Windows XP: How to Troubleshoot and Fix Shutdown, Restart/Reboot, Powerdown and General PC Startup Problems
1. – This Page: Windows XP shutdown and restart (reboot) problems
2. – How to troubleshoot PC startup problems – Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7
3. – Windows XP shutdown hangs or shuts down immediately on startup
4. – Excessively long Windows XP shutdowns
5. – Force a shutdown in Windows XP and other useful shutdown information
6. – Sundry causes of a shutdown or powerdown problem
7. – Hardware causes of shutdown and reboot problems
8. – Windows XP shutdown is incredibly slow
9. – Windows XP produces a STOP error message at shutdown
10. – My Windows XP Professional PC reboots whenever I try to go into Standby
11. – My computer has failed to start up, its power LED, case and processor fans, and the reset button don’t work. Is this caused by a motherboard failure?
12. – At startup the Windows XP logon screen does not appear and the computer continuously restarts
13. – How to use the Bootcfg /Rebuild command in the Recovery Console to recover from “Missing or corrupt HAL.DLL,” “Invalid Boot.Ini,” or “Windows could not start…”
14. – What to do if Windows XP won’t boot and you don’t have an XP installation CD and you don’t want to use the Recovery CD provided by the PC’s manufacturer
15. – My PC reboots by itself and warnings have appeared asking me to run Chkdsk, the Windows XP hard-disk-drive diagnostic utility
16. – My PC constantly reboots 10 to 20 minutes after being switched on
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Shutdown and restart (reboot) problems
Microsoft’s support for Windows XP and XP Professional ended in June 2014, but all users with a valid licence have the right to continue using them for as long as they can be run by computers.
Note well that you should always create a restore point in WinXP’s System Restore before making changes to your computer in order to fix a problem or editing the Windows Registry so that it can be restored from Safe Mode should Windows fail to boot into normal mode. Safe Mode is run by pressing the F8 key repeatedly at system startup to bring up the boot menu options, which include SM, before Windows starts to load into normal mode. Safe Mode with Networking allows web access if the computer is connected to the web, which is handy to run online antivirus scanners, download device drivers, etc.
Shutdown problems in Windows XP are most commonly caused by what is know in computer circles as legacy hardware – old technology components and peripherals that are not Plug and Play (PnP) devices – and software-compatibility issues.
Slow shutdowns are mostly caused by having too many programs loaded that have to be terminated during the shutdown process, many of which are usually loaded at startup. To disable starup programs in WinXP, enter msconfig in the Start => Run box and open the Startup tab in the System Configuration Utility that comes up. Removing a check mark in the box in front of a startup program disables it and vice versa enables it. Most of the programs are easily identifiable from their entries. The entry (or entries) with the name ctfmon should be left as well as PrintDisp, which has to do with printing. If an anti-virus scanner is named, it should be left or the scanner might not be ctively monitoring the system after startup.
If you need help, software, such as the free Soluto, download site – http://download.cnet.com/… – which runs on all of the current versions of Windows from XP to Windows 8.1 can be used to manage the shutdown. It monitors the startup and determines which background programs are essential and which are not, displaying its findings and informing the user what should be left alone, what is safe to remove from the boot process and what can be chosen to remove. Soluto can do quite a bit of other PC maintenance and management, so it is worthwhile having.
After you install a new hardware device or new software, Windows XP may restart continuously or you may receive an error message on a blue screen. If your computer was shutting down,but all of a sudden it won’t shut down properly, or it restarts during the shutdown, if you installed any new software or device drivers, remove the software via Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel, or use the Roll Back Driver feature in the Device Manager (right-click My Computer, click Properties, click the Hardware tab, and find the device, double-click on its entry and open its Driver tab) to restore the old driver. If you discover that a driver is the cause of the problem, try downloading and installing the latest driver for the device from its manufacturer’s site. If you installed any new hardware immediately before the problem occurred, obtain the latest driver file available for it in the same way. If the device still causes the problem with the latest driver installed, try a different make and model.
The following MS Knowledge Base article discusses with how to deal with startup and restart problems caused by device drivers.
How to troubleshoot hardware and software driver problems in Windows XP –
Most of that information in that article also applies to subsequent versions of Windows. If you are having these problems in a version of Windows (Vista/Win7/Win8.1) and you are finding it difficult to apply the information, try entering the search query How to troubleshoot hardware and software driver problems followed by the version of Windows you are using in a web-search engine.