My home machine has been running fine for about 3 years, no problems at all. Within the last couple of weeks it's had real trouble trying to shut down. It'll get so far and then just sit there at the "Shutting down..." screen for hours. I've left it overnight, I've tried in safe mode, all to no avail. These days, I just wait for the disk activity to finish up and then hold the power button to turn it off. Feels dirty as, especially because there's a RAID involved! The hardware itself is in pretty good shape and of decent spec; Core 2 Quad, 4GB RAM, 1TB RAID 1+0, so it's not quite like a 7 year old PC coming to end of life!

In the last month, hardware hasn't changed except for a new monitor. Admittedly I haven't tried unplugging the monitor but I've never heard of that preventing a shutdown. I might give it a whirl later I guess, as a last resort. I've uninstalled old apps, done updates, checked the event log, looked in device manager, uninstalled all non-present devices, disabled various non-critical devices (imaging, audio etc), unplugged peripherals, stopped non-essential services, unplugged the network, disabled the network adapter entirely, ran chkdsk, verified my RAID, the list goes on.

But not a single lead. I'm pretty stumped. It could be hardware, but I have no other evidence to suggest so; when the PC is running, it runs fine. Temperatures are good, gaming is smooth as always, disk performance is fine. Event log even makes it look like the shutdown was completed (gets to the point where the event log service stops). In fact, the PC doesn't appear to realise that I cut the power to it.

So my question is, does anyone know if there is a way I can get some verbose output (or a log) from shutdown to give me some idea of what is causing the issue? I'm guessing it's stuck unloading some app/driver but it would be good to get some specifics!

Unless anyone has any other ideas?

I suspect a reinstall would resolve the issue, however I'm looking to get a new PC built in the next month or so, and the reinstall is going to be quite a big job so I'd rather just wait until then if it comes to that. Would still be nice to get this sorted in the mean time though.


Edit: I have tried the 'VerboseStatus' messages setting as suggested in Ganesh.R's links, however the messages you get from this are not nearly as verbose as the name may suggest; it's really nothing more than slightly more descriptive shutdown messages (instead of shutting down, you may get things like stopping services, etc)


Try this link. Its for Win2k3 but may work for Windows Vista.

EDIT 1: This is a better link.

  • Thanks for the link; I forgot to mention earlier that I have already tried this. It's not nearly as verbose as it sounds! It simply makes it say things like "stopping services..." instead of just "shutting down", still very broad unfortunately :( – CapBBeard Mar 24 '10 at 21:18

Well I found the issue, turned out the page file had gone bad, apparently!

Disabling the page file, rebooting, and re-enabling the page file again fixed the problem :)

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