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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Free 'Process Explorer' helps end shutdown woes

Free 'Process Explorer' helps end shutdown woes

By Fred Langa

A free tool from Microsoft's Sysinternals can show you exactly what's preventing smooth system shutdowns.

Process Explorer works on XP, Vista, and Windows 7 and is available in either a self-contained or a live, Web-based version.

Fixing a slow or hung Windows shutdown

Reader Jim Swearingen reports on another glitch that can hinder smooth shutdowns. He's using an XP system, but the diagnosis and solution can apply to any Windows version.

  • "Fred's Feb. 3 item, 'User Profile Hive Cleanup speeds XP shutdowns,' was good, but it didn't address the specific problem I'm having.

    "My shutdown (or reboot) lingers only a second or two at the 'Saving your settings …' screen but hangs at the 'Windows is shutting down …' screen.

    "Sometimes shutdown (or reboot) continues to completion, but at least 50% of the time it's necessary to force a manual shutdown or reboot. Adding the -f parameter to my shutdown command (shutdown -s -t 0) has made no difference.

    "My OS (XP Pro SP3) is completely up-to-date, the Registry is clean, and the hard-drive partitions are defragged on a continuing basis."

That's the start of the lead item in my just-out weekly Q&A column in Windows Secrets. the rest of the item goes on to explain likely causes and solutions.

The other items in my column:

  • More about problem laptop batteries
  • Recovering attachments from lost e-mails
  • "Security Shield" scareware digs in, won't go

Full issue rundown, with links:

Free content posted on Feb. 24, 2011:

Paid content:

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Each month, we send a full year of sponsorship to a different child. Your contributions in February are helping us to sponsor Keith, a twelve-year-old boy from Zambia. Children International channels development aid from donors to Keith and his community. We also sponsor kids through Save the Children. More info

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