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Why does my PC take so long to shut down? How to fix it?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / August 22, 2008 3:00 AM PDT

Hi, I was hoping you could help me. My home computer running
Windows XP is having a really hard time shutting down. The
little hourglass just keeps displaying and the message that
Windows is shutting down is displayed. I used to be able to
click the turn off button and it would shut down in maybe 10
seconds. Now it can takes a long, long time for Windows to
shut down. Why is this happening? And is there any way I can
help my system speed up the shutdown time? Thank you.

--Submitted by Victoria W.

Here are some featured member answers to get you started, but
please do read up on all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this member's question.

?Shutdown Problems? --Submitted by Ankit B.

?Why does my computer take so long to shut down.? --Submitted by Ancient-One

?Why Shutdown is slow? --Submitted by Ancient-One

?Long shutdown times.? --Submitted by Alain Martel1

If you have an additional advice for Victoria, please click on the reply link and submit it. Please be as detailed as possible in your advice. Thanks!
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xp wont shut down
by nutroxx / August 22, 2008 11:37 AM PDT


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re: xp wont shut down
by mlf1142 / August 22, 2008 11:58 AM PDT
In reply to: xp wont shut down

There is a lot of applications running in the background at the same time and is using memory space - why of the slowdown. Applications are like little switches for they need to be turned off in order before total shutdown of that certain program.

You might have a lot of 'bots' in your system that you manage to download through web browsing and these will cause slowdown in shutting things down since they are also occupying mem locations in that certain program.

Do a harddrive defrag from time to time. This helps to get things in order on the harddrive when it's time to close down windows.

Find the applications that are not needed to run and close them down before shutting down windows.

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shut down?
by scootertramp58 / August 22, 2008 3:20 PM PDT
In reply to: re: xp wont shut down

Sounds like I used to be. I got slapped on the hand enough times by my I.T. man that I finally stopped downloading every new and "great" thing I saw. If you have several of the same type of apps running they can conflict with each other. Get your system cleaned by someone that knows their stuff and take their advise. I run so smooth it makes me want to slap myself for being so hard

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Error Smart
by Geoff Bowers / September 5, 2008 5:41 PM PDT
In reply to: xp wont shut down

WOT reports ErrorSmart as a DANGEROUS SITE - BEWARE!

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What is the meaning of "WOT"?
by patrickg70 / September 6, 2008 12:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Error Smart

Can you please explain the meaning of the abbreviation "WOT"?

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Thawte Web of Trust
by orygunguy / September 6, 2008 3:32 AM PDT

WOT is a designation used by Thawte in verification of a person's identity prior to issuing personal certificates: used forinstance to digitally sign email to prevent tampering.

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what is wrong with it ?
by torticollis / September 6, 2008 5:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Error Smart
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by torticollis / September 5, 2008 8:14 PM PDT
In reply to: xp wont shut down

whaere do u get the program ?

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by ident2twin / January 15, 2012 11:48 PM PST
In reply to: ERROR SMART

My original SYSTEM MECHANIC software CD got cracked, so I purchased a NEW SYSTEM MECHANIC PROFESSIONAL CD yesterday at Wal Mart, in Avon, Ohio.

I have a TOSHIBA laptop, the model number tag on the back is so faded it is absolutely unreadable, and I don't know how to find that information.

It operates on Wndow XP Home Edition.



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Belarc Advisor
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 16, 2012 4:13 AM PST

Go get the free version of Belarc Advisor and run that. It will inventory your system and provide a list of all hardware and software connected and installed, as well as giving the make and model of your computer.

May I add, you were fortunate I was passing by here. Old discussions normally get sidelined after a few months.

Best to post further questions in the other forums.


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Error Smart
by Richard92211 / September 6, 2008 10:40 AM PDT
In reply to: xp wont shut down

I purchased and tried to install Error Smart software today. I have spent hours with their support team trying to get it to work on my system, with no luck so far.
I will say that they have tried hard to assist but it is still not working. I had to send them a long log which I ran, so someone is suppose to get back to me. If I don't hear from them soon and get this problem resolved, I'll request a refund.

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Error Smart
by leske / September 7, 2008 9:38 AM PDT
In reply to: xp wont shut down

I do not think it is wise to advise readers to use error smart. There have been more problems than solutions with this software. Some even consider it adware. The application asks for payment before it can "fix hundreds of errors on the PC"

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Help with problems caused by Advanced WindowsCare V2.
by rhb512000 / September 7, 2008 10:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Error Smart

I tried Advanced WindowsCare version 2 to see if it would help my computer start quicker, as suggested by one of the people on this site. It has been a nightmare.

I am using Windows XP, version 2002, service pack 3 on a Dell Dimension 8100 with 512 meg of memory. After letting this program run I didn't notice anything wrong until I decided to put my computer on Stand By. When I went to Start and Turn Off Computer and clicked on Stand By, my computer just hung with the hour glass on my screen for almost 10 minutes before the dialog box came up for me to make a choice.

I restored my system to the day before I did this and it still takes forever for my dialog box to come up so I can Shut Down or go to Stand By. What can I do? I don't want to have to wait for this to come up. I even restored my system to two days before this happened and I still have this problem.

Thank you,

Bob Bolmer

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PC takes long time to shut down
by Goshawk96 / August 22, 2008 11:56 AM PDT

Three things come to my mind all of which have occurred with me. One, you may have a virus. Two, check the amount of memory you have left. Three, my biggest problem was that my hard drive was 96% full. After upgrading to a MUCH larger hard drive all of my problems ceased, whether it be in slow period and / or even shutting down. Hopefully this will give you some sort of direction to go. I don't profess to be a computer nerd by any strech of the imagination just passing on things that helped me.

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by torticollis / September 6, 2008 4:13 AM PDT
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Error Smart
by southerncat / September 6, 2008 3:41 PM PDT
In reply to: ERROR SMART

Sorry sweetie, but error smart isn't free. It will run a checklike many other programs other there but everyone I talk to say that when you scan, the freebie scans always come up with a million errors but want a lot of $$ to fix the errors. Error smart cost 19.95 then they "recommend" you get two other programs at addition prices of: 1. Active Protection ($9.95) AND, 2. AntiSpyware?($9.95) WHICH results in $40.00 up front before you ever can tell if it fixes your problem, but that's the problem with all of them. Free just doesn't really exist in the computer world. I still wonder what Error Smart does that Microsoft Live or StopSign, or a mass of other don't do but I don't have the time to figure them out.

Where does one go to just get a resonable fix when your computer stops workiing and it not cost an arm and a leg. Why don't software companies really let you try them out like they used to, for one month or so, for free? It's so comfusing. You buy a computer and you're suppose to know how to use them immediately. There's so many programs out there that are competing for your business but you have to know what's wrong to decide who to go to. It makes you want to go back to a pen, paper and calculator to do the same thing at a slower pace. The problem is you never really know what's causing your problem. I just want my computer to work like my major appliances, a long time, before they need help. How many times have you had to fix a stove or a refrigerator when you buy them new? Even a $50 microwave needs like repair.You unbox them and plug them in and on the average, they work. Buy a new computer, install the software, added extra memory,configure the printer, add security programs on it,go to work and later try to figure out what someone has done to it from worlds unknown. Work days to figure out the problem, remove software, add software and then put it back in the shop and maybe you'll get it running before it's obsolute. Get it back from the computer geeks, it's working beautifully and suddenly it's running slow or not at all again. I guess there's nothing really free that fixes for free or they would never make money. I'm just really disappointed in the computer industry. After 30 years of the same problems with computers being "the newest and greatest" invention since sliced bread, you'd think they'd work a lifetime. Why can't we buy a computer that works and fixes itself? They send men to the moon so why can't they make a computer that just works for it's lifetime?

AND why are there so many wierdo's out there just trying to ruin a million complete strangers' computers? I just want a computer that will work for it's lifetime that no one can ruin from ciberspace. There must be computer police somewhere. I guess I'm just tired of all it takes to keep my computer (and life) alone and working. What happened to live and let live or compute and let compute?

Sorry folks, I never meant to make this a long screaming session, CNET has helped me out in more ways than one. Thank you to all of you out there that really have hearts of gold and help those of us that can't figure out what to do next to fix our computers when they go down. I forgot that I was on the greatest people in cyberspace that DO work hard to help the rest of us out and charge nothing just because you care!

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Get a Mac!
by cashiel / September 6, 2008 11:39 PM PDT
In reply to: Error Smart

not nearly so many problems with my Mac - I love it! things just work.

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by eddieblunt / November 22, 2011 7:11 PM PST
In reply to: Get a Mac!

my pc is better then u mac its like its on steroids lolololol

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ERROR SMART, slow shut down
by RRE / September 7, 2008 5:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Error Smart

re. comment by SOUTHERCAT. -
1st: Oh boy do I agree 101%. A PC is just a commodity now and should work straight out of the box with no messing about. As much As I enjoy tinkereing with a new toy, and luckily can fix most of my own problems, there are many folks out there who are clueless with PC's and at the mercy to be exploited. They need an Platform solution. i.e. something that is Truely Plug & Go.

2nd: I to had downloaded and installed ERROR SMART and it did its scan which found nearly a 1000 things, 6 of which it corrected without asking but then wanted me to pay-up to fix the rest. So I said no thanks and went to delete it. Then I was offerd a months Free Trail, just supply an email address.

So there you go, an offer to test before I buy. Wink

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There is a good software company out there:
by tonyfitz7 / September 7, 2008 10:44 PM PDT
In reply to: Error Smart

ASHAMPOO has been offering multi-usage software for some years now and I have successfully bought and used with much satisfaction many of their programs. They have an attractive 30-day trial period with in some cases a 10-day extension and all programs are fully functional during this time. Furthermore as software is gradually replaced the older versions are now offered FREE for upcoming new clients.
The conpany has an excellent support service (via e-mail) and their payments systems are secure and fast.
So if you want a program to fit your needs, AntiSpyware, Optimization, Media (burning CDs, videos etc.), Photo handling etc. etc they have something for everyone.
I'm a very satisfied customer now for 3 years so go check them out at

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Safety and performance
by Dy0d / September 8, 2008 4:49 PM PDT
In reply to: Error Smart

First of all, I hope this comment won't get flagged as advertisement, I just want to help as I had a similar problem to yours.
A few months ago I was looking for a good antivirus program and after looking through many pages I found some names. However in other pages I found some comments advising to change the operational system (OS). As Windows is the most popular OS of all, it is also one of the most targeted by ill-intentioned users (I can't tell whether this is true).
If you make a product that will last forever people will eventually stop buying it. That's why cars, refrigerators, TVs, computers, and all modern products do not last for more than a few years before breaking up (actually, computers just get obsolete).
Perhaps I went offtopic. What I wanted to say is a good antivirus / change of OS might prevent further problems with the speed of the computer in general (in many cases they slow down because of malicious programs).
I cannot tell how different the OSs are (in the matter of safety), for I have just tried Windows but perhaps some of you can?

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SouthernCat's extended comments
by LivinInTraffic / September 9, 2008 7:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Error Smart

My sentiments exactly. We would never accept a car or home entertainment center that becomes inoperable inside of 2 - 3 months of active use, so why should we accept this monoply that bill gates has on operating systems that allow spyware and the like. He has
ways to end all of this madness but refuses to go beyond the call of duty for the customer. Its like incarcerating people for minor drug
violations, there is too much money in it for the cities and counties.

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Free Software
by Basshole01 / September 20, 2008 1:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Error Smart

For antispyware....I use Windows Defender from a search on their

Also I use Lavasoft's Ad-Aware... also free for personal use...

Anti-virus,...I use AVG also free for personal use....

I get them from

Hope this counts....I cant afford anything but free Happy

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Error Smart
by wtfwtfwtfwtf / September 8, 2008 2:44 PM PDT
In reply to: ERROR SMART

Error Smart is a scam that infects your computer with a virus. You should get rid of this program if you have it installed.

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A little bit help fixing computer speed
by frescar_11 / September 16, 2008 6:15 PM PDT

Goshawk96! Sorry for getting in into your profile..

I try everything to solve computer speed. My computer has a lot of memory. Hardisk is in 45 % and still suffering slow system and of long time in shutting down. Viruses, cookies, remnants that created during installations and un-installation of priogram contribute and affect computer speed "YES". It is all about cleaning and it was cleaned succesfully but remain slow during shut down. What I did is accedentally used Wise Registry Cleaner Pro 3.7 and foundout very good as it has everything I need can boost almost everything and simply solved the problem. Good news is made twice the speed of my computer and it is great. My question is.. Is this will not make unconsiderable effect to my computer at later time? thanks!

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Computer speed
by Basshole01 / September 20, 2008 1:47 AM PDT

A lil disk cleanup and defrag helps a lot as all programs>system tools

Do the cleanup first, then defragmentation


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Computer Speed
by Basshole01 / September 20, 2008 1:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Computer speed

sorry, .. All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Cleanup or Disk Defragmentor

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too long to shut down
by delta9snow / September 2, 2012 9:26 AM PDT

Thank you so much for this overly simple yet seriously overlooked solution. I have tried for a week to solve my "forever" shut down problem. It is so bad that once the actual "shut off" box appears, if I don't hit the button w/i seconds, then once I do click it, it just goes back to my home screen like I've cancelled shut down. So, I try again...wait an excruciating 3 mins (or so) and go all over again. I have cleaned, defragged, malware, etc.. and talked, typed, and read. You summed my issue in one simple sentence: my hard drive is full. I'm at 93%. Thanks so much. I earned that full drive tho, so now I know what to do and I will bide my time with the slow shut down until I empty what is easy to transfer and get more space. Once again, so so thanks! So easy it was hard!!

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Try scanning your registry...
by pbasch / August 22, 2008 12:10 PM PDT

Sometimes the registry gets bloated with useless stuff, and that can slow down your shutdown. I had a horrible situation with an anti-spyware package (Counterspy) that ended up filling up my registry with about half a million lines of... what, I don't know. But my registry blew up, and couldn't be fixed. Any attempt to scan it or fix it just hanged. Had to reinstall. Hope you don't!

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Slow shut down issue
by nasir989 / March 30, 2015 1:00 AM PDT


When Clear paging file at shut down option is enabled for security reason, it causes the system pagefile to be cleared upon clean shutdown. This takes considerable time of the Operating System to flush-out the pagefile, thus causing the slow shut down.

Disable the clearing Pagefile at shut down option to increase the shut down speed.

Open regedit.exe and go to the following directory:

<bold>HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management</bold>

Now, Find the registry entry named <bold>ClearPageFileAtShutdown</bold> in the right pane. If it is set to 1 it is enabled, and may delay the shut down process. Right-click it, select Modify, and change the value to 0.

it could also be very slow because of hard drive issue you need to run check disk to find any issue and fix them.

Type CHKDSK /F /R at command prompt to schedule check disk on windows root drive C:

To read the complete article and 10 major steps to speed up slow shut down follow the post

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