I get a lot of “Ask the Geek” emails from people whose computers won’t shut down properly, either hanging up or rebooting endlessly. (Sometimes, nothing at all happens and you have to press and hold the power button.) Rather than trying to answer each question, I figure it’s time I made this tip available to everyone and posted it here. You see, trying to diagnose what may be causing shutdown problems is difficult without my being at the machine. There’s a Microsoft article, “Resources to help troubleshoot shutdown problems in Windows XP,” that describes the process. Not simple.
But, there is a simple way to force your computer to shut down that often works like magic. It’s a command built into Windows XP called, appropriately, “shutdown.exe.” Just click Start–>Run and type “shutdown -f -s -t 0″ (without the quotes – the last character is a zero) and hit Enter. Your PC will shutdown immediately.
I am working on a step-by-step article, complete with screen shots, that explains how to make a custom shutdown button using the shutdown.exe command. I also plan to record a short video with commentary. I’ll let you know when these are done and how you can get them.
Technorati tags: shutdown problems, tips, how to, video