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When shutting my PC down, by going to Start->Turn Off Computer, then clicking Turn Off, I am taken to a "Windows is shutting down screen...". However, I often find that my PC "freezes" at this time and does not actually turn off (I have to do so manually in this case). This does not always happen.

Could you please advise how I can find out why this happens and how to fix it?

When the problem occurs I have not had any crashes, freezes, or visibly unexpected behaviour in the Windows session - so why does it freeze when shutting down?

I am using Windows XP Home SP 3.

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Don't forget those 15 minute grace periods in the shutdown process. Put in your question how long you waited before concluding that your machine was "frozen". – JdeBP Jul 21 '11 at 11:16
Normally Windows closes down in a few seconds. However, when the machine freezes at close-down I normally wait a minute or two before holding down the off button. – Goto10 Jul 22 '11 at 10:06
I had a freeze when shutting down earlier today - I waited for over 15 minutes this time, but it still stayed frozen. – Goto10 Jul 22 '11 at 18:47
up vote 0 down vote accepted

There is likley a service that is in use that does not want to quit gracefully. The event log will sometimes show the problem app/service. Saw this with Skype as it was busy and once identified, I was able to quit before shutdown and all was well. May take a bit of detective work to find the issue.

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It looks like this could be the case. I will take a look at the Event Log the next time it happens. – Goto10 Jul 22 '11 at 10:07
Sometimes I wonder if it might be due to the Flash Player/Firefox browser. As I seem to notice the freeze on shut-down when I have been looking at videos on YouTube etc. (even though there are no visible problems whilst watching them). Might just be a coincidence though. – Goto10 Jul 22 '11 at 10:10
I had a freeze when shutting down earlier today - I could not see anything significant in the Event Log. – Goto10 Jul 22 '11 at 18:47

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