Can't shut computer down if Windows Explorer is open


R

Rebel1

If I try to shut down via Start/Turn Off Computer/Turn Off, all open
windows will terminate, as will certain programs in the system tray that
launch at startup. The only program that doesn't close is Windows
Explorer. If I minimize it, I see the desktop. If I try Start/Turn Off
Computer/Turn Off again, once in a rare while the computer shuts down.

But if I close Explorer before trying to shut down, even with other
windows open, a normal shutdown always takes place.

The problem just started within the last week or two.

Any ideas why an open instance of Explorer prevents shutdown?

SP3, plus dozens of updates.

Thanks,

R1
 
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T

Tim Meddick

Try making sure this registry value is set ;

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"AutoEndTasks"="1"

.....that is; either open the Registry Editor (Start > Run > "regedit.exe")
and navigate to the sub-key : HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
then find the value under it named "AutoEndTasks". Make sure it has a
value assigned to it of "1" .

Possibly the "AutoEndTasks" value does not exist under this key, in which
case you should create it by right-clicking in the right-hand pane of the
Registry Editor, and select ; "New" > "String Value" then paste the name
into the new value ; "AutoEndTasks" then finally, assign it a value of
"1" .

Or, instead, copy and paste the following lines (all the text between the
"copy" lines below) into Notepad, then save the file, making sure that you
rename it, giving it a [*.reg] extension. Then simply double-click on
this file to import it.

Re-setting this registry value should make the system (as it says on the
tin) [Auto]matically [End] all [Tasks] on next shutdown and thereafter.

------------------- copy between lines -------------------

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"AutoEndTasks"="1"

------------------- copy between lines -------------------


*Note - Please exercise care when editing the registry, always create a
backup and / or create a 'System Restore' point first.

==

Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
 
R

Rebel1

Hi Tim,

AutoEndTasks had been set to 0, but changing it to 1 did not solve the
problem. Thanks for the suggestion, anyway.

I now found that I can't even restart if Explorer is open.

R1

Tim said:
Try making sure this registry value is set ;

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"AutoEndTasks"="1"

....that is; either open the Registry Editor (Start > Run >
"regedit.exe") and navigate to the sub-key : HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control
Panel\Desktop then find the value under it named "AutoEndTasks". Make
sure it has a value assigned to it of "1" .

Possibly the "AutoEndTasks" value does not exist under this key, in
which case you should create it by right-clicking in the right-hand pane
of the Registry Editor, and select ; "New" > "String Value" then paste
the name into the new value ; "AutoEndTasks" then finally, assign it a
value of "1" .

Or, instead, copy and paste the following lines (all the text between
the "copy" lines below) into Notepad, then save the file, making sure
that you rename it, giving it a [*.reg] extension. Then simply
double-click on this file to import it.

Re-setting this registry value should make the system (as it says on the
tin) [Auto]matically [End] all [Tasks] on next shutdown and thereafter.

------------------- copy between lines -------------------

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"AutoEndTasks"="1"

------------------- copy between lines -------------------


*Note - Please exercise care when editing the registry, always create a
backup and / or create a 'System Restore' point first.

==

Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)



Rebel1 said:
If I try to shut down via Start/Turn Off Computer/Turn Off, all open
windows will terminate, as will certain programs in the system tray
that launch at startup. The only program that doesn't close is Windows
Explorer. If I minimize it, I see the desktop. If I try Start/Turn Off
Computer/Turn Off again, once in a rare while the computer shuts down.

But if I close Explorer before trying to shut down, even with other
windows open, a normal shutdown always takes place.

The problem just started within the last week or two.

Any ideas why an open instance of Explorer prevents shutdown?

SP3, plus dozens of updates.

Thanks,

R1
 
J

jim

Rebel1 said:
If I try to shut down via Start/Turn Off Computer/Turn Off, all open
windows will terminate, as will certain programs in the system tray that
launch at startup. The only program that doesn't close is Windows
Explorer. If I minimize it, I see the desktop. If I try Start/Turn Off
Computer/Turn Off again, once in a rare while the computer shuts down.

But if I close Explorer before trying to shut down, even with other
windows open, a normal shutdown always takes place.

The problem just started within the last week or two.

Any ideas why an open instance of Explorer prevents shutdown?

SP3, plus dozens of updates.

Thanks,

R1
System restore to when it was working properly .
 
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Paul

jim said:
Always the first and easiest way to do ease the problem .

If the issue was a registry hive that was still in usage, UPHClean
could fix that in WinXP. Some version of that approach, is
included in later OSes, so it doesn't have to be installed in
that case.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...6D-8912-4E18-B570-42470E2F3582&displaylang=en

"You experience log off problems on a Windows XP-based... computer"
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/837115

But that only handles a particular kind of "slow shutdown"
scenario. And probably won't fix your problem.

Paul
 
T

Tim Meddick

It could be that you have installed some piece of hardware recently, that
registers itself and with and appears in explorer - like a camera or
webcam - and that it is using an open thread to another application
associated with the device.

Try downloading Sysinternal's Process Explorer [free] to try and ascertain
how many instances of Explorer are running, and if any have open threads to
other applications.

You will see very plainly in Process Explorer's main window, any likely
suspects appearing as sub-processes to one or more instances of Explorer.

Process Explorer download :
http://download.sysinternals.com/Files/ProcessExplorer.zip

It may be useful.

Otherwise I suggest you explore the use of the Event Viewer application
(either look for it on your Start Menu under "Administrative Tools" or
simply type "eventvwr.msc" into the "Run" box).

In the Event Viewer, look under "System" for any problems that are
time-coded at the point where you tried to perform a shutdown.

Also, have you tried using the command-line shutdown utility?

Open a Windows Command Prompt (either from the Start Menu or type "cmd.exe"
into the "Run" box) then, at the prompt type the following command :

shutdown /s /f

(the [/s] causes the PC to hutdown and the [/f] [f]orces all running
apps to close).

Finally you could look at this :
http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/shtdwnxp.php

==

Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
 
R

Rebel1

Tim said:
It could be that you have installed some piece of hardware recently,
that registers itself and with and appears in explorer - like a camera
or webcam - and that it is using an open thread to another application
associated with the device.

Try downloading Sysinternal's Process Explorer [free] to try and
ascertain how many instances of Explorer are running, and if any have
open threads to other applications.

You will see very plainly in Process Explorer's main window, any likely
suspects appearing as sub-processes to one or more instances of Explorer.

Process Explorer download :
http://download.sysinternals.com/Files/ProcessExplorer.zip

It may be useful.

There was a single instance of Explorer. Under it were six processes:
my antiviral program, my mobo's audio mixer, my browser, my email
program, a print-screen program and a program for real time prices of
precious metals. (Actually there were two others, but I deleted them to
see if shutdown would work; it didn't.)
Otherwise I suggest you explore the use of the Event Viewer application
(either look for it on your Start Menu under "Administrative Tools" or
simply type "eventvwr.msc" into the "Run" box).

In the Event Viewer, look under "System" for any problems that are
time-coded at the point where you tried to perform a shutdown.

With Explorer open, a second or two after I try Start/Turn Off, Event
Viewer shows a User32 warning, Event 1073, System, and this message when
I right-click and choose Properties: "The attempt to reboot CLONE
failed." (CLONE is my computer's name.)

When I try a restart with Explorer closed, Event Viewer shows a Dchp
error, Event 1002. The strange thing is that this error occurs about 43
seconds after I do the Restart, at which time Windows has already shut
down and is rebooting. The Dchp Properties message is: "The IP address
lease 192.168.251.197 for the Network Card with network address
00248CD7D4ED has been denied by the DHCP server 192.168.251.1 (The DHCP
Server sent a DHCPNACK message)."


Also, have you tried using the command-line shutdown utility?

Open a Windows Command Prompt (either from the Start Menu or type
"cmd.exe" into the "Run" box) then, at the prompt type the following
command :

shutdown /s /f

(the [/s] causes the PC to hutdown and the [/f] [f]orces all running
apps to close).


Yes, that did it. At first, I got a 30 second timer and a message to
save any work in progress. Then all the browser instances closed, and
about seven seconds later Explorer closed and the computer shut down.

This page raised the possibility of a very slow shutdown. So I waited
over 2 minutes to see if Explorer would finally close and allow the
shutdown/restart to proceed. It didn't.

Bottom line: Explorer open, shutdown from the command line works. I
don't know what kind of clue that provides.

Thanks for the thoughtful suggestions.

R1
 
R

Rebel1

I should have mentioned that Ad Aware had been running in the
background, so I exited it and tried shutdown/restart. That did not
affect the problem.
 
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P

Paul

Rebel1 said:
I should have mentioned that Ad Aware had been running in the
background, so I exited it and tried shutdown/restart. That did not
affect the problem.

Do you have any interesting things in your list of network interfaces ?

To give an example, if I look in the Network Connections control panel, I have a couple
of dialup options. If I turn on file sharing, the computer likes to access
the dialup entries in the Network options, just for fun. There is some
way to stop that, in Internet Explorer, but just as an experiment,
I deleted them from the network options and the irritation stopped.

If you're seeing something network related, maybe the root of it is
something in your networking options ?

http://www.intelliadmin.com/images/Network_Connections_ScreenShot_20060807.jpg

Paul
 
T

Tim Meddick

Reb,
You sent, whether it was my mistake I don't know, a news message
directly to my personal email address, so I'm posting the reply here :

Hi Reb,
Since it's your immediate intention (if I understand it right),
to use the command-line to get round the mystery of the problems that occur
in the normal shutdown method, may I suggest a couple of things....

If you download the tiny [free] utility "nircmd.exe" - a command-line
utility that has like a billion functions, one of them being shutdown, by
the way, but another is the ability to execute a command-prompt (cmd.exe)
command without anything being visible on the screen.

So if you find out using the Windows XP "shutdown" command is the only way
to terminate your PC, then you could use the following command (after
downloading Nircmd / copying it to your WINDOWS directory) :

NIRCMD.EXE execmd shutdown -s -f -t 0

...you could even paste the above into a new shortcut on your desktop and
would be able to shutdown with one click!

NIRCMD is available for download by clicking on the link below :
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/nircmd.zip


....and as mentioned, "nircmd" also has it's own in-built shutdown command :

NIRCMD.EXE exitwin poweroff force

One other thing ; have you considered the fact you can start the Windows
"Task Manager" by right-clicking on an empty area of the Taskbar and
selecting "Task Manager" - and that you (should) have the ability to
shutdown Windows by choosing :

"Shutdown" > "Turn off"

....from "Task Manager"'s top menus?

Hope some of this helps.


==

Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
 
R

Rebel1

Paul said:
Do you have any interesting things in your list of network interfaces ?

To give an example, if I look in the Network Connections control panel,
I have a couple
of dialup options. If I turn on file sharing, the computer likes to access
the dialup entries in the Network options, just for fun. There is some
way to stop that, in Internet Explorer, but just as an experiment,
I deleted them from the network options and the irritation stopped.

If you're seeing something network related, maybe the root of it is
something in your networking options ?

http://www.intelliadmin.com/images/Network_Connections_ScreenShot_20060807.jpg


Paul

Paul,

The only network connection I have is to the internet. Nothing internal,
like between printers and computer.

Reb
 
R

Rebel1

Tim said:
Hi Reb,
Since it's your immediate intention (if I understand it
right), to use the command-line to get round the mystery of the problems
that occur in the normal shutdown method, may I suggest a couple of
things....
Tim,

At this point it's easier to simply close Explorer before shutting down.
But many thanks for all your suggestions.

Reb
 
T

Tim Meddick

Oooookaaaaaay.....

Then, finally, may I suggest you try copying your copy of
[c:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe] to, perhaps, [c:\WINDOWS\explor2.exe]....

So then use *that* copy as your computer browser application (leaving the
original (and protected) file [explorer.exe] alone, which will be loaded at
logon as the "Desktop" process).

Then see if you still have problems at system shutdown...

Even when [explor2.exe] is still running when you attempt a normal shutdown
(from the Start Menu), Windows *should* be able to terminate the program
(especially when that registry value [AutoEndTasks] is set).

Something is preventing that, but perhaps it's something that is peculiar
to the process-name "explorer.exe" and won't affect the re-named copy
"explor2.exe" in the same way.

Just a possibility, but, INMHO, one worth explor2ing!....

==

Cheers, Tim Meddick, Peckham, London. :)
 
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R

Rebel1

Tim said:
Oooookaaaaaay.....

Then, finally, may I suggest you try copying your copy of
[c:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe] to, perhaps, [c:\WINDOWS\explor2.exe]....

So then use *that* copy as your computer browser application (leaving
the original (and protected) file [explorer.exe] alone, which will be
loaded at logon as the "Desktop" process).

Then see if you still have problems at system shutdown...

Even when [explor2.exe] is still running when you attempt a normal
shutdown (from the Start Menu), Windows *should* be able to terminate
the program (especially when that registry value [AutoEndTasks] is set).

Something is preventing that, but perhaps it's something that is
peculiar to the process-name "explorer.exe" and won't affect the
re-named copy "explor2.exe" in the same way.

Just a possibility, but, INMHO, one worth explor2ing!....

Tim,

Thanks for the ingenious suggestion. I put a second copy of explorer
(named explorer2.exe) in the Windows folder and went to the Startup
folder(s) and changed the names to explorer2 and the target path as
well. I also changed to default directory when Explorer opens just the
make sure I was using explorer2, not the original explorer. Didn't solve
the problem.

I then looked for all instances of AutoEndTasks. It turns out there are
six in my registry, and I had changed only one to a value of 1. I
changed the others to a 1, rebooted, then rebooted a second time. I
still must close explorer manually for a shutdown or restart to succeed.

Even though manually shutting explorer is an easy task, as a purist, I
would like to fix the underlying problem. If I even do discover the
cause, I'll post it here.

Many thanks for all your various comments/suggestions.

R1
 

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