WINDOWS SHUTDOWN & RESTART CENTER
WINDOWS MILLENNIUM EDITION
Version 6.2 — Last updated September 13, 2004
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[The following article is based on many sources, including input from individuals in the Microsoft peer-support news groups. My thanks to all. Please note that you use this information only at your own risk — I am not personally able to verify, in advance, the consequences of any action on every computer of every type used by every user. — Jim Eshelman]
Shutdown problems in Windows Millennium Edition can be caused by many factors including, but not limited to: a damaged exit sound file; incorrectly configured or damaged hardware; conflicting programs, or an incompatible, damaged, or conflicting device driver. This article can be used to troubleshoot the possible causes. Many of these issues preexisted Win ME, and should be approached through my general Windows Shutdown troubleshooting article. The present articles addresses those additional items that are unique to the Win ME shutdown problem.
WINDOWS MILLENNIUM EDITION SCENARIOS:
Microsoft has formally acknowledged that there is a shutdown and restart problem in Windows Millennium. In email correspondence, Microsoft particularly cited an inability for Win ME to force all running programs to shut down in preparation for a system restart or shutdown. Here are the most promising approaches for resolving shutdown problems unique to Win ME:
UPDATE YOUR DEVICE DRIVERS
Many hardware manufacturers have never written device drivers for Win ME. Others did eventually create them, but too late for inclusion on the Win ME CD. There are many instances where improved drivers have resolved shutdown problems that resulted from hardware hangs. In fact, this is probably the single most common solution to the Win ME shutdown problem. Examples where this has been found true by some users include:
- Creative Labs SBLive and Banshee cards (but not the other SB lines).
A solution for many is to remove the DOS-based SB16 emulation. Creative has now released
new SB Live software.
- Network adapters. Updating these has been one of the very most successful solutions
for Win ME shutdown problems. When the NIC driver cannot be updated, disabling it in device manager will solve the
shutdown problem — if it’s the NIC driver that is causing the problem.
- Various video cards (see examples below).
- Mouse or touch pad (see details below).
- HP ScanJet 3300C USB scanner Microsoft identified this problem in
299288. Contact HP for new drivers.
- HP DVD200e DVD writer with either USB or Firewire connection. According to AumHa Forum
participant “Billt,” when this is connected (even though the hardware performs its job flawlessly), Win ME
won’t shutdown. The shutdown problem doesn’t persist with this hardware on Windows 2000 or XP.
- Hauppauge WinTV card New drivers are available
(Tip from Allan Wilson)
- Iomega Zip250 USB
(correspondent Tony Marston says there are no ME drivers for it yet).
- Kodak DC 290 (Tip from Paul D. Good, Jr.)
- Alcatel Speed Touch USB ADSL modem This hangs Win ME on shutdown
if Windows 98 drivers are used.
See “Windows ME Hangs on Shutdown with Alcatel USB ADSL Modem,”
In theory, almost any hardware could fall in this category — so check your drivers if a hardware hang is suspected.
TEMPORARILY SWITCH TO STANDARD VGA
Also related to video cards and drivers, one of the most successful “quick fixes” for many people, restoring their shutdown ability when a driver update would not, is the following: In MSCONFIG, click Advanced, then check the box marked VGA 640 x 480 x 16. Click OK twice, and let the computer reboot. When it reboots (in standard VGA mode), return to MSCONFIG, and uncheck the box. Again, reboot.
DSL & OTHER NETWORKING ISSUES
Networking issues have emerged as a cause of a larger percentage of shutdown problems for Win ME than for any earlier version of Windows. This is showing in the normal kind of networking issues mentioned in the general shutdown troubleshooter (problems with particular cards, network resources not releasing, etc.), but especially with DSL connections.
One correspondent, Richard Smith, solved his problem by disabling NDIS.VXD (in MSCONFIG, “Static VxDs” tab) — but it cost him his Internet connectivity. NDIS.VXD is part of Windows’ NetBEUI, IPX/SPX, and TCP/IP support. Bill Halvorsen has documented active or waiting network connections post-DSL usage (through his NIC) that produce BSODs (“Blue Screens Of Death”) during shutdown, unless he waits for them to time out first.
Some have found that, as they only need the TCP/IP protocol for their DSL, removing other existing network protocols has provided a satisfactory solution. For example, newsgroup correspondent Tel found that simply disabling NetBEUI resolved this problem on two machines. Other correspondents are getting at least partial resolution by downloading and installing new network adapter drivers. Others have found the best approach is to disable all network protocols except for TCP/IP.
ADD A SHUTDOWN SOUND
Several correspondents have confirmed that if there is a shutdown problem in Windows ME and no Exit Windows sound is assigned, the shutdown problem is resolved by adding one!
I suspect this works by slowing down the shutdown process, thereby circumventing some other problem, such as Win ME’s inability to force all running programs to terminate. It may be, in fact, that the applications are not unwilling to terminate, but merely require a little more time. In any case, feedback from correspondents continues to suggest that you should give this solution a try!
Open and examine the C:\Windows\System\IOSUBSYS folder. Remove (to a new folder — do not delete them!) all files that are not dated the same as the operating system files (the date you install Windows ME). Test Windows shutdown. If no resolution, move the files back.
WARNING: Be sure you have a startup diskette at hand. Moving these files may make your system unbootable. In that case, use the startup disk to restart the computer, and move the temporarily moved files back to the IOSUBSYS folder.
ShutMeDown REGISTRY PATCH
Download the “ShutMeDown” Registry patch. Please follow sensible Registry editing protocol. Backup your Registry before the change (or run System Restore to create a restore point). This is not the appropriate fix for most machines, but does help a significant number. After installing, test Windows shutdown. If the fix does not work for you, remove it by restoring the Registry to its prior state. For those who want a little more background information, the fix provided by this patch is based on a
Microsoft Knowledge Base article 155117 for Windows NT 4.0.
FastReboot REGISTRY PATCH
Back up your Registry. Download the FastReboot Registry Patch. Test Windows shutdown. If no resolution, restore the prior Registry.
FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD . . .
Go to the general Windows Shutdown Troubleshooter page and follow the 15 Steps, one at a time, until you find the solution. Basic fixes that worked for Win95/98 are among those that still work in Windows ME. Microsoft has also published a Knowledge Base article on
How to Troubleshoot Windows ME Shutdown Problems.
Additional Observations & ME Shutdown Newsflashes:
Among video cards implicated in the shutdown issue, the name that floated to the top most often is Nvidia. On the video issue, Bill Halvorsen documented that the latest “Detonator” drivers for his GEforce video card caused a shutdown problem — solved by returning to an earlier driver version. He advises staying completely away from the “plain vanilla” drivers on Nvidia’s site. In general, the Nvidia 6.x drivers are getting negative comments from many experienced and technically minded users online. According to MS-MVP Walter Clayton, anyone running NVidia drivers of versions 6.00 through 6.31 needs to upgrade to 6.34 or later. (Last time I checked, NVidia has version 6.50 posted in the driver section at www.nvidia.com.)
Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2 is a possible contributor to Win ME shutdown problems — possibly in combination with the aforementioned Nvidia drivers. Correspondent Bert Smith reported that ME stopped shutting down on his computer (and those of three other people known to him) once IE 5.5 SP2 was installed. The problem resolved when SP2 was uninstalled (i.e., when he returned to SP1). In all of these cases, the individuals were using Win ME, had Nvidia cards, had no shutdown problem before installing SP2, and developed the problem immediately after installing SP2. However, the problem is not uniform with this configuration. MS-MVP Richard G. Harper, among others, now has tested the Nvidia 6.42 drivers and IE 5.5 SP2 on Win ME, and couldn’t reproduce the shutdown problem. Some other system-specific factor, therefore, may be part of the mix.
Using AOL, Compuserve, or Gateway.net. Gateway has issued a
advising of a known issue where a Windows ME computer will stop responding during shut down if the computer has been connected to the Internet using Gateway.net 5.0, America Online, or Compuserve. The solution they advise is to turn off the computer using the power button. According to Gateway, this state will not cause any data loss, and ScanDisk should not run upon startup. Some users report that the power button seems not to work any longer after logging off of AOL. In this case, try holding it down longer — newer power management systems simply require that you press and hold the power button for up to 15 seconds. Microsoft also acknowledges this problem with AOL 5.0 and Win ME, and echoes AOL’s recommended solution, to upgrade to AOL 6.0 or later (since the problem is apparently a bug in the 5.0 code). However, a more straightforward solution seems quite obvious: Get rid of AOL altogether, and get a real ISP!
So far, all reports I have seen indicate that if a Win ME shutdown problem emerged after an upgrade, and the person went back and did a clean install, the shutdown problem went away. Please note that this may not be true in all cases and, if it is, still may not be worth doing the clean install if you have more to lose that way. Draw your own conclusions!
One group of users has reported shutdown “fixes” involving a mouse
and/or touch pad. There is not much similarity in their reports except that they involves a pointing device,
and that their solution is to uninstall it completely, then reinstall it — after which things work as they should.
One possible explanation for this may be the discovery, by an anonymous user, that during an upgrade to ME
his old mouse driver was left in place. He let Windows search for a new mouse driver, and this fixed his shutdown problem.
Using Large Fonts may contribute to shutdown problems, according to newsgroup correspondent Billy Joe.
Large Fonts is an option that may be selected by right-clicking on the Windows desktop, selecting Properties, clicking the Settings
tab, then clicking the Advanced button. Billy Joe found that when he temporarily disabled Large Fonts, his long-standing Win ME
shutdown problem went away; when he enabled them again, it came back. I suspect this is related to a video driver issue —
one of the most common causes of Win ME shutdown problems — but it might be worth mentioning on its own.
Try inserting the last removable media used. Beginning in Windows ME, there is a new behavior
that can give the appearance of a shutdown or restart problem. According to
when Win ME shuts down or restarts, it flushes any modified contents to the disk. As part of this process,
the FAT32 file system information in the FAT32 extended boot sector is updated. The computer may be attempting
to write this to a removal storage media recently used. It prompts for the media but, during the shutdown process, you cannot
see the prompt. Therefore, the computer appears to hang. To see if this is the problem, re-insert the last used media,
then press ENTER to allow the computer to continue.
ScanDisk may run even if Windows ME appears to shut down correctly.
In most cases, if ScanDisk runs at restart of the computer, it means that Windows did not shut down correctly. It may have
appeared to shut down correctly but, in fact, does not finish all of its internal shutdown processes. It is important
to know whether or not this final shutdown actually occurred. The best method is probably the
boot log method.
Many such cases, resistant to other resolution, turn out to be hardware
problems: This happens with some IDE hard drives when, during the shutdown process, when virtual cache contents are
written to the hard drive’s onboard cache, but not to the drive itself. This data is lost from the cache when the computer
powers down, and the computer correctly interprets this as a failed shutdown and runs ScanDisk on the next startup.
Microsoft advises that you contact your computer or hard drive manufacturer for a fix. Microsoft also has released a
supported fix, the IDE Hard
Drive Cache upgrade.
Third Party Download Programs. If you are using a third party download program (e.g., Getright),
select the options “Turn off computer when done” and “Hang-up when done,” or the equivalent. (Microsoft
recommended this. However, I have yet to have never had even one correspondent say this did them any good.)
AND SOMETHING LIKE NO OTHER.
Just to show how little we know, I want to reproduce this email from correspondent Andre Downey almost verbatim.
It provides information that is new and different from anything else that has been mentioned thus far:
Step 1: Install Win ME over Win98 SE. Result: Hang at User Log Off, a few other glitches — not happy.
Step 2: Reformat and reinstall Win ME. Result: Much better, User Log-Off OK, but hang on Shutdown
(BSOD, ScanDisk runs after reset).
Step 3: Went to the newsgroups and found your page, good info — got me looking around.
FIX: Enable DMA for Hard Drives in Device Manager. Good Shutdown every time, now :)