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Computer Shutting Off

Computer Shutting off problems

Most people who use a PC that runs any version of the Windows operating system will have had problems with their computer shutting off at some time or another. This is almost a given as shutdown problems of one form or another are amongst the most common difficulties that users of PCs suffer.

These problems will fall into one of two categories, both of which are equally annoying as one another!

Sometimes you will try to turn your machine off, and it will simply not shut down! And, on the other hand, sometimes it will shut down of its own accord, and this is most likely to happen right when you are in the middle of an important job!

Unless this causes you to lose whatever it was that you were working on, then really neither of these should constitute a major problem.

The tendency to do unexpected things when shutting down could however be indicative that there are more serious problems with your machine, and this should not, therefore, be ignored!


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Common Computer Shutting Off Problems

If you are one of the millions who is using Windows XP, then you may already be aware that the system has a built-in failsafe mechanism that enables it to automatically reboot after the system suffers a critical failure.

Thus it is that any slight problem that occurs when your machine is shutting down can often be read by XP as exactly such a critical failure, and it will therefore reboot your machine.

Thus you have the most common computer shutting off problem – it won’t shut off, as it goes into a constant cycle of shutdown and automatic reboot.

Sometimes your machine seems to take forever to do what you might imagine is a fairly straightforward task, that of closing down when you instruct it to.

The most common reason for this occurrence is that at any given time, there are dozens of programs running on your machine, even if you are not necessarily aware of it. In fact, the majority of programs are most probably running in the background, so you would not be aware of it but they are running.

Each of these programs needs to close down individually when you try to close your machine off, and so, if any of them ‘hangs’ for any reason, then the whole shut down process can grind to a halt until whatever caused the ‘hang’ is resolved.

Such a ‘hang’ problem is often caused by software incompatibility problems, especially if you have loaded third party software onto your machine.

Similar problems can occur with hardware as well, as some components just do not seem to want to work together, however strange that might sound!

As an alternative to your machine refusing to shut down or doing so exceedingly slowly, you may suffer the opposite problem wherein your machine shuts down unexpectedly.

If this happens, you should definitely try running a virus scan, as a virus would very definitely be a suspect in such a situation.

Also check for spyware and adware as well. Although these are less likely to shut down your machine unexpectedly, it is not impossible that such malware might be the cause of your problem.

One other cause that some laptops are especially susceptible to is overheating, particularly if they are used on hard surfaces that reflect heat back into the machine.

Try using a cooling mat if you suspect that this might be your problem.


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Solving your computer shutting off problems

Assuming that your primary problem is with a PC that shuts down very slowly, not at all or incessantly ‘loops’, then you need to try to isolate what is causing the problem.

If you have recently installed new software or added a hardware component, then that would certainly be the first place to look.

If you can switch off the new software completely, the do so and see if that produces the desired effect. Disconnect the new hardware for exactly the same reason.

Next, try opening the ‘Windows Task Manager’ utility and click on the ‘Processes’ tab to see what programs and applications you have running. End them one by one and, by a process of trial and error you may be able to isolate exactly which of them is slowing down the process of your computer shutting off.

If this does not work, and you have already established that you do not have a spyware or virus problem, then you need to check the status of the operating system registry to see if there are any major defects there that could be the cause of your difficulties.

If you already have the software to do this, then now would be a good time to use it to firstly establish what your problem is, and then you can use the software to fix it. If not, then you should at least use a free online registry check using a program like SpeedyPC, as that would allow you to establish whether an underlying registry problem is the root cause of your difficulties.

By doing this, you will either find the error or know that you need to move on to look elsewhere.



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Updated: October 23, 2014

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