We have couple of old Dell machines - DELL Optiplex 320, which do not shut down (by start and shutdown with the mouse click), we have to manually shutdown by holding the power button. Any solutions how to over come this problem.

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the installed Operating system must be corrupted.  reinstalling a fresh windows will make it work.

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faysal_ahmedAuthor Commented:
Are there any other quick solutions other than this.
If the window is currupt then only reinstalling can fix it. Sorry no other shortcut
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Make sure you have installed all the current drivers for the PC, and that Windows is also fully patched. If after that you have the same issue, check if BIOS upgrades fix the problem. Also check any BIOS/power-saving settings, sometimes other settings could help.
what OS is this?
you can run sfc, or a repair install - here instructions for XP:                        SFC use in XP            Repair install  XP

as a test, you can also run from a bootable cd, and check if the shutdown works fine..but i never had any such problems, other than from OS
Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
Try booting in Safe Mode and then shut down.  If it shuts down normally, it will probably be a driver related issue (as Safe Mode uses a minimal set of drivers only).

You should also check your event log just after a failed (normal) shutdown and see if there are any errors there that would give a clue about what is not responding normally.

I'd also suggest a reinstallation of the most recent service pack on top of Nobus's ideas, as that can help with file corruptions.
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