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Notebook computer (Dell) won't restart / power off

Posted on 2014-12-14
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
When I try to restart of power off, the machine doesn't completely shutdown.  It is making a mess of updates which don't get completed because the machine didn't do a complete power cycle.

What to do?

Ron Hicks, Arlington Virginia
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Question by:Ronald Hicks
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40499399
Try to configure in Power Options (Control Panel - Power Options - Advanced) what the Power Button should do.
More details: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/change-what-happens-when-you-press-the-power-button-on-your-computer
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40499406
Also, updates today want a restart and not a full power off. I can always turn off a computer (my own knowledge and noxcho's advice above). But turning off can leave updates incomplete. Always restart to complete updates.

So if noxhco's advice achieves power off for you, try to figure out why updates are not completing. You may need to do two restarts (and possibly even more).
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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 40499511
Hmm.  Not exactly the problem.  Here's one sequence, in Windows, select Shutdown, Windows closes programs and logs off the user and closes but the machine does not power off.  Here's a variation on the same: in Windows Update, updates download and install and say that the machine needs to be restarted.  Click on Restart and it cycles down but doesn't restart, and only power button will turn it off.  Then restarting is problematic in that the the updates didn't complete.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40499512
So something appears to have gone wrong with updates.

it cycles down but doesn't restart, and only power button will turn it off  <-- This is what I was concerned about. You should not power off updates in process. It can take a while for updates to complete.

If you now do a full power off and then restart normally, does it kick off updates?
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 100 total points
ID: 40499524
Also, please follow this Microsoft Tech Support Article for resetting Windows Update Components.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058
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by:nobus
nobus earned 100 total points
ID: 40499790
look also if you have a bios update available, it often helps
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Assisted Solution

by:VB ITS
VB ITS earned 100 total points
ID: 40500251
I don't think you understand the OP John, his machine isn't completing the shut down process regardless of whether Windows Updates have installed or not (correct me if I'm wrong here ronhicks22207).

I would go with nobus' suggestion to update the BIOS. Alternatively you can try resetting the BIOS by taking out the CMOS battery but you'll need to give us the model of your laptop if you want further assistance on how to do this.
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 100 total points
ID: 40500296
Isn't the restart or shut down initiated from Windows? It would be interesting to know if the laptop behaves the same when restart or shutdown command is sent from Boot CD. Like Windows 7 DVD or Linux Ubuntu LiveCD. This would show if the problem is in BIOS or in Windows.
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Accepted Solution

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Rob G earned 100 total points
ID: 40500961
Create a batch file using this (Worst case scenario, and a way to test hardware vs OS issue)

Batch file:
shutdown -r -f -t "00"

The above will reboot the machine.

If the machine does not reboot when you run the first command you will need to look into possible BIOS issues.. But if it does reboot, it is likely a windows issue.

It could also be controlled by group policy...
Do you have this machine on a domain?
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Author Closing Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 40510715
Will try these when I'm at this machine again.  Thanks all.
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