This article describes how to troubleshoot difficulties that may occur when you try to shut down Windows XP. This article is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to contact support, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note
Before you begin, make sure that the latest Service Pack and updates are installed on your computer.
For more information about how to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack and updates, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack
You receive an error message when you shut down or restart the computer
To resolve this issue, use either of the methods.
Method 1: Configure Windows so that it does not load the file or the service mentioned in the error message
If the error message refers to a file or service, the file or service may be listed on one of the tabs in the System Configuration utility (Msconfig.exe). If the file or service is listed, follow the procedure outlined in the second article mentioned in this section to turn it off. If the file or service is not listed, continue with the next troubleshooting step in this article.
For more information about disabling a file or service using the System Configuration utility, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to perform a clean boot in Windows XP
For more information about how to turn off services using Computer Management, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to disable a service or device that prevents Windows from starting
Contact the manufacturer of the faulty service for more information. Note
For more information about the file or service that is causing the problem, contact a Microsoft Customer Support Services professional for help. For information about how to contact a Support Services professional, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
If the OEM of your computer installed Windows XP, contact this manufacturer for help with this issue.
Method 2: See whether a program has recently been removed from the computer
If you recently removed a program or a Windows component from the computer by deleting it manually, related information that is still on your computer may be causing the problem. Reinstall the program or component, and then either use the Add or Remove Programs tool or follow the manufacturer's instructions to remove it.
To remove a program from the computer:
- Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.
- In the list of programs, click the program that you want to remove, and then click Change/Remove.
- Click Yes when you are prompted to confirm if you want to remove the program.
If the program is not listed in the Add or Remove Programs tool, contact the manufacturer to obtain instructions for removing it.
The computer stops responding when you try to shut down or restart the computer
To resolve this problem, use any of the methods that are described in the following sections.
Method 1: Try to shut down or restart the computer from safe mode
For more information about troubleshooting Windows XP by using safe mode, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
A description of the safe mode boot options in Windows XP
How to disable a service or device that prevents Windows from starting
If you can shut down or restart your computer from safe mode, continue to the next section to troubleshoot possible driver issues.
Method 2: Use Device Manager to determine if the problem is related to a device driver
You can use Device Manager to examine and change devices that are configured by software. Note that if the hardware device uses jumper pins or dip switches, you must configure the device manually.
For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Troubleshooting device conflicts with Device Manager
How to troubleshoot unknown devices listed in Device Manager
Method 3: Try to restore operation of Windows XP by using System Restore
You can use the System Restore tool to return your computer to a previous working state. System Restore takes a "snapshot" of critical system files and some program files and stores this information as restore points. You can use these restore points to return Windows XP to a previous state.
For more information about using the System Restore tool, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to restore the operating system to a previous state in Windows XP
For additional information about System Restore, click Help and Support
on the Start
menu. In the Search
box, type system restore
, and then press ENTER.
Method 4: Try to restore operation of Windows XP by using the Last Known Good Configuration functionality
If Windows does not start, restart Windows by using the Last Known Good Configuration functionality:
- Start the computer, and when Windows begins to start, press F8 to make the Windows Advanced Options menu appear.
- Use the arrow keys to select Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked), and then press ENTER.
- If a Boot menu appears, use the arrow keys to select Microsoft Windows XP, and then press ENTER.
Windows XP starts your computer by using the registry information that was saved at the last shutdown.
Method 5: Try to repair your installation of Windows XP by performing an in-place upgrade
You can repair a damaged Windows installation if you run Windows Setup from the Windows XP CD-ROM.
For more information about how to perform an in-place upgrade of Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP
Method 6: Confirm that the CMOS/BIOS settings are correctWarning
This procedure may involve changing the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) settings and modifying the basic input/output system (BIOS) settings. Incorrect changes to your computer's BIOS can result in serious problems. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from changes to your BIOS can be solved. Change your CMOS settings at your own risk.
Incorrect or corrupted CMOS and BIOS settings can cause startup and shutdown problems. Microsoft cannot provide specific instructions to change your CMOS and BIOS settings, because these settings are specific to your computer.
For information about the correct CMOS and BIOS settings for your computer and about how to check and change these settings, see your computer documentation or contact the manufacturer of your computer. Note
A damaged or insufficiently charged internal battery can corrupt CMOS or BIOS settings.
Method 7: Confirm that your hard disk or file system is not damaged
You may be able to resolve the problem if you start your computer from the Windows XP CD-ROM, load the Microsoft Recovery Console, and then use the Chkdsk command line utility.Important
Microsoft recommends that only advanced users or administrators use the Recovery Console. You must know the administrator's password to use the Recovery Console.
For more information about how to check and repair a damaged hard disk using Chkdsk, see the 'Using the Recovery Console' and 'Using the Recovery Console Command Prompt' sections in the following article, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to install and use the Recovery Console in Windows XP
If the Chkdsk command reports that it cannot access your hard disk, you may have a hardware failure. Check all of your cable connections and any jumper settings on your drive. Ask either a computer repair professional or the manufacturer of your computer for more help.
If the chkdsk
command reports that it was unable to fix all hard drive problems, your file system or Master Boot Record (MBR) may be damaged or be no longer accessible. Explore appropriate Recovery Console commands such as fixmbr
, contact a data recovery service, or repartition and reformat your hard disk. Note
If you repartition and reformat your hard disk, you will lose all of the information on the disk.Important
For more help with this issue, contact either your computer manufacturer or a Microsoft Product Support Services professional.
Microsoft recommends that you ask only qualified personnel to repair your computer. Computer repair performed by non-qualified personnel can void your computer's warranty.
The computer restarts unexpectedly or restarts when you try to shut down the computer
For more information about unexpected restarts in Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Windows XP restarts unexpectedly or restarts when you shut down the computer