WinXP does not shutdown but reboot instead

Hi experts,

I'm using WinXP with all patches updated from Currently I facing 2 problems:-

1) when i click start, turn off computer, the system suppose to power off and shut down, but instead, it restarted. I have to force shutting down the system by pressing and hold the power switch button. I don't think this is a hardware problem.

2) I'm using the nVidia Geforce2 MX440 AGP card, when I click start, turn off computer, the wallpaper suppose to turn grey in color waiting for my further instruction. But now, the background color is distorted. When I click the cancel button, it resumes as normal.

I'm using the latest driver from website. Don't think it is the VGA card hardware problem as when I shift this card to other WinXP system, it is working fine.

Please help. Thank you.
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Hi surework,
Windows XP shutdown Problems?

M$ identifies hardware and Software all the time that can cause shutdown problems Make sure you have all the latest Service Packs and Hot Fixes.

Have your Power settings been set up correctly?

Windows when it was installed takes your power setup from the settings in your BIOS, and sometimes gets it wrong! Occasionally it will read you power setting as APM (Advanced Power Management) when in fact it should be ACPI (Advanced configuration Power Interface) To see how your system is set up do the following,

Start > Run > type "Devmgmt.msc" {Enter}

Expand the "System Devices" node

You will either see ACPI nodes or NT APM Legacy support
(NB you may need to click on View and "show hidden devices")

If you see ACPI nodes ensure they are running correctly and have no problems (double click them)

If you see NT APM Legacy Nodes, If they are disabled enable them, if they are enabled, disable them.

The above is only a temporary Fix!! You will need to ensure the power settings are correct in you BIOS, and possibly get the latest BIOS update from the motherboard manufacturer. After you have "flashed" the BIOS you will need to perform a "refresh" install of Windows XP.

Check the settings in "Power Management"

Start >Control Panlel > Power Options, and ensure everything is set up properley.


Also Check all Your Hardware Devices are supported by XP


Is a program Keeping windows up and running?

Windows XP gives all running programs 20 seconds (by default) to close down, some older applications may need a bit of extra time, and you can make a registry change to allow for this.

Start > Run > type "regedit" {Enter}

Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\control panel\desktop\

Locate the WaitToKillApp timeout value and double click it, it should be set to 20000  (dont panic this is in milliseconds = 20 seconds) put in a higher value and retest the system.)

Do you have an NVIDIA graphics card? (if not skip this section)

There is a problem with a service used by this graphics card, in particular the "Nvidia driver helper service"

Start >Run > type "services.msc" {Enter}

Look down the list of services to find the "Nvidia driver helper service" and double click it to view its properties, set the startup type to "disabled" and click OK.

Do You use Roxio CD Burning Software? (Particularly Version 5) It can conflict with Windows XP’s built in burning software (also roxio)

See for updates.

Still no Joy?

Try these links for more Info


You May Not Be Able to Shut Down Your Windows XP Computer;EN-US;320008

Computer Does Not Shut Down Properly if Selective Suspend Is Enabled;EN-US;315664

Computer Hangs During Shutdown or Displays a "Cannot Find Enough Free Resources" Error Message;EN-US;314101

Your Computer May Not Shut Down After You Upgrade to Windows XP;EN-US;313290

Windows XP Stops Responding (Hangs) During Windows Shutdown;EN-US;307274

Computer Hangs if USB Selective Suspend Option of USB Mouse Is On;EN-US;317673

Your Computer May Stop Responding When You Shut Down and Use Only the 802.1x Protocol for User Authentication;EN-US;311787


Click on How To Run a Repair Install

How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP;EN-US;315341

or u can alos have a look at this :)
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Windows XP Restarts When You Try to Shut Down Your Computer:
or u can also try to uninstall ur Video Cards drivers and software completely from the system, and then install them again after reboot.
Check this aswell



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Thanks for the points

I had the same problem. I initiated the shutdown but thew machine always restarted instead. Tested the shutdown with a bootable CD Linux distribution and it worked fine so the reason was not an out-dated BIOS.
So i started searching - and i finally found the solution (which is working now for me):
The origin was the graphics card (driver): I just had to deactivate my ATI Radeon card (both entries in Device manager), then shutdown and it worked.
Booted the machine up again and re-activated the graphics device - and : The shutdown with power off worked properly from this day on.
Hope this will help !


P.S. : If it still doesn't work, try to additionally uninstall ATI Control Panel (of available) or deactivate NVidia driver helper service (in Services).
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