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Windows XP sp2 says don’t turn off your computer

Posted on 2004-10-13
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi,
When I try to turn off my computer Windows goes through all the normal XP shut down stuff (saving settings etc…) and they says Installing Updates (1-3) Please do not turn off or unplug your computer it will shut down automatically when done. The updates never install. It’s been some time. What should I do? Could this be the result of a virus?
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Question by:xersoft
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27 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:GATOR420
ID: 12297323
Installing updates 1-3? At shut down? This smells very fishy to me... I don't think this is coming from Windows. I have never seen or heard of anything like this. Is this a Windows dialog box? Does it have a title bar? If so, what does it say?

I would definitely scan for spyware and viruses.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:katacombz
ID: 12298092
scan for spyware and viruses as stated above
also visit windows update and install updates while windows is up
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:DVation191
ID: 12298321
There are no Microsoft Windows XP SP2 updates that install at shutdown.

There are only three ways for an update to be installed. One, at the time specified in automatic updates. Two, from windowsupdate.microsoft.com. And three, manually by downloading them from microsoft.com.

Go to http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ and give your PC a free online virus scan. Also download Ad-Aware and SpyBoy to get rid of any spyware junk.
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download506.html
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download506.html
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:DVation191
ID: 12298327
Sorry that second linke should be:
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download2471.html
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:KerryG
ID: 12298508
I saw this exact problem on a client's machine last night. I finally powered it down and brought it back up normally. I then updated the definitions for Spybot and AdAware, then rebooted into safe mode. In safe mode I ran both AdAware and Spybot and it cleaned up a few things. Rebooted normally and the system seems fine now.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:visualcoat
ID: 12299730
KerryG can you give me any detail in regards to removing it for example which program worked? who made this hijack?  Do you know how to remove it manualy?
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:jsugi
ID: 12300063
I know in the earlier versions of SP2, updates were installed that way.  At shutdown, I think it was Microsoft's way of forciing people to install updates.  I believe if the options are for download but installl when I choose to install.  If you did not install the updates then it would be installed when shutting down the computer.  
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:GATOR420
ID: 12300078
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:jsugi
ID: 12300083
Ok here's a link that dicusses the install updates and shutdown computer option.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/maintain/mangxpsp2/mngaups.mspx
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:DVation191
ID: 12300121

"When updates have been downloaded and are ready to install, Windows shows the new Install Updates and Shutdown option as the default choice and marks it with the Windows Security shield, which indicates that this is a security recommendation."

So if the author is jusst choosing to shut down the pc, not install updates and shutdown, then this should not be happening.
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:xersoft
ID: 12300637
I do choose to only shut down, when I do a little box comes up in the middle of the screen with three icons on it. They are standby, turn off and restart, and also cancel in the lower right corner. I choose shut down and the computer goes to a blue screen with a top and bottom border. Off to the right in the middle is a windows xp graphic with some text below it. This text is Logging Off, then Saveing settings and finally (only sometimes mind you) it displays a message that says it's updating the computer with the 1-3 thing. It never goes farther then 1-3 though. I'm trying the adware, spybot and the virus scan ideas given in this thread. I'll note anything they find and post it here. Thanks for all the help so far.
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:xersoft
ID: 12300770
Ad-Aware se (downloaded today) 122733 Objects scanned 67 Items flagged All cookies. I did it in safe mode (going to next program after work)
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LVL 20

Accepted Solution

by:
DVation191 earned 500 total points
ID: 12300800
xersoft, if by some chance this really *is* a microsoft thing going on, I believe you should be able to get around this by making sure there *are* no updates to be installed.

first, go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ and download and install all updates.

then go to the Start button > Control Panel > Automatic Updates

Put them on Automatic and to install every day at 3:00Am.

reboot and see if it happens again after the first reboot.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:jsugi
ID: 12301885
Ok, how's this for weird.  Since I work at a helpdesk, we had someone call in this morning with the exact same problem.  She ended up leaving the computer on over night hoping that it would shutdown later.  When she came in this morning the computer had not shutdown and had the same message of not turning off the computer until the updates were installed.  I was telling her that I was reading about this problem,  but no real solution was found.  But as we were talking her computer finally shutdown by itsself.  We booted up the computer and everything seemed ok.  
I was unable to answer her as to why it took so long.  Over night to install updates is way too long.  I guess going the route of doing updates like DVation191 says is the way to go, this is how I do my updates, I don't use the Automatic Update Option.

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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:xersoft
ID: 12303079
I ran the free virus checking software and it did come up with one problem file.

HTML MHTREDIR.A      Not Cleanable   Located in Temp Internet Files


I deleted the file.
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:DVation191
ID: 12303135
Mhtredir attemtps to exploit the vulnerability described by Microsoft in the security bulletin MS04-013. It can affect the computer when the user accesses a malicious website, or when an e-mail in HTML format is received; the user is then enticed to click an specially crafted link, which downloads and executes files on the affected computer, granting to an attacking user unlimited access to the affected computer.

It is highly unlikely this had anything to do with your problem at hand. Any feedback from my suggestion above?
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:xersoft
ID: 12312374
I have made sure all the updates were downloaded and installed. I have since restarted/shutdown the computer several times. I have not yet seen the problem again. I am waiting a bit longer to see if the problem has gone away for good. Maybe it was a Microsoft thing?
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:DVation191
ID: 12312407
No I just think that an update was not installing properly. Now that you went and updated your PC fully, there are no updates left to install...at least thats what I was thinking...and so far it looks accurate.
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:xersoft
ID: 12312421
I know this is unrelated to the question asked but what does

"then go to the Start button > Control Panel > Automatic Updates

Put them on Automatic and to install every day at 3:00Am."

do?

What if the computer is not on at 3:00 am?
Will the updates try to install the next time the computer is shut down (with a message that says the computer will be shut down when done?)
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:DVation191
ID: 12312478
It downloads updates as they become available and installs them at 3:00AM.

If the PC is not on at 3:00AM they will not get installed. Unless you have some really bad power hog of a computer, you should never turn it off anyway. Turning off the monitor will save you most of your power.

The "install at shutdown" thing should not be happening unless explicitly choosen. Why it happened to you? I am not sure.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:Glimm3R
ID: 12315206
There was a GDI(in relation to MS Office) update that required user input while installing and I imagine that if this update was trying to install during a shutdown, the interface may not have been available for you to answer.  So it just waited for you as you waited for it :)...  

This problem was reported to me several times between yesterday and today and I cured it exactly as described above -- by installing all updates manually... And FYI, this *is* official Microsoft.  See:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/maintain/sp2maint.mspx

aditionally(new policy related options):

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/maintain/mangxpsp2/mngaups.mspx
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Sootah
ID: 12321800
The "Install at shutdown" IS a normal thing if Windows has dowloaded updates and has not yet installed them. It automatically installs all updates when the computer turns off. It's COMPLETELY normal with SP2. Now, the updates shouldn't be locking up, of course. See if you can get Windows Update to install the updates while the machine is on. If the little update globe doesn't show up in the system tray then run Windows Update from the web.

It is a possiblity that some update needs user input and since the computer is shutting down that it can't bing up the dialougs.
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:DVation191
ID: 12322374
"It automatically installs all updates when the computer turns off."
True, but ONLY if you choose "Install Updates and Shutdown" after going to the Start Menu and clicking Shutdown!'

I verified this as I have one update on my SP2 machine that has been downloaded and waiting to be installed. When I go to Start > Shutdown, and choose "Shutdown"...it does NOT install any updates. However when you choose "Install Updates and Shutdown", it does.

To quote the author... " I do choose to only shut down, when I do a little box comes up in the middle of the screen with three icons on it. [...] I choose shut down and the computer goes to a blue screen with a top and bottom border. "
THAT is not normal. NO updates should be installed if all the author did was choose shutdown.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Sootah
ID: 12323080
Ah, didn't catch that part. You are correct, it shouldn't try to install anything if it is specifically told not to install them.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Sootah
ID: 12323095
I would still say to go to Windows Update and run it from there while on. That way if it does need any User Input, it can get it. Since the updates would be installed, then it wouldn't attempt them at shutdown.
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:DVation191
ID: 12323215
Yea that's what I was thinking...I mentioned that above ... "first, go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ and download and install all updates."
I think the author did that too, and now isn't having the problems anymore..."I have made sure all the updates were downloaded and installed. I have since restarted/shutdown the computer several times. I have not yet seen the problem again."
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:xersoft
ID: 12337971
I have still not seen the problem again. I'm guessing that making sure all the updates were installed did the trick. Thank you all for your help.
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