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Computer Does Not Shut Down (Windows 7 or Vista)

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This document applies to Windows 7 or Vista.
There are various reasons that Windows might not shut down properly. The following sections contain fixes for the most common causes.
NOTE:Save your work and close any open software programs before troubleshooting.

Step 1: Scanning for the latest virus, spyware, and malware threats

Use the update feature of your antivirus software to get the latest virus, spyware, and malware definition files, and then do a full system scan to remove any threats found on the computer.
If your virus scanning software does not find any problems, skip to the next step.
If threats were removed, click Start , and then Shut Down. If Windows still fails to shut down, continue to the next step.

Step 2: Using Windows Update to get the latest updates

Microsoft releases updates to address issues with software drivers and programs. Use Windows Update to download service packs for Windows 7 or Vista, as well as all the latest important and optional updates for the computer.
After getting the latest updates from Microsoft, click Start , and then Shut Down. If Windows still fails to shut down, continue to the next step.

Step 3: Preventing software from opening

During shut down, Windows attempts to close all open software programs and services. To see if a software program or service is contributing to the shut down problem, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start , and then type msconfig into the Start Search field.
  2. Click msconfig from the Programs list to open the System Configuration window.
    Figure 1: Opening msconfig
    msconfig in the Programs list
  3. If a User Account Control message appears, click OK.
  4. From the General tab, remove the selection from Load startup items.
    Figure 2: Load startup items not selected
     Selective Startup: Load Startup items
  5. Click the Services tab.
  6. Select Hide Microsoft services, and then remove the selections next to each item in the list.
    Figure 3: Service tab
    Services listed on Services tab with Microsoft services hidden and all other services unselected
  7. Click OK, and then click Restart.
  8. After the computer has been restarted without startup programs and services, click Start and then Shut Down.
  9. Note what happens when the computer attempts to shut down and do the following based on what happens:
    • If Windows still fails to shut down, reopen msconfig and replace the selection Normal startup on the General tab. Restart the computer and continue to the next step.
    • If Windows can shut down, determine which startup item or service is preventing Windows 7 or Vista from closing. Software programs that are likely to cause shut down problems are:
      • Viruses, spyware, and malware
      • Antivirus software
      • Webcam software
      • Software associated with graphics drivers (not the core graphic drivers themselves)
      Find the software program or service that is causing the problem by repeatedly using msconfig to disable the suspected startup item or service, and then attempting to shut down the computer. For more information, see Preventing Software Programs from Opening When Windows Vista Starts or Preventing Programs from Opening When Windows 7 Starts .
      After the software program is found, update, uninstall, or prevent the startup item or service from opening to fix the problem.

Step 4: Upgrading the BIOS

Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is code used to initially startup and shut down the computer. Check the HP Support Web Site to determine if a BIOS upgrade is available. For more information, refer to the HP support document Updating the BIOS .

Related support links

HP Support forums

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