Why must Windows take forever to shut down?

Greetings Readers!

First off, I want to apologize for not blogging much lately.  Life has been very busy and I have been rather uninspired until a day or two ago.  Also, the Global Geek News Podcast will return next week.  Now that that is out of th way…

Have you ever noticed how terribly long it takes for virtually any version of windows to shut down?  Unless it is a completely fresh install, it often can take 5-10 minutes.  In my case, its usually closer to 10 minutes.  For a shutdown time, that is pathetic.  We don’t put up with it from other devices such as our tvs or game consoles, why do we have to put up with it from Windows?

I have noticed this problem for many years.  Whether it is with XP, Vista, or to a slightly lesser extent, Windows 7, it seems like it takes forever for Windows to shut down.  If you have to reboot, you might as well go to the movies because the bootup times are typically as bad or worse.  What is windows doing that it is taking it so long to shut down?  I have tried many things but nothing seems to help.  I have tried killing every application and process I have running before shutting down but it seems to make no difference.  What could the problem possibly be and why hasn’t it been fixed in all these years?

In my fairly limited Linux experience, I never had this issue.  I don’t know if this problem affects Macs or not but I certainly never hear of it having this issue.  If it does or you have an experience you would like to share, please do so in the comments.

Microsoft really needs to address this issue as it is a huge productivity killer and electricity user.  I can’t say I have gone looking much lately but I have never heard any comment on this.  Occasionally I come accross some guides that supposedly help with the problem but still don’t solve it.  I think its time we put pressure on Microsoft to fix this issue that is a plague on all Windows users.  We must demand a higher standard from the company we have come to depend upon.

What has your experience been with this?  Post it in th comments as well as tips or links to tips to help this problem.


2 responses to “Why must Windows take forever to shut down?”

  1. WinUser Avatar

    I can’t confirm this – I use Windows since Win98SE, which I still run on an older rig. It takes 12 seconds to boot and around 2 to completely shut down. My WinXP SP2 Laptop takes 25 seconds to boot and maybe 5 to 10 seconds to shut down. My 13″ MacBook Pro takes between 30 and 45 seconds to boot and maybe 5 seconds to shut down. Vista is godawful, but then, no one in his right mind uses it.

    Maybe you should a) disable services you don’t need (dozens may be installed after (de-)installing software, b) run CCleaner or similar utilities to remove dead files and registry entries, c) defragment your drive and d) run some anti-virus software or malware scanner to ensure your system is clean…

    On the other hand, if you’re using Vista, it might be best to replace it with either WinXP or Win7, and if neither is to your liking, you’d be better off leaving your PC in front of your place and hope someone steals it – at least it’s less trouble than working with it.

  2. Klaatu Avatar

    Windows gives each process a big chunk of time to close up when shutting down. There’s registry settings you can alter to shrink this a bit. Services get a large time chunk to clean up too. Creating a script to manually stop your services (in the right order) will speed up a shutdown dramatically. I once worked on a RAID 5 server that took 22 minutes to shutdown on its own. A shutdown script of the right NET commands dropped it to mere seconds. Also look at the Shutdown -F command option but use a Sysinternals Sync command first to flush all the outstanding write buffers to disk.

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