Windows 7 not shutting down properly

Avatar image for thejohn
#1 Posted by TheJohn (584 posts) -

I'm encountering a weird problem that my Google Fu is unable to solve, so I thought I'd ask here before re-installing my OS. I'm running a Windows 7 machine with an Intel i5-250 and an Nvidia GTX 560 GPU. I have a small(-ish) SSD drive for the OS and a larger mechanical drive for everything else.

After changing out my large HDD for an even bigger one, my computer suddenly decided to not shut down anymore. When I tell windows to shut down, it goes through the motions up until the final screen where the little wheel that indicates process suddenly stops and nothing else happens. I can hear the fans power down, and I'm able to do a manual shut down. So I'm assuming the problem is software-related.

I built the machine myself, but beyond that I'm not particularly computer-savvy. The BIOS scares me.

Please let me know if anyone have encountered the same problem. As mentioned, I've googled the problem, but not had any success with the small selection of fixes I've found. This might be because I lack the terminology to make my searches specific enough.

Thanks for reading, and let me know if I need to provide more specific info.

Avatar image for onarum
#2 Posted by onarum (3084 posts) -

Check the system log for HDD failures, could be a falty drive.
Or perhaps some crappy background process that is not letting the system shutdown.

Avatar image for thejohn
#3 Posted by TheJohn (584 posts) -

Thanks. I went back and checked the logs for when I shut down the machine last night, and there were no warnings or red triangles anywhere. Just a long list of stuff entering the stopped state, and the final entry for yesterday is "The operating system is shutting down at system time..."

Avatar image for onarum
#4 Posted by onarum (3084 posts) -

well that rules out the faulty drive then, try closing some processes you don't recognize manually via the task manager and shutting down, I'd wager that eventually it will shutdown, it'll be a pain though to nail down which specific process is doing it(if that's the case at all), since that would involve closing a process, trying to shutdown, no go, close another process, try to shutdown and so on... perhaps there's a better way to do this.
try the usual stuff first, run ccleaner to clean the crap out of your system, use the registry checker on that as well, run some anti-virus/malware software maybe? defrag the HDD.

Avatar image for thejohn
#5 Posted by TheJohn (584 posts) -

I hadn't thought about defragging the HDD. I'll try that. I've also gone through the registry with ccleaner and checked for malware, but I'll run through it again, just to make sure. The stopping processes option seems to be my last option, and while time consuming I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and go at it eventually.

Thanks for helping me out here. I really appreciate it.

Avatar image for mechanical_ape
#6 Posted by Mechanical_Ape (273 posts) -

Do you ever get a message that Window isn't shutting down because it's waiting for a program to shut down? There is an issue with Windows 7 sometimes where Task Host Manager will hang on shutdown and prevent Windows from shutting down properly. It will usually give you a message if that's the case though. Even if you don't get that message you could try the hotfix from Microsoft. If that's no the issue it won't do anything, but it would at least eliminate one possible culprit.

Avatar image for thejohn
#7 Posted by TheJohn (584 posts) -

@Mechanical_Ape: No, I'm not getting any messages whatsoever. The spinning process indicator just stops mid spin, and that's that. Still gonna check out the hotfix, though. Thanks.

Avatar image for franstone
#8 Posted by Franstone (1505 posts) -

We had an unwritten rule at my old office.

If you are going to spend more than an hour or an hour and half on trying to get rid of a virus or some other issue... just blank the drive.

Could be a good learning experience though.

Hope you solve your issue.

Avatar image for fritzdude
#9 Posted by FritzDude (2316 posts) -

Try forcing a system restart / shutdown in the CMD (Command) DOS. Let it go through the process, & then try to shut it down normally afterwards.

Avatar image for toxeia
#10 Posted by Toxeia (792 posts) -

The command @FritzDude is talking about would be "shutdown /s /t 0 /f" The tags are shutdown, in 0 seconds, and force application shutdown without warning. I personally never shut down my computer, I just put it to sleep. If you need a command to do it, say if you want to have it shutdown in X seconds/minutes/hours:

Run this command once only from an elevated command prompt: powercfg /h off

Then you can use the command: rundll32 powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0

If you want to have it shut down after X seconds, then it's: powershell sleep X | rundll32 powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0

The pipeline ( | ) is the key just above your return/enter key.

Avatar image for thejohn
#11 Edited by TheJohn (584 posts) -

@FritzDude: I did that, and no change in behavior. Good suggestion though. Thanks.

@Toxeia: Cheers for saving me the time to google the needed the commands. Not sure if I understand the rest of your comment though. Are you showing how to put my machine to sleep by command line? And then setting a shut down if it's been asleep for X amount of time?

EDIT: typos and clarity

Avatar image for toxeia
#12 Edited by Toxeia (792 posts) -

@TheJohn: Yeah. I don't shut mine down, and I want to put it to sleep but Windows was defaulting to hibernation on my machine which I didn't want. If just putting your computer to sleep works for you, then you can do that. The line that starts with "powershell" is just a command that lets you set it to sleep after a certain period of time. Say if you want to let your computer download something but shut down when it's done, if you know it'll take an hour you would tell it "powershell sleep 3600 | rundll32 powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState 0,1,0" and it would go to sleep after an hour.

Oh, and I guess that's what the confusing part is. In Power Shell the sleep command is actually telling it to wait for X seconds before it performs the next action. It's the rundll32 that uses powrprof.dll to actually puts your computer to sleep.

Doing some google searching, some people had issues with certain peripherals being attached when they were shutting down. I used to have a thing where having a SD card plugged in would prevent a computer from booting... so maybe there's something to that? Try unplugging stuff to see if that helps. And of course make sure drivers are up to date, or if this started after updating drivers roll back to the last release.

More searching, some one had the exact issue after updating to 11.11 Catalyst drivers. Don't have an ATI graphics card, do you?

Avatar image for iamnotbatman
#13 Posted by IAmNotBatman (702 posts) -

Check your drivers are all up to date that's what my problem was when this was happening. Took me like 4 months to figure out that is what was causing it after I built a new PC.

Avatar image for drintrovert
#14 Posted by DrIntrovert (86 posts) -

Double check your cables. I know that sounds simple but I have had so many bizarre issues that were because of a loose cable somewhere.

Avatar image for thejohn
#15 Posted by TheJohn (584 posts) -

@Toxeia: I've got an Nvidia card, but for some reason I'm unable to update the drivers. After reboot I get a message telling me the install failed. Assuming it's related to my shut down problem. Gonna try to unplug some stuff before next power down.

@IAmNotBatman: Good idea. I'm gonna do that tonight.

@DrIntrovert: Getting to this tonight as well. Since the problem started when I changed hard drives, this seems to belong high up on my to do list.

Again; thanks a bunch for taking the time to helping me brainstorm, duders. Even though I haven't gotten to the root of the problem yet, I'm learning some pretty useful things in the process, and that's always cool.

Avatar image for cretaceous_bob
#16 Edited by Cretaceous_Bob (552 posts) -

I've had Windows 7 refuse to shut down because for some reason it just sat there spinning a disc in the optical drive. I open the disc drive and it immediately shuts down.

So I don't really have a lot helpful to say here other than Windows 7 can get up to some really nonsensical business when it's shutting down.

Avatar image for devildoll
#17 Edited by Devildoll (1012 posts) -

@TheJohn: how big is this new drive? over 2 TB? what happens if you unplug it and start the computer up with just the ssd and then try to shut it down?

Avatar image for oldmanlight
#18 Posted by OldManLight (1320 posts) -

idk, that sounds really sketchy. almost sounds like a process running in the background doesn't want to let windows close it out but windows is not aware of it. I'd say do a thorough check for virus/malware and then i'd run chkdsk on your windows partition and then see about maybe using the windows install disc to do a repair.

Avatar image for thejohn
#19 Posted by TheJohn (584 posts) -

Thanks to everyone who's helped me with suggestions in this thread. Sadly, nothing have solved my problem, so I'll just reinstall windows and see if that helps. But first, I'm gonna have to find all my savegames. Yay!

Avatar image for dark_sylinc
#20 Posted by dark_sylinc (2 posts) -

Clean Windows reinstall should work (format)

However, the problem might persist. Sounds to me you've got either a PSU problem or ACPI.

If it's PSU, most likely some cable got loose when you changed the drive. Or the PSU is just starting to fail (which I doubt since you should start seeing BSODs when playing heavy games).

Most likely it's ACPI missconfiguration OS or motherboard side. If it's OS, the clean reinstall will work. If it's MB,  I've seen a couple motherboards that did strange stuff when trying to shutdown (refusing to shut down as in your case, or turn on immediately after shutting down)

Most of the times, the fix for that is to clear the CMOS data, which can be done by setting the right jumper (check your MB manual) for a few seconds and then restoring the jumper back; or just removing the Button battery for a few seconds and inserting it back. In both cases the BIOS is going to tell you that CMOS data is corrupt when you turn it on and needs to be reconfigured. Just tell to load the defaults (it will give you options, normally F2 set manual, F4 load defaults, etc).

Good luck

Avatar image for thejohn
#21 Posted by TheJohn (584 posts) -

@dark_sylinc: Thanks for the input. A clean Windows install did the trick.

I got the cheap upgrade to Windows 8 pro, and while it fixed my problem my first impression of the OS is not the best. Only the aesthetics, mind. It's fast as fuck. Though that's a subject for another thread.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.