Windows 98 Won't Power Off after Shutdown?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Gazette Reader Ian B. writes:

" Hi Dennis!

I am a keen reader of your Infopackets, but I haven't been able to find an answer to the problem I am having. You see, I have a win 98 computer that used to shut off the power after a Start -> Shutdown command was clicked, but now it just stops at that the 'It is now safe to shut down your computer' screen. Can you advise if this is a hardware or software fault, please? "

My response:

There is a good chance that this issue is related to a previously written article, entitled, "Computer won't go into Standby mode?" (November 25, 2003). In a nutshell, any one of the following may cause the computer not to shut down properly:

  • A device driver (did you install any new hardware or update any drivers lately?)
  • A program running in the background which interferes with the Shutdown mode
  • Or, a BIOS Power Saving setting which needs to be enabled

Side note: A device driver is special software which makes a hardware work under Windows. For example: a modem driver allows the modem inside your computer work with Windows.

After researching this topic further, I found a page from which states the following:

" If you have a fairly recent computer, chances are that you have the newer ATX power supply ... [which is able to power off the computer after a shutdown command is issued]. [For a power off to work], you need -- besides an ATX type power supply -- to have Advanced Power Management [APM] enabled in your computer BIOS. Check your motherboard/computer manual on how to enter the BIOS and how to enable APM.

You can also change the behavior of your computers power button in Windows: Select Control Panel -> Power Management, then Select the Advanced tab. You can choose of having Windows go in to Standby mode, or have Windows Shutdown your computer when you press the power button. If you have Windows 98 Second Edition, see Windows 98 Second Edition Shutdown Problems. " (Source:

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