Windows XP: Fix Startup / Shutdown Problems

Windows XP shutdown hangs or shuts down immediately on startup

The following problem is a common shutdown issue and can usually be cured by following the suggested procedure.


1. – “My Windows XP Pro SP3 PC is not shutting down all of a sudden for some unknown reason. I click Start => Turn Off Computer => Turn Off and the system begins the shutdown and gets to the point where it says, “Windows XP – Saving your settings” but then it just sits there. ”

The following is a similar problem that can be solved in the same way:

2. – My HP laptop running Windows XP SP3, fully updated, when booting (usually the next day) after what looked like a normal shut down, produces the “Windows is shutting down” message and then does so. The next boot works properly all the way into Windows. It looks to me as if Windows only seemed to shut down properly, but something hung so that it didn’t shut down properly and it has to do so the next time it is booted. That’s all very well, but I have no idea how to fix the problem.


For both problems, if there is a System Restore restore point available that predates the problem, try restoring it, otherwise try the following for both problems:

Enter msconfig in the Start -> Run box to bring up System Configuration Utility. Disable everything in the Startup tab. Then open the Services tab, enable the Hide All Microsoft Services option and then click on the Disable All button. Only the services run by Windows will be enabled. Reboot to find out if you can shut down. If shutdown works, enable each item one by one until one of them produces the hang. A shutdown can be affected by some client dump under the Services tab.