Windows XP won't Shut Down, Part 2

Dennis Faas's picture

In the last newsletter, a user named Rezzy47 had problems shutting down and restarting his system in order to run ScanDisk on his hard drive. Recall:

" I run Windows XP Home Edition. Every time I attempt to run ScanDisk [CHKDSK] on one of my hard drives, Windows gives me the message, ' Please wait while windows restarts ... ', but never does. Is there a fix to this problem? "

My response:

I didn't have a sure-fire fix for Rezzy47, but suggested the following: Install the latest Windows XP Service Pack (1) and bug fixes. Searching the Microsoft Knowledge Base / Dell web site for a fix. As a last resort, reinstall Windows in hopes of resolving the problem. I also asked Infopackets Readers for help.

Jim C. suggested visiting for a detailed document on shutdown problems related to Windows XP:

" One good place to start is at where there are troubleshooters for all the flavors of Windows ... The site has a lot of other good information about windows 'idiosyncracies' as well. "

Dave G. sent me another URL from which links directly to "Windows Shutdown and Restart Center TroubleShooting in 15 Steps". An excerpt from this page reads:

" Shutdown problems in Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Millennium Edition can be caused by many factors including, but not limited to: a damaged exit sound file; incorrectly configured or damaged hardware; conflicting programs, or an incompatible, damaged, or conflicting device driver. This article can be used to troubleshoot the possible causes. "

I also found a link on to a shutdown.exe program replacement. An excerpt from the web site states:

" Finally, I wanted you all to know that Windows Support Center is now an official mirror site for MS-MVP Andrej Budja's helpful Windows XP utility, SHUTDOWN.EXE. My only criticism of this program is that it has the same name as a native Windows XP utility that does the same job. My praise for it, though, is that, where the native Windows XP version commonly fails, Andrej's program works! It's quite a nice stand-alone tool that allows successful command line (and thus shortcut) triggering of Windows XP shutdown, reboot, hibernate, or standby. I rarely use the Start Menu options any more -- I have shutdown, reboot, and hibernate shortcuts on my QuickLaunch bar. "

Searching for relative information at

The web site is full of excellent tips and tricks. To find what you're looking for fast, use the Search Link at the top of the page. It appears that the left (navigation) links change depending on what page is being viewed.

An alternative quick fix?

A few other users recommended using Xteq's (free) Tweak program which seems to resolve a Windows Registry value. Dean66 writes:

" Although there are a ton of causes for computers failing to shut down ... one obscure setting in the Windows XP registry may help Rezzy47 with his computer's obstinacy. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\PowerOffActive RG_SZ 0 According to the X-Teq X-Setup Windows tweaking utility, one can change the preceding Registry setting from 0 to 1 and this will 'strengthen' Windows' resolve to turn off during a shutdown. "

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