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Windows XP Shutdown Troubleshooter


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“With its rock-solid foundation and ground-breaking new features, Windows XP Professional won’t quit working, even when your workday is
done.” — Microsoft
(Did they know what they were saying?)

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.

For a step-by-step troubleshooting method that applies to all versions of Windows 9x, see the generic Windows Shutdown
Troubleshooter. Some of its steps may be found to apply to Windows XP as well, though many will not.

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

Currently, the leading cause of Windows XP shutdown problems is hardware incompatibility,

including driver issues. These are detailed below where known. However, it is impossible to list
every possible hardware or driver issue individually. My best advice is: Check all drivers for all
hardware devices to ensure that they are the current best for Windows XP.


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 “Automatically restart.”

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.)

Video Pack 5. Roxio’s Video Pack 5 causes the same problem because it contains includes the main parts of Easy CD 5.
SOLUTION: Uninstall Video Pack 5 and also delete CDRALW2K.SYS (Tip from Christian Männchen). However, this solution
may also have the side-effect of disabling access to your CD or DVD drive. SOLUTION TO THE SIDE-EFFECT: Apply one of
the repair methods in MSKB Article 270008, Code 31 Messages Occur After Removing Adaptec Easy CD Creator 4.02c
in Windows 2000 (Tip from Peter Kingsley).

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.

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USB Connections As can be seen from remarks in the Misc. Hardware Issues section below, several different USB-related issues
can impact shutdown. One of the most concrete examples was a “reboot on shutdown” problem contributed by correspondent Rick
Bross. If his several USB devices (PDA cradle, flash card reader, etc) were plugged into the motherboard’s USB ports, his computer
would reboot on an attempted shutdown; but when, instead, he plugged them into an external USB 2.0 hub, shutdown went just
fine. (This was with Win XP Professional SP1 on a Supermicro X5DAE dual Xeon motherboard. The same devices plugged into an Asus
A7M-266D dual AMD 2000MP system on the same OS worked without problem.)

“Wake on” power settings Power-management settings that have the computer “wake” on LAN, USB, modem, or (for that
matter) probably anything else may also trigger a restart after shutdown. Correspondent Simon Wei provided this tip after a friend of
his found an old old Logitech USB mouse would trigger “wake on USB” after every Windows shutdown. Their solution was to remove
that particular mouse and all worked fine. The principle is much more far-reaching than this one example.

Hidden “wake on” power settings If you have an Ethernet card integrated into your motherboard, you may have hidden “wake
on” settings that are harder to find. Site visitor Jim Porter found that his Asus P5GDC-V Deluxe motherboard had a “wake on” setting
in Device Manager | Properties | Advanced rather than in the BIOS or Power Management settings. (The Asus P5AD2 and P5GD2
boards have this also.)

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.) MouseWare 9.0 and 9.1 also have been linked to
reboot-instead-of-shutdown in Win XP. Removing the software resolves the problem. (Tip from Aswin Kindts, Greg Williams, and

Webstar DPX USB cable modem. In the one case known to me, the problem was solved by switching the modem’s connector
from the USB 1.1 port on the motherboard to the USB 2.0 PCI card. (The modem was provided by Telewest Broadband,
manufactured by Scientific Atlanta.) (Tip from Ann L. Goonan.)


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. To learn how to get this patch, see MSKB 307274, “Windows
XP Stops Responding (Hangs) During Windows Shutdown.” The necessary patch is included in Windows XP Service Pack 1, and also is now
available on the Windows Update site under “Recommended Updates” for Win XP Professional, titled “Restarting Windows XP.” However, to
find it, you may need to reconfigure how Windows Update appears for you, by enabling the Windows Update Catalog as follows: At the
Windows Update page, click Personalize Windows Update at the left, and then Enable the Windows Update Catalog. Save your settings. This
adds the Windows Update Catalog link in the left box. Click this link, then click Find updates for Microsoft Windows systems. Pick Windows XP
in the drop-down list, click Search, take Recommended Updates, and find the “Restarting Windows XP” patch which references Q307274.

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:

Correspondent Martin Sladek wrote: “I’ve run 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.”

But updating your drivers in Win XP may not be as easy as one would hope. Some problems especially appear where multiple users
are enabled on the system and one switches between users during a single Windows session. There may be numerous files with the
same name (but different version numbers!) variously located in the I386, SYSTEM32, and SYSTEM32\REINSTALLBACKUPS\0000
folders. These may conflict with each other. If you rename DEVLDR32 (ver in SYSTEM32, another one will replace it. (First,
you need to press Ctrl+Alt+Del and end DEVLDR in Task Manager). But if you use DEVLDR32 (ver from the I386 folder, this

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problem doesn’t occur. Reboot when finished to reinaugurate the disabled service. (Tip from Terence Shortt, aka tbone8200 on


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:

CD-ROM DRIVE: Samsung 24x. Correspondent Y. Leroux has identified the culprit in his shutdown problem, but doesn’t yet have a
permanent solution. If his Samsung CD-ROM drive is empty, Win XP hangs on shutdown. To work around the problem, he either
leaves a CD-ROM in the drive, or leaves the drive door open. He wanted to share this tip with others (thanks, Y.). Does anyone have
a permanent solution for this one?

DVD-RW DRIVE: Pioneer DVR-106 or DVR-108. Correspondent L. Frankenberg traced his shutdown problem to this hardware.
Correspondent Bob Berberick found the same for the DVR-108, and reported that a firmware update for the DVR-108 now
available from Pioneer resolved his problem. It would probably be worth trying the firmware update for the DVR-106 as well,
though I have no reports from anyone as to whether this solves the shutdown problem.

MODEMS: Intel Ambient HaM Modem. Causes Win XP to hang at shutdown. Previously, this was only resolved by disabling the
modem. SOLUTION: Intel subsequently issued updated drivers that resolve this issue. They can be downloaded here. (Tip from
Mark Gillespie.) However, a new problem with the Ambient Ham was introduced in Windows XP SP1, detailed below.

NOTE: The same problem has been reported for the Creatix V.90 Ham PCI Modem. Correspondent Gert Verheyen
wrote that Creatix has an updated driver and, more importantly, detailed instructions about manual removal of the old
one and installation of the new one. Go to the Creatix support page and click on V.90 HAM (internal) at right. The
removal of the old driver first seems to have been the critical detail.

MODEMS: Billion BIPAC PCI Passive ISDN-card. Reboot instead of shutdown issue conjoined with BSOD error message STOP
0x000000D1: 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

MOTHERBOARDS: Asus P2B-F, P2B-VM, or P2L97. 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 for space reasons. (Thanks also to correspondents Ward from
Belgium & Tony Gray.)

1. Boot the computer from the Win XP CD-ROM.

2. Win XP Setup says it’s checking hardware. Soon after, at the bottom of the screen, it offers the opportunity to press F5. (If
offered the chance to press F6, press F5 instead! – Tip from Mick Stone) Do this at once, and cross your fingers! [Various
users report difficulty with this. Apparently, sometimes it works; sometimes not. It may be in the timing of exactly when you
press the key. You may have to try repeatedly, or try pressing F5 and F6 repeatedly. – JAE] When successful, you’ll see a
two-paragraph instruction that begins, “To specify additional SCSI or other mass storage devices.” Press <ENTER> 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 F5!
3. 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.)
4. Next, you may see that two-paragraph SCSI/mass storage instruction again. If so, press <ENTER>. 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

MOUSE: Logitech. If you have a Logitech mouse, and an outdated version of the MouseWare software installed, you may receive
the following error message on a blue screen at shutdown: STOP 0x000000D1, (0x0000002b, 0x00000002, 0x00000000,
0xEEEE1b01) IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Kbdclass.sys. SOLUTION: Update the Logitech MouseWare software. (Reference
& more information: MSKB 810980.)

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 Devices. If you have one or more USB devices attached to your computer, you may receive the following error message on a
blue screen at shutdown: Stop 0x000000D1 (0x00000040, 0x00000002, 0x00000000, 0xfc96a9dc). SOLUTION: Upgrade
to the latest Win XP service pack. (Reference & more information: MSKB 317326.)

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 315664.)

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

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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 0x0000009F:

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 0x0000000A may also be written Stop 0xA.)

Here are a few that may affect Win XP shutdown and restart. Stop 0x9F and Stop 0x8E are two of the most common of these at
shutdown, and generally point to a bad driver. Stop 0x7B 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.


1. 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.

2. 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 (it’s the most successful solution for
this problem to date). According to correspondent Gan Ming Teik, downloading and installing the new version 23.11 Nvidia driver also
solves this problem.

3. Correspondent Ron Spruell found that disabling the Terminal Services service reduced his shutdown time from over 2 minutes
(hanging at the “Windows is shutting down” screen) to about 10 seconds. To disable Terminal Services, follow the steps in the prior
paragraph for launching SERVICES.MSC. Please note that Terminal Services is required in Windows XP for running Remote
Assistance, Fast User Switching, and (in XP Pro) Remote Desktop.

4. 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. 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.” NOTE: Since someone actually has
to have set this policy, the problem will be pretty rare, but is worth mentioning. However, Forum participant “roadrunner” reported
that the personal security app Privacy Eraser automatically enables “Clear virtual memory pagefile,” and, therefore, may be the
cause of a slow shutdown.

5. The Gear Software Security Service (GEARSEC.EXE), which enables iTunes for Windows to read and burn CDs, has been reported
by many users to cause Windows XP to hang at the “Windows is shutting down” screen for as long as 20-30 seconds.
WORK-AROUND: Stop the service prior to shutdown. One way to to this (suggested by “Thornburgh”) is to create a batch file with
the one line net stop gearsecurity. You can either launch this batch file manually, or (in Win XP Professional) use GPEDIT.MSC) to
specify this batch file as the shutdown script (under Computer Configuration | Windows Settings | Scripts | Shutdown). Gear
Software’s forum has a thread on this issue here. (Tip from correspondent “Andy”)

6. MS-MVP Gary Thorn discovered that the Event Log can slow down Win XP shutdown. Disabling event logging removed the slowdown.
If this works for you, then the real troubleshooting begins: finding out, by trial and error, what item that is being logged is causing the
actual slowdown. (In Gary’s case, the Telephony service was causing the problem.) To disable the Event Log, launch the Services
console as detailed in No. 2 above, and disable Event Log (right-click on Event Log, click Properties, under Startup Type select

7. In a domain environment, don’t forget to check any logoff scripts you are pushing. These can be a source of slow or hanging
shutdown processes. Site visitor Tony Barkdull, for example, found that an enforced logoff script caused show shutdown for laptops
that were off-site. He solved it be creating a logoff script on the local machines that deletes the Active Directory logoff group policy
after it runs so that the logoff scripts are absent while a user is off-site, but are repopulated when they return. — A related cause of

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slow shutdowns is offline synchronization of data, which is increasingly common with mobile computing, but is usually much more
obvious to the end-user.

“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). Or, to check the other side of the APM/ACPI coin, open the Power Options applet in Control Panel. If there is an APM
tab, make sure the “Enable Advanced Power Management Support” box is checked. (MSKB 313290)

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 “ShutNTdown” 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 155117 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)

How old is your power supply? Correspondent Andrew Walsh had a computer that wouldn’t power down after a Win XP shutdown
until he replaced the power supply that was a few years old. Presto! His problem was gone.

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.

If you have Office XP installed, the culprit may be CTFMON.EXE. This module provides the Alternate Language Bar and provides text
input service support for speech recognition, handwriting recognition, keyboard, translation, and other alternative user input
technologies. When you close all Office programs, this module stays active. Removing it can cause serious problems with your Office
XP products, but you can effectively disable it by setting the installation state to Not Available in Office XP Setup. This isn’t as easy
as it sounds though — several steps are involved. For full instructions, plus more information on the file and its function, see What Is
CTFMON and What Does It Do? (Tip from Jay Jones)

VIA Apollo Pro 133 motherboards have a “USB Keyboard support” BIOS setting that can interfere with proper power
management function if it is enabled — especially with respect to preventing powerdown during attempted shutdown, and also
preventing the computer from waking from Stand-by. SOLUTION: Disable it. This was originally reported on the Chaintech 6ATA2,
and confirmed on other VIA Apollo Pro 133 boards. (Tips from “Zef,” The Netherlands, & Robert Lin)

Toshiba laptop (model not specified). Problems of Windows XP not powering off nor going into standyby were solved by
uninstalling (then reinstalling) the Toshiba Power Saver software and Toshiba Hotkey for Display Devices. After doing this and a
reboot, the problem was gone. (Tip from David Flitterman)


Some new shutdown and powerdown issues have arisen in Windows XP SP1. Here are the ones I know about:

HIBERNATION/STANDY PROBLEM WITH NERO SOFTWARE. If you have Nero CD-burning software (versions 5.0-5.5) installed
on your computer, and invoke Standby or Hibernation modes more than once in a Windows session, the computer will hang on the
“Preparing to...” screen and not go into Standby or Hibernation. SOLUTION: Uninstall Nero completely, and keep your eyes open for
a new version of the program down the road. (Reference: MSKB 331506.)

WITH SP1, DON’T REMOVE SCSI ADAPTER WHILE IN STANDBY. Service Pack 1 for Windows XP introduced a new (but
pleasingly rare) shutdown problem: If you remove certain kinds of SCSI adapter while the computer is in Standby, the computer may
not shut down properly. There is a “hot fix” for this available from Microsoft. (Reference: MSKB 330172.)

SP1 + AMBIENT HAM MODEM + POSSIBLE IRQ ISSUE. Site visitor Mike Redman wrote that, after installing SP1, his computer
would hang on the shutdown screen. Neither the mouse nor Ctrl+Alt+Del would respond. Either uninstalling SP1 or removing his Intel
Ambient Ham 50.sys (unsigned driver) internal modem would solve the problem. FINAL SOLUTION: Moving the modem from PCI

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slot 4 to slot 5 and reinstalling the drivers. He wrote, ”This may be an IRQ problem which SP1 was supposed to fix.”


Some new issues have arisen in Windows XP SP2. Here are the ones I know about:

AUTOMATIC WINDOWS UPDATE INSTALLATION. Windows XP SP2 checks at shutdown for any Windows Updates have been
downloaded and not installed, then offers to install them as part of the shutdown process. Understandably, this can cause a very slow
shutdown on that one occassion and, if something goes wrong, can even hang shutdown completely. To see if your shutdown
problem is caused by this issue, look for error 0x80248011 in any of the Windows Update log files, particularly
%windir%\SoftwareDistribution\ReportingEvents.log. If present, this indicates a corrupt local metadata store for Windows
Update. SOLUTION: Click Start, click Run, type SERVICES.MSC, click OK. Stop the Automatic Updates service. Rename the
c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder to c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution.old. Restart the Automatic Updates service. (Tip
from MS-MVP Bill Castner.)

enforced DEP, as the 64-bit AMD processors do, and you installed hardware that requires the MPEGPORT.SYS driver, there is a
conflict. At shutdown, the driver tries to run from the same memory space DEP monitors. A 0xFC Stop message occurs. If your
computer is set to automatically reboot on a system failure, it will simply reboot instead. The solution is a new driver. Microsoft
provides a work-around in MSKB 878474.


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.

“ShutNTdown” REGISTRY PATCH. Download the “ShutNTdown” 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 0x0A 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 0x0000009F
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. Microsoft has now identified something similar as a bug, in MSKB 320008, “You May Not Be Able to Shut
Down Your Windows XP Computer.” The situation they describe is that only one user is logged on, quick-switching is used, and
“Windows is under heavy stress.” A supported patch is available; see the article for details.

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 311787.)

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Windows XP Shutdown Troubleshooter

MISMATCHED RAM. Correspondent Morten Bech reported that a combination of PC-100 and PC-133 RAM was the source of his
shutdown problem. When he resolved the mismatch (by removing the PC-100 RAM), he also resolved the shutdown problem. A
general reminder of a great general tip: You will get the best results if all RAM in a particular computer matches in all respects!

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

SHUTDOWN PROBLEMS IN WINDOWS NT/2000. In researching known causes of shutdown problems in earlier versions of
NT-family operating systems, most of what I found referred to problems that were resolved in later versions. There is no reason to
suspect their recurrence. For example, there were quite a few shutdown issues identified in NT 3.x that didn’t survive to NT 4.0. Very
predictable causes were involved most often, especially difficulty with some 16-bit applications or specific hardware
incompatibilities. Very few shutdown failure scenarios are documented for Windows 2000. All that I found were conflicts with
specific software, specific hardware, or drivers. While these three frame a wide set of possibilities, they are sufficiently narrow to
be very encouraging when joined with what we are seeing with Win XP. If approved compatible hardware and software are used,
including XP-specific drivers, we see almost no shutdown problems at all. If other hardware or software is used... well, that gives us a
starting place to focus our investigations.

SHUTDOWN PROBLEMS IN WINDOWS 9x. As stated at the beginning, I recommend that, if nothing above resolves your Win XP
shutdown problem, try those troubleshooting steps that have worked for Windows 9x operating systems to help us establish
a track record of exactly what does and does not apply, from that protocol, to the emergent scenarios in Windows XP.

(This page is also reproduced, with my permission, on Windows XP Mania.)

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