of these. (STOP messages are identified by an 8-digit hexadecimal number, but also commonly written in a shorthand notation; e.g., a STOP 0×0000000A may also be written Stop 0xA.)

Here are a few that may affect Win XP shutdown and restart. Stop 0×9F and Stop 0×8E are two of the most common of these at shutdown, and generally point to a bad driver. Stop 0×7B on restarting means Win XP lost access to the system partition or boot volume during the startup process, due to a bad device driver, boot sector virus, resource conflict, boot volume corruption, or other problem listed here. Stop 0xC000021A can when on restart after a system administrator has modified permissions so that the SYSTEM account no longer has adequate permissions to access system files and folders.

MS-MVP Jim Pickering advises the following as one approach to these problems: Restart the computer. Press F8 during the restart and select “Last Known Good Configuration.” If you catch the problem when it first occurs (meaning you likely have installed only one or two drivers or new service), this will return you to a previous working condition. System Restore provides an alternate approach, especially if you need to go back further than the last known good configuration, and Device Manager provides a tool for rolling back to an earlier driver.

If it appears that Win XP is not shutting down, give it some time. Some users report a minute or longer for shutdown to visibly start. Generally, this is a consequence of software that is running when shutdown is attempted; it also may have something to do with particular hardware. If you experience this problem, be sure to close all running programs before attempting shutdown and see if this solves your problem. If so, then you can determine, by trial and error, which program(s) are involved.

Newsgroup correspondent “Sarah.” provided one specific solution for this. In Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Services, stop the Nvidia Driver Helper service. (You can also get this by launching SERVICES.MSC from a Run box.) Many other newsgroup participants quickly confirmed that this solved this “extremely slow shutdown” problem for them. According to correspondent Gan Ming Teik, downloading and installing the new version 23.11 Nvidia driver also solves this problem.

Correspondent Graeme J.W. Smith reported a more obscure cause of slow shutdown: In Win XP Professional, the Group Policy Editor has a security option to clear the pagefile at system shutdown. The same setting also forces the hibernation file to be wiped at shutdown. These processes take long enough that users may think that shutdown has hung. Since someone actually has to have set this policy, the problem will be pretty rare, but is worth mentioning. To change the setting, click Start / Run, type GPEDIT.MSC, click OK. Drill down to Computer Configuration / Windows Settings / Security Settings / Local Policies / Security Options. In the right pane, find “Shutdown: Clear virtual memory pagefile.”

“Powerdown issues” are quite distinctive from “shutdown issues.” I define a shutdown problem as one wherein Windows doesn’t make it at least to the “OK to shut off your computer” screen. If Windows gets that far, or farther, then it has shut down correctly. However, the computer may not powerdown correctly after that. This is a different problem, and I encourage people reporting these issues to make a clear distinction in their labeling.

When Windows XP won’t powerdown automatically, the APM/NT Legacy Power Node may not be enabled. To enable this, right-click on the My Computer icon, click Properties / Hardware / Device Manager / View. Check the box labeled “Show Hidden Devices.” If it’s available on your computer, there will be a red X on the APM/NT Legacy Node. Try enabling it and see if this resolves the powerdown problem. (Tip from Terri Stratton.)

This should resolve the powerdown issue in most cases. However, other factors can sometimes interfere with correct powerdown functioning. In that case, consider the following tips:

Try some of the solutions on my Shutdown & Restart Shortcuts page. If you really have a hardware inability to powerdown, these won’t solve it; but for some other underlying causes of powerdown failures, they just might.

If you change the default power settings in the BIOS, it can lead to a powerdown problem. Restoring all BIOS power settings to default will likely fix it. (Tip from Kelly Theriot)

Sometimes, not all appropriate Registry settings are made when you enable all the right power management settings in Windows. You can force the critical Registry setting with the “ShutMeDown” Registry patch. Please follow sensible Registry editing protocol. Backup your Registry before the change (or run System Restore to create a restore point). After installing it, test Windows shutdown. If the fix doesn’t work for you, remove it by restoring the Registry to its prior state. (For those who want more background information, the fix provided by this patch is based on information contained in MS Knowledge Base article Q155117 for Windows NT 4.0.)

On some hardware, power management features simply don’t work right. This is exceedingly rare on Windows XP when compared to any earlier version of Windows but, on some machines, especially if no BIOS upgrade is available, there seems no conclusion to reach except, “Yes, you’re right, it doesn’t work, so don’t use that feature.” Accordingly, several correspondents have noted that their Win XP computers will not powerdown correctly unless they have Turn Off Monitor, Turn Off Hard Disks, and System Standby all set to “Never” in Control Panel / Power Options. (Tip from Dan Mitchell & others)

Correspondent “Snake” restored powerdown functioning by disabling his CD-ROM’s AutoRun feature. The fastest way to do this is with the “Disable AutoRun” Registry patch that you can download here.

BIOS UPGRADE. As with every new operating system that comes along — especially one that is as much of a “step up” as Windows XP is from Windows 9x — the recommendation is made to be sure your BIOS is updated. Many people have reported that this has solved their shutdown problems (and had other advantages) with Win XP, just as it has in earlier versions of Windows.

“ShutMeDown” REGISTRY PATCH. Download the “ShutMeDown” Registry patch mentioned above under powerdown issues. Please follow sensible Registry editing protocol. Backup your Registry before the change (e.g, run System Restore to create a restore point). After installing, test Windows shutdown. If the fix doesn’t work for you, remove it by restoring the Registry to its prior state. This is not the appropriate shutdown fix for most machines, but does help some users with Windows shutdown problems, and not just with powerdown issues as one might suspect.

UNSIGNED DEVICE DRIVERS. Some users have found that Windows XP won’t shutdown properly if unsigned device drivers are used. This is simply a variation of the broader device driver issue: Hardware manufactures have not yet released all necessary device drivers for Win XP. This will continue to be a problem for the next few months; it already has been reduced to a very minor cause of Win XP shutdown problems.

SIGNED DEVICE DRIVERS ON TOP OF UNSIGNED ONES. Good advice on a variation of the above comes from correspondent Attila Szabadkai. For his SBLive 1024 sound card he had originally installed non-XP drivers, then updated these with digitally signed XP drivers downloaded from Creative Labs. Result: He got a 0×0A Stop Message at shutdown. SOLUTION: He removed all drivers, and put back only the digitally signed one.

PROGRAMS HANG / BECOME UNRESPONSIVE. Sometimes programs don’t close down correctly, or hang for some other reason during the Windows shutdown process. This freezes up, or at least significantly delays, Windows shutdown. For example, a few people have reported an error message that EXPLORER.EXE has become unresponsive during shutdown when they have used Win XP’s native CD-burning capabilities during that Windows session. If Windows is hanging because it can’t force a program to terminate, one solution is to disable the automatic end task logic (AutoEndTask). Use this registry patch to force that setting change. (Be sure to back up the Registry first.)

PACE INTERLOK ANTI-PIRACY SOFTWARE. According to the MS Knowledge Base article Computer Hangs During Shutdown Because of Resource Conflict, PACE InterLok anti-piracy software installs a driver (TPKD.SYS) that uses the same IRQ as the Standard Floppy Disk Controller device. This can cause Win XP to hang at a blank screen (with mouse and keyboard nonresponsive) when you try to shutdown or restart. Additional symptoms may be that the floppy drive doesn’t show in My Computer; the Standard Floppy Disk Controller device in Device Manager may display the error status “This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use. (Code 12)”; and/or when trying to shutdown from Safe Mode you get the error message, STOP 0×0000009F Driver_Power_State_Failure. The solution is to get the updated TPKD.SYS file from PACE.

QUICK-SWITCHING USER ACCOUNTS. One reported quirk affecting shutdown is the three-account shuffle. Windows XP gives the ability to rapidly bounce between user accounts, with Win+L. If at least three user accounts exist, and you quick-switch through all three, and then log off all three in reverse order — “backing out” in an orderly way — then the machine may hang on shutdown. There may be other variations of account shuffling that cause this, but this one, clear example was provided by newsgroup correspondent John Ward. So far, I have no concrete clue on what may be occurring here.

USING SHUTDOWN SCRIPTS & 802.1x AUTHENTICATION PROTOCOL. This combination can cause Win XP to take in excess of 10 minutes to shutdown normally. (IEEE 802.1x is an authentication standard for both wireless networks and wired Ethernet networks.) Here’s how the dominoes fall: The 802.1x authentication protocol stops after the user logs off. Shutdown scripts run after the user logs off. If the script is on a network share and the connection is no longer available (since authentication has terminated), the script can’t run. The default time-out for shutdown scripts is 10 minutes. So the computer sits there 10 minutes before continuing with its shutdown. (Reference: MSKB Q311787.)

CHANGE NTFS TO FAT32? MOVE THE PAGEFILE? Correspondent “Curiefleas” wrote that his reboot-on-shutdown problem was solved when he used a third party partitioning program to convert his NTFS partition to FAT32. It isn’t clear why this would be the case, but the tip was worth passing along. In a possibly related vein, other correspondents have reported a shutdown problem in XP either being caused by, or resolved by, relocating the pagefile! Is there some common issue involving substantial moving of the hard drive’s contents? These two hints intrigued me in light of a seemingly dissociated shutdown problem reportedly occurring in Win ME only immediately after a defrag. These all may be unrelated to each other — or not. I list them here as part of the ongoing data collection.



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